Enough With the Online Trolls and Their Hostility

This week I noticed some traffic was being driven to Run, Selfie, Repeat by an online forum. I clicked the link and what I found I have no words for. I have a love/hate relationship with message boards. They can be a great way to meet like minded people and talk about your passions, hobbies, and life. They can create wonderful communities! Yet they can also be malicious. Why do people spend their time keeping up with, discussing, and declaring their contention for a blog or personality they hate? What is the point of being purposefully cruel?  What are these people gaining?

Here’s a bit of what I’m talking about:

It takes a huge amount of courage to be authentic and put online what you are going through or what you are struggling with. It takes someone who isn’t afraid to fail because more times than not, you are going to fail or fall short of whatever goal you set. I also want to give it the benefit of the doubt because I'm sure it's not all malicious, but what I saw was upsetting. It made me want to stand up for all the women the self-proclaimed “snarky” commenters rip apart.

Look, I love sassy and snarky. I have all sorts of opinions both wonderful and awful! But sass only works when it comes from a place of care and kindness, not from a place of malice. Because an asshole knows they’re an asshole, that’s what makes them an asshole. I understand the idea that not everyone is going to like, care about, or identify with what you’re doing. No one expects everyone to. But if someone is trying to be a better person or be a light at the end of the tunnel for others, what the hell are you doing inciting hostility?

Where do we even begin? I wish I could ignore it but I have to say something. It’s not funny. It’s gross and malicious. I feel awful and none of it had to do with me. I don’t know how anyone can read so much negativity without having it infect their lives. I only spent 15 minutes on the site and I’m in a TERRIBLE mood.

What do we do? Why is this happening? I’m baffled. I would think if you really hate something so much you would simply not invest your time in it. I don’t think we have room in this world for that much hatred. It’s a choice to act vile and the solution is simple, stop hurling insults and stop commenting online. That’s all I have. I’m sorry for the lack of humor, I feel too disgusted to be funny.

a hole

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

6 Comments

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.