Man... I've been getting a LOT of downvotes lately, and it's kind of bumming me out. I know, I know, they serve a valuable function, right? Curtailing abuse, letting people voice their opinions, free speech, and all that. And I should just suck it up and learn to live with it...
But as a writer, I put a lot of work into what I create. I'm putting MYSELF out there with every story or article or review I publish, and I'm careful and try to follow all the rules, I edit meticulously, I cite my sources, and I try to present thoughtful, interesting, non-garbage work---but I still get downvotes...
Like yesterday's post. I wrote what I thought was a solid review of a somewhat forgotten film, I compared it to some of the similar films of the day that I thought it borrowed from, I pointed out some of the major flaws in the movie, and then I explained why I still enjoyed the film despite its rather serious flaws---and I've already gotten THREE downvotes out of only 15 responses! WHY?
It's extremely frustrating that someone can throw a downvote at my hard work and not even have to say what they object to! I put hours into writing and editing an article, and it can have a bucket of piss dumped on it without the downvoter even having to open the article and read it.
It's disheartening and cruel, in my view, and the petulant, vindictive, murderous sociopath in me wants to look up who has thrown the first stone and then spend the rest of my life getting revenge by downvoting every single thing these rude folks ever do, send them nasty messages, maybe try to find out where they live---but (luckily for all concerned) the more calm, civilized, somewhat rational part of my personality is in charge (most of the time), and he's decided just to write this little complaint, express my frustration and sadness, and NOT take retaliatory measures.
The thought also crossed my mind that I've written for something like fifteen years online without encountering such negative treatment anywhere else---my last blog was on WordPress, and I posted over 7,000 posts in six years, and in that time I only received ONE negative comment---so why should I continue to publish on a site that ENCOURAGES people to be negative by giving away free downvotes (there were ALREADY flags for noting abuse, remember?), especially when I've never cashed out so much as a dime, so I've TECHNICALLY made as much money on this platform as I did on any of the other sites I've used over the years??? (That would be ZERO, by the way...)
But, again, the calm, rational guy takes over, and tells the rest of the folks, all frothing at the mouth and gathering pitchforks, to chill out. The community here is (mostly) excellent. Friendly, encouraging, and helpful. I've found some fascinating content producers whose writing and art and pop culture prowess I enjoy looking at, and my posts over the course of the last eleven months HAVE gotten a fair amount of attention and more than enough in terms of rewards. I BELIEVE in this community...and despite the constant ego attacks from an endless stream of negative vibe merchants, I'm doing all right.
Despite my FEARS from before the recent hardfork(s), I even think my rewards have INCREASED since the 50/50 split was instituted. (I don't know if this is because I tend to upvote a lot of folks whose content I enjoy, or if the increase in manual curation has lead more people to find and upvote my stuff... (I'm not good at math, so even if you showed me a breakdown of the statistics, I might not get it.))
Whatever the case, I think I've made my point here. I HATE the downvotes, specifically because the downvoters don't have to explain WHY they threw their negativity at me. Was the article mis-tagged? Was it not written well? Did they disagree with my premise? If so, perhaps a thoughtful comment explaining their objection or counter to my claim could lead to an interesting discussion---instead of the constant, mute, meaningless, middle finger drive-bys that are always flying my way, which in no way allow me to improve for future posts. It's not helpful critique to throw a downvote, it's just shitting on someone else's work.
If anyone wants to try to convince me otherwise, I'm willing to listen, but until there's a "Why I downvoted you" requirement for a negative vote, which could constitute some measure of helpful critique, I'm going to see every downvote as defaulting to this reason: "I'm downvoting this content because I'm a horrble, unpleasant asshole."
---Richard F. Yates
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