Haters = Control Freaks

Last week I got an email that I should ignore.

"fuck you"

I have zero idea who Mike is. But I’ve gotten emails like this before.

Most times people never bother to understand what they’re angry at. Like they read a the title such as “Death to The Stock Photo” and then instantly start fuming.

On April 1st NPR proved this. They wrote an article and titled it “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” and then the comment box filled with people angry at NPR and disputing this claim.

The joke was that all the article really said was:

We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this “story.”
Of course people never actually read the above statement, and then wrote angry comments like “I read more every day now than I ever have, no smart phone can replace that.”


“Many Americans just don’t get the concept that reading….”

And so on.

I worry that we must be scared and insecure every day if our identities are challenged simply by reading headlines.

What does Mike want from me? To feel pain? To respond? To know that he’s scared and insecure and it’s a cry for help?

I think when he says “Fuck you,” it really translates to “I want control over you.”

It’s control that he’s after.

I get it, the news headlines create a flood of reminders of how little control we have. Responses like these are our reactionary fight for order and stability.

The reality is that his control has always been illusion.

That whatever we feel we have power over belongs to neither him nor me in the first place.

Control of your profession? I have zero ownership over my job. People sometimes pay me money when they see fit, but I am by no means obligated to keep such a thing. I’m not entitled to it.

Do you want my clients for yourself? They are free to work with you instead, and the choice has always been theirs. I do not control their actions.

Is it the community you want? Do you want them to listen to you instead of me? I don’t own any piece of a community, I simply have the opportunity to engage with them on occasion, but they are not “mine” or yours.

You can’t really take much from me, because what you want control of will never be yours and it will never be mine.

In fact I find it best to pursue the opposite. To give up control. To give away knowledge freely instead of holding on with a white knuckled grip.

To share and live with abundance instead of scarcity. Exposing my work and engaging with others positively instead of trying to bring them down.

Lucky for me the makers of Gmail anticipated Mike’s reaction.

*Marks email as spam*

Thanks Gmail ☺

CultureDavid Sherry