Monday, August 30, 2010

Note to Self: Do NOT read the comments

When will I ever heed this advice? I'm not talking about comments on blogs like this one. (On that note, I would love more input from any readers of this blog, even when you disagree with me.) I'm talking about readers' comments to online versions of articles in popular media.

I keep making the same stupid mistake over and over again, scrolling down to the comments to see what the average Joe is thinking about food allergies, only to discover that the average Joe is apparently not so nice! (And it kind of crushes me. I wish I were better at not letting it get to me.)

I think what I have to keep in mind is that the average Joe really probably is pretty nice, (or at least has enough open-mindedness to learn more about something before vilifying someone over it), but the problem is that the subset of "people who bother leaving comments on these articles" includes more off-the-deep-end angry people than the general population does. Oh, and quite a few off-the-deep-end ignorant people, too.

I'm bringing this all up in response to what some people are saying about tonight's Peanut-Free game at Wrigley Field. You can get a flavor for the idiocy (without having to actually immerse yourself in it) by reading Kelly Rudnicki's smart responses here. (If you are not the parent of a food allergic child, I highly recommend following that link, if only to better comprehend the inane flack that the food allergy community has to deal with.)

I should not take this all personally, espcially because stupid comments are not unique to the topic of food allergies. I was utterly shocked last week after reading about the massacre of 72 immigrants at the hands of a Mexican drug cartel. The only thing more appalling than the fact that almost no Americans even heard about this event (despite it having involved the death of a Marine), was the comments to the article, which were along the lines of, "thank you Mexican drug lords, that's 72 less for us to deal with." I feel gross just having typed that.

But I digress. The point is that I really have not had unpleasant interactions or conversations relating to food allergies in real life, with real people I actually know. Real people are always curious, considerate, and sympathetic. It's only these online, practically imaginary (to me) people who are so rude. So I really should stop reading the comments.

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