A little background…
My career up to this point has been entirely in media. I jumped from freelance writing and blogging straight out of college to writing and editing for a magazine full time, and now back to freelancing. During my time in magazine world, I was responsible for multiple social media accounts, online branding, and content creation. I should also say that my magazine was under the umbrella of a large newspaper company, so the online presence reached far and wide. I learned VERY early on that online “blinders” are your best friend. Comment forums can be nasty, awful places for the mean spirited to congregate, using the internet’s notorious anonymity to hide behind. I read stories online by colleagues and friends that I respected. I knew they were smart, well-researched pieces, and even then the trolls were in full force. I looked at those threads and decided to self-enforce a new policy: no comment reading on my own pieces. Absolutely zero. When a story of mine is posted, I’ll skim it over once, but when I get to the bottom? I stop cold. It just isn’t worth the sinking feeling of reading a mean comment, even when I know intellectually that I could brush it off or that it’s just internet meanness – not “real life” malice.
The problem with this approach, though, is that I’m tossing out the good with the bad. Putting on my internet blinders is different than developing a true thick skin, a skill which would serve me well in my next few years of creative projects. I realized as I’ve launched my own little corner of the internet (my podcast, The Morning Stir), that I’m missing out on all of the amazing connections that can be made through the infinite, online world: the moments of “I’ve been there, too” and “way to go” from readers and listeners. What a shame. Little by little, I’m trying to develop a tougher skin. I’m reading all of the reviews for the show, all of the comments on posts, and even a couple quick peeks at comments on my online stories for other outlets. And you know the amazing thing? The iTunes reviews for the podcast have all been positive. What a boost of encouragement I was missing out on before. Here’s to a season of opening up, to connecting more authentically through the show and through social media. I can’t wait to meet you all.
Cristina Wilson is the producer and host of The Morning Stir, an iTunes “New and Noteworthy” podcast providing daily inspiration for women. She’s also a writer and editor who loves dancing, eating, and road-tripping around the South — usually at least two at a time.
Thanks for sharing with us Cristina! I love how genuine and sweet Cristina is! You have to check out her podcast, The Morning Stir.