Thinking Out Loud About Online Negativity

Thinking out loud today about GOMI and why other people feel the need to berate and belittle others in the online space.

Today’s post is a little different from normal, but definitely falls under Thursday’s thinking out loud theme.

I write my posts the day before they are published, meaning that I wrote this one yesterday. I was sitting at my computer when I realized that I didn’t have a concrete idea for a topic. I consulted my ever-growing idea list that’s always open, but nothing really called to me to be written.

For some reason I thought of a blog I used to read and, in the spirit of procrastination, googled it to check in and catch up. The first actual result after the social media handles was one to a forum on GOMI, or Get Off My Internets.

For those of you who don’t know about GOMI, it’s a place for users to complain and disparage bloggers, Instagrammers, and other sites on the internet. There is a main blog where all the BREAKING news is featured — so and so’s divorce, media scandals, etc. — and then there’s forums where anyone can register and share their opinions about a person’s online presence. I’m not going to link to it and add credibility to the site, but you’re welcome to Google it yourself.

Of course I searched for my own blog in terror, but thankfully it hasn’t made it on there yet.

I was sucked into the site for almost an hour. Not because I agreed with the comments, but because I just couldn’t understand the amount of time wasted in adding so much negativity to the world. Some forum threads date back 4 or 5 years and contain hundreds of pages of mockery and hurt. I also found some articles discussing the impact that the site has on the people it’s attacking.

I have a really hard time identifying what it is about someone that would cause me to log into a site, create a forum thread, and spend time in my day commiserating with others about how I don’t find their pictures appealing or their life is too boring for me. If I find a blog I’m having trouble identifying with or that has lost some of what brought me to it in the first place, I’ll simply unfollow it.

I’ve been told that the things we dislike the most in others are often things we dislike about ourselves. It doesn’t even have to be jealousy, but simple traits we may possess that we are ashamed of or wish were different. Is this the case with GOMI users? Or is it something more malicious?

I understand that there will always be people who like you and people who don’t; in fact, I wrote a whole post about this not too long ago. There are people I simply don’t get along with or our interests aren’t aligned, but that just means I don’t interact with them. I don’t go to another place and actively list out everything I disapprove of.

Basically, it makes me sad. I’m not angry or upset, just sad.  I feel like everyone in the world simply wants to be loved and appreciated. I don’t know why we have to make it so much harder for to that to happen. Instead of working to bring people down, why can’t we just concern ourselves with people who are supportive and encouraging? Stay on our side of the street. It’s not our job to police everyone’s lives if they live them differently than we expect.

Some of the comments are constructive, such as the desire for a blog to return to what it used to be or include certain topics in the future. If anyone ever feels like that with this blog, I ask you to write me an email or leave me a comment because I want to create a place that you want to return to.

As somewhat of a redeeming factor, there is a forum called SOMI — stay on my internets — which is dedicated to blogs that people love and enjoy. I wonder how long they will stay there before finding their way to the much larger GOMI section.

I realize that in writing this I am speaking poorly about another group of people — exactly the opposite of what this post encourages us to do. I’ve just seen so much more come from positivity than negativity and I hope that we can all be a little nicer today.

No questions today — just thoughts if you have them!

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40 Comments

  1. November 3, 2016 / 5:34 am

    GOMI. Oh, GOMI. I sometimes forget that it is still around, and I am happy for that. Like those terrible people who harassed that runner about her marathon time, I will never understand some people’s drive to be terrible to one another. Don’t we have enough problems in the world??
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…November GoalsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:41 am

      Especially after last night haha

  2. November 3, 2016 / 6:10 am

    I totally forgot about that site! There are some crazy comments on there. It really makes me sad that people would rather criticize than harness that negativity into sown thing good. Who has time for that? They should come to my house. I’ll give them something positive to work on!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Growing A Blog In Two Years & What I’m Doing NextMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:41 am

      Haha totally. I know – it makes me so sad!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:42 am

      Absolutely. It’s such a bummer

  3. November 3, 2016 / 7:10 am

    Ugh, I’ve fallen into that GOMI wormhole recently too (thank the gods I’m too busy now that I barely have time for reading the blogs I actually DO like, never mind all of that trolling!). It’s so easy for people to be hateful behind the veil of anonymity on the internet, and I think those commenters forget that there are REAL people behind the blogs, even the more commercial ones. Thanks for touching on this!
    Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine recently posted…Are You Living Your Passion?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:43 am

      I’d hope that they forget, but I’m sure many of them don’t care one way or the other. It makes me sad to see people treating other people like this!

  4. November 3, 2016 / 8:57 am

    I remember the first time I discovered GOMI, I was horrified. There are once in a while constructive criticism on there but mostly it’s just tearing people down for no reason. I don’t get it either. Why do we need a place to do that? If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t follow me. It’s that simple.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #87- New York marathon, my new haircut and news!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:43 am

      Wouldn’t that be great? Seems so simple – just don’t follow if you don’t like it. Such a waste of time!

  5. November 3, 2016 / 9:20 am

    SO SO thankful you wrote this; I’ve only been on there maybe once, and it was enough to make me get off pretty fast. It is really sad that people use the internet to attack. I’m thankful that I read so many blogs that I love and that don’t spread that.
    Emily recently posted…Why I Want to Be a Child In A World That is HurtingMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:43 am

      Everything is better with love!

  6. November 3, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Oh GOMI – I discovered it awhile ago and was all “whhhhhaattt?!?!” when I did. Whenever I mention it to other bloggers they are usually in shock.

