I've been here for a few months now, and I've had a mostly positive experience. There are some -really helpful- people on e2 who have given me good information, good pointers and good stuff to read. Wuukiee took me in and even though some of my wu's suck, everyone's been generally helpful and cool.
Because my experience has been so positive, it's been hard for me to remember that e2 is a microcosm and not much different than THE REAL WORLD. There will always be people who dislike you or would rather not hear what you have to say--you just have to hope you're lucky and your friends are louder than your foes. I knew that coming in, and I came anyway. But for the last week or so, I've been coming into contact with the more difficult, not-so-pretty, sometimes-rather-mean side of everything.
Some of my writeups are starting to sport snippy and insulting links. Sometimes I get comments above my Chatterbox that are stinging and seemingly unprovoked. While most of us seek criticism, I wish for comments of a constructive nature. But you know how it goes; if wishes were pigs bacon would always be on sale.
I could choose to take the insults personally and sniffle about my hurt feelings or my bruised ego. I could choose to keep a stiff upper lip and ignore them. I could choose to cower and meet the whims of every random noder who decides I'm wrong or not a good writer. (As much as I don't like to admit it, I can be overly affected sometimes.) I could choose to do any of these things with no effort at all.
I think, though, that I will have an entirely different reaction. I'm going to make a conscious effort to take the criticism as if it were constructive. This is everyone's space, and if someone is so insulted or threatened by my words that they move to strike back, then perhaps I need to rethink what I've written. I will not, however, compromise my own ideas or personality to pander to someone who can't even get the good sense to /msg me.
Okay, so shut the hell up and do it. What are you bothering the daylog for?
Despite having been warned that journaling here is a bad idea for new noders, I decided this was the best place to lay all this out. I'm hereby promising not to take it personally; please hold me to it.