Developing thicker skin in academia and in blogging July 30, 2008Posted by Raul in academic life, blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts.
The whole blogging thing has brought me lots of joys. I have made tonnes of great friends, I’ve been able to raise money for cancer research, I have been able to provide some people with some free swag and opportunities that they wouldn’t have accessed were I not a blogger. I am even now the Organizer of the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup, with sword and all. The most rewarding part is really knowing that my blog can in some small way effect positive change.
Sadly and rather regrettably, very recently blogging has brought me some pain too. A nasty comment got me so worked up that I had to let it out on Twitter. Luckily, my friends were of the opinion that I should let it go. I concur.
Let me explain. I see blogging using the same philosophy I have of academic research: you got to develop a thick skin. I know that, every so often, I am going to get all sorts of nasty comments, aggressive behavior from other bloggers and readers alike.
Same thing has happened to me with academia: sometimes, a peer-reviewer will say that my paper is complete and absolute garbage. Sometimes, a fellow researcher will say that my work is completely irrelevant.
The anonymous nature of commenting on blogs (in social media) and of double-blind peer-reviews (in academia) allows for inner people’s frustrations to come out frequently (and often, hurting the recipient of the negative comment). But the truth is, if I see it from the perspective that academics are also just humans (and thus, admitting that bloggers are again just humans) then it’s easier to admit that not everybody is bound to like me. Actually, LOTS of people are bound to NOT like me (although my rate of rejected, peer-reviewed papers is VERY low, if I may say so myself).
But it’s up to ME AND ONLY ME to rise above. I can’t and I won’t let anyone who is nasty to me win. Trust me, I am much better than that.