Over the last three years I’ve written a lot about haters. I’ve done this in part because it’s weird to have strangers hate you.
It’s strange that people who have never met you, talked to you, texted with you, skyped with you or had any other personal interaction with you attack you personally. That’s a new thing too. For years, we’ve been able to privately hate people in the comfort of our own homes. But for the first time in the history of mankind, we are able to publicly share our hatred without leaving home or writing a editorial in the newspaper.
Talk radio might have provided some access to this activity, but you only had a 1 in 100 shot of actually getting on the air and they cut you off quickly. Now though, we get to roll around in the mud of our cynicism for as long and as often as we want.
But there’s a problem, one that’s been pointed out to me by a few people.
People who disagree with you are not always haters. Most of the time they are just people who disagree with you.
There’s a massive difference. Just because we have different opinions does not make you a hater. It makes you a person who has a different opinion.
I’ve wrongly labeled people as haters who weren’t and I’ve contributed to one of culture’s biggest mistakes. Right now, our culture offers two options, wildly agree with everything I agree with or be labeled a hater. There’s no “debate and love,” option on the table anymore and that’s a shame.
So today, I apologize. I unfairly judged people who disagreed with me as haters. I regret that.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that only about 10% of the people who criticize me are really haters. And for those folks I will continue to write things like this. (A hater being someone who wants to create a wound not a conversation, who wants to attack an individual as opposed to discussing an idea.)
I’ll do better going forward, but in the meantime, thanks for having an opinion different than mine.