H8rz gonna h8
There are two types of feedback: affirmation and challenge.
The term “hater” is an interesting linguistic development of the last decade or so referring to the challengers. The epithet hater is applied not by the hater themselves, but instead by the person who is being hated on. The act of ‘hating on’ itself is not a physical act, but an emotional one, often enacted via a web-based triad of tweets, comments, and blog posts that target an individual. Haters can be fans of Miley Cyrus attacking Selena Gomez, or an organization like SpecSucks going after Spectator.
Most importantly, haters never call themselves haters; they are dubbed as such by those being hated.
As someone who has been publishing articles, videos, and general media on the internet for the last five years, I’ve seen gulps of the haterade. Comments can be cruel sometimes.
But I take issue with the general idea that haters are this amorphous, leaderless group that subsist on schadenfreude and are out for the hated one’s blood. Criticism should be valued, not hated, as long as it is based in rationality and not personal vitriol.
Lorde agrees: “I think there’s a funny culture in music that’s only happened over the last 15 years, that if you have an opinion about something in music that isn’t 100 percent good, you’re a ‘hater,’ even if you have perfectly reasonable grounds for that critique.”
This inception of any discussion is in the challenge of the work. The difference between haters and critics, though, is how that challenge is presented. Critics should be taken seriously. Their critiques are essential for any writer or artist to improve; a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference in crafting one’s art. We should always be open to criticism, as long as it is constructive and not destructive. Haters are most often destructive because they go for personal attacks on race, religion, or personality. Critics should be valued as worthy opponents of the ideas presented so long as they are actually contributing to a conversation.
Haters are gonna hate. But don’t call someone a hater just because they don’t agree with you. Listen to them. You’ll never get better if you already think you’re the best.
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