My Comments on Your Comments: Stop the Negativity
My Comments on Your Comments
I can’t believe that in two days, I will be celebrating 11 years of playing with trucks as a job (minus a mandatory involuntary five-month break in 2012). Time truly does fly when you’re having fun, and yes, it really is fun. As I always remember whenever I’m discouraged or stressed, this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. No lives are on the line. We’re all just enthusiasts who want to enjoy trucks.
I’ve gotten to do a bunch of really cool things over the years, and in a way, it feels really self-serving to get to have fun at work. I won’t recount any cool adventures, experiences, or projects, because my goal is not to elevate me. I’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve such escapades. Plus, who cares. You’d stop reading, and I wouldn’t blame you. I also know what it’s like to lose it all in an instant and to be sent home with all my belongings in a box. Maybe you know the feeling, too. It’s not good.
Anyway, here’s where I’m going with this: The nature of any job that allows for selfishness and power easily furthers entitlement, which ultimately leads to dissatisfaction and a quest for more of that which makes one more and more unhappy. It’s a funny thing. The absolute coolest thing about my job—and the thing that satisfies the most—is not making myself happy, but making you guys, the truck owners, happy. It sounds trite and insincere, but it makes my day to make your day. I get to give you features and to acknowledge your hard work. It’s a privilege to (with a great team) provide something for you to frame and hang on your wall. If anyone has received any validation, encouragement, inspiration, praise, support, or confirmation from 8-Lug—that’s what matters most. That’s what fires me up and makes it all worthwhile. If anything we’ve done has mattered to anyone, then I’m satisfied.
Most people give feedback when they’re disgruntled and not satisfied, which holds true in the magazine world. I’ve gotten a few letters of encouragement, which make me so pleased I feel like framing them because, remember, making you happy matters to me. But most of the time, the feedback is negative, nasty, mean, threatening, demeaning, and such. And most of this feedback comes via Facebook. People spout off negativity so naturally and habitually it’s frightening. It’s not funny, cute, or creative. Nobody thinks you’re cool, and nobody cares what you like and don’t like. Go find a hobby. I’ve learned to check Facebook page comments as seldom as I possibly can, because the comments are so terrible, and the discouragement is real. It’s bad enough to attack a publication’s work, but it goes further than that in the trash talking about others’ trucks. Facebook Live makes it even worse, because the barrage of comments comes faster than gunfire, assaulting the recipients personally and viciously, in real time.
I know our 8-Lug fans do not gush nastiness on social media outlets like Facebook. You’re better than that. It’s immature, inappropriate, socially unacceptable, and a waste of time. Plus, it’s damaging. People have no problem telling their kids to be nice while simultaneously commenting pure filth on a truck that’s “all wrong.” Stop it. When did it become OK to be desensitized to and detached from what you say just because it’s typed and not spoken? (Side note: You can get kicked out of schools and lose jobs over this kind of stuff.) I want to challenge you to be pleasant on social media. Be nice to strangers. Be nice to Chevy, Ford, and Ram owners. Be nice to truck publications that can’t do “anything” right. For one whole month, if you’re tempted to say something your mom wouldn’t approve of, just say nothing at all. Better yet—find something positive to say.