    Way too much negativity in those forums.
    Rebecca recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursday #111My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:44 am

      Totally! And it’s hundreds and thousands of pages!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:44 am

      Thanks for reading! It just baffles me at the amount of time people can spend on things like this

  7. November 3, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Ah, yes. Quite a while ago I wrote a post about these very forums – only to find myself on their radar for a short time then. It’s easy to get sucked into their theories about certain people and their backgrounds, wonder if this or that assumption might be true. Luckily, I’ve skipped out of this soon again because I don’t want other people’s hatred to shape my opinion of others.
    Hatred. Jealousy. Boredom. That’s what I guess motivates these people. It’s sad to think that even people who know certain bloggers in real life badmouth them, sharing private information at times. At the same time, there’s so much kindness among bloggers that helps me forget about the hatred.
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread BarsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:44 am

      Yes, at least we can be thankful for that!

  8. November 3, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Oh my. I think I had heard of GOMI before, but I successfully pushed it to the very back of my mind and never even checked it out… and I am afraid to do so now. What if I find my blog there? I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I have yet to get my first negative/unkind comment, which is probably because I kept my blog under tight wraps (no publicly advertising) for very long, but that doesn’t make me immune to criticism/internet trolls.

    I just don’t understand what kind of people do this and what they possibly get out of it. Why not just unfollow, unsubscribe, look away? Aren’t there enough positive things to focus on? These people need to get a life!

    Thanks for bringing this up. I just had an IG friend make her account private for bullying and I just hate when that happens to someone I care about. It’s so unfair.
    San recently posted…3: Letters to the universeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:45 am

      Aw that’s so mean! And it’s tough in the online space bc people feel safer behind a computer screen and say things they may never say in real life. Such a bummer 🙁

  9. November 3, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    “the things we dislike the most in others are often things we dislike about ourselves” – mmhmmm. As a blogger/Instagrammer, it boggles my mind how some people/readers feel the need to “point out” things they don’t like about me. As though they’re doing me a favour or something? I mean, we’re all entitled to our opinions and beliefs but sometimes I think people just do it for the sake of being passive aggressive/rude.
    Jo @ Living Mint Green recently posted…My November (and onward) Goals!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Agreed. It seems like such a waste of energy!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Right?! Just don’t read it anymore!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:47 am

      Haha I’m sure it’ll just put me on their radar. It’s hard to reason w such skewed priorities

  10. November 3, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    I learned that GOMI existed by searching for a blogger and seeing “GOMI” come up next to her name. Out of curiosity, I clicked on it and was SO SURPRISED. How can you spend so much time bashing people you don’t know on the internet? Or bashing people in general? Just… be nice. Or, hey, if you don’t have anything helpful and well-intentioned to say, don’t say it at all.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #71My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:47 am

      Totally! Just be nice 🙂

  11. Archana
    November 3, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    IMHO – The problem with doing everything on-line these days is you lose that personal interaction. When you have a conversation face to face or over the phone with someone you can hear the emotion/feeling that someone is trying to convey. When you are talking to an unknown user with an unknown face, and an unknown identity all of people’s soft skill go out the window. I guess that’s the give and take with technology. I’ve never even heard of GOMI. Glad that I haven’t.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:48 am

      Absolutely. People feel safer behind the screen and will say things they may not normally say in real life. It’s sad and disappointing

  12. November 4, 2016 / 7:27 am

    I have not even heard of that site but I don’t plan on checking it out now! Yikes… Great post though Erin! It really is easier to fall into the negativity hole than it is to practice positivity. Maybe one day people will learn….
    Ashley N Hovey recently posted…Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate ChipsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:49 am

      After last night I’m not so confident about that 🙁

  13. November 4, 2016 / 9:27 am

    when i first saw this title , i actually FEARED that someone said something negative about your blog online. And i was so ready to kick someones ass hahaha. SUPER HAPPY that’s not actually what happened. But yea, online negativity is a huge, huge shame. There is this website you’ve maybe heard of called The Dirty, and its just assholes submitting super mean posts about people they have a grudge against. I once searched my name on there and thank God nothing came up. it would be horrible. I don’t know why people think they have the right to do such things, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in. I’m unsure if I want to look up GOMI, but i think my curiosity has really peaked now haha.
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…October LoveMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:51 am

      Oh man I better stay away from that site too. And you can totally be my enforcer when people are mean. I’ll just call you up

  14. November 4, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    WHAT IN THE F AND F. Huh?! What is wrong with people. Never heard of this site, and honestly, it’s not something I even want to look at because positivity is me. Negativity is not what I am about and making fun of, or putting people down is just …. UGH! It drives me so so so so so mad and it honestly makes me sad too!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Munching The Med: Part Two (Katakolon, Corfu, Cooking & The Slots)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:53 am

      Yeah don’t waste time on it. Especially in your stressful wedding time haha

  15. November 5, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    GOMI makes me so sad/mad. I can’t believe people just sit on there to spread hate about other’s blogs… don’t they have something better to do?!!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:54 am

      You’d think so right?

  16. November 6, 2016 / 6:28 am

    GOMI really got to me a few years ago. So much that my husband wanted to file something against them. I said no, don’t feed into that. Just kill them with kindness. I also rebranded, partly for that reason. I haven’t looked there in 3 years. It’s like a train wreck of negativity and it just hurts my heart. Really does. Thank you for being a SUPPORT in my life and ALL our lives Erin. Positivity is needed. Always.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 9, 2016 / 8:54 am

      Aw I’m so sorry. I just don’t get it!

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