What's The Point Of Being An Internet Bully?

I remember the day clearly – I was in middle school gym class and the “popular girls” decided they were tired of playing touch football and wanted to sit out on the field. Now it was a hot day, so I decided to sit out as well. Turns out, only they could sit down and no one else. If anyone knows anything about me, they know I don’t like taking crap from anyone else, and well, let’s just say the popular girls thought it was time to beat me up in the locker room.

Luckily for me, I’m gifted with the an awesome suaveness that allowed me to calmly talk them out of turning me to blonde girl soup. Back then, this experience was frightening. Today, it’s funny. It’s funny that people would want to start a fight over sitting down in gym class.

The great thing about being a geek is that, while you may not be popular in high school, people eventually grow out of the “stuffing-people-in-lockers-and-taking-their-lunch-money” (no, that never happened to me!) mentality. At least so I thought.

When you’re a nobody on the internet, it’s tough to remember how mean people can be, but as soon as you start getting recognition, you attract those bullies right back to you, except this time they’re free to cowardly harrass you behind the anonymity of the web.

I get hate “something” at least a few times a month, and I don’t get it. It’s one thing to disagree with me, it’s another to try to call me out to make you look cool. Fortunately most of you guys (awesome you are!) haven’t taken any of these bullies’ crap and have defended me to the end. Mucho gracias by the way.

The Bullies

Every six months or so, I get an email from a loser who uses a fake name and no email address to say I’m lying about my RSS feed stats. Really? If you’re so sure about that, why the cowardliness of no return email or name? Probably because he realizes he’s just a sad loser, like my awesome old middle school bullies. Also, it’s kinda hard to fake subscriber stats when you’re using a Subscriber plugin to track it. If I were going to fake my stats, I do something like “3434343434343” subscribers…not 3,000.

I also had a “reader” (right) tell me they’d never read my stuff again, because in my portfolio I discern between a CMS-driven site and a regular site as “static”. He then decided to give me a long lecture about how PHP isn’t static. Um, technically it is if you’re not using a DB behind it. He must be the only idiot in the world to not be able to understand the way I break up my portfolio.

My favorite bullies though are blog bullies. You know, the ones who creep around popular blog posts and never post something unless it’s really hateful. My favorite was the guy who insisted I shouldn’t comment my code at all because non-English developers wouldn’t really be able to read it. So was he suggesting that no one be able to read it at all? That I translate my comments into 100 languages? Funny that all programming code is written in English…so I guess if developers can’t read my comments, they probably can’t read the code anyways.

What gives?

So what’s the point of being a bully? Why do people decide to hate on someone who’s successful, instead of working hard to become successful themselves? Do they not realize they just look like a jerk?

image by headexplodie