As with celebrities who choose their careers in the limelight, only to be hounded by papparazzi at every waking moment, bloggers too invite the public into their private thoughts.
When a Britney or a Paris go out every night to the local hotspots, and then cry and bitch about how the paps don't leave them alone, we feel no pity. After all, isn't this what they want?
And yet, when a more private celeb, one who makes big movies, or sells millions of albums, and yet isn't out on the "scene" every night, is hounded by paps day or night...well, then we might feel just a bit more sympathy. They are still public figures, yes, but if they choose to have a quiet dinner at a local out of the way restaurant, they should be able to do so in peace, shouldn't they? And if not in peace, they should at least be able to go on about their life without being criticized for every little thing. For example, recently, there was all this hoopla surrounding Jennifer Love Hewitt and some beach photos of her in a bikini. Since she's a celeb, she can expect that if she steps out in a bikini on a public beach, photographs are going to surface. Fair enough. What she certainly couldn't have expected, and probably shouldn't have expected, was the amount of press those photos received with negative, disparaging remarks attached, attacking her weight. Not only were those comments insensitive and unnecessary, they couldn't have been more off base. But this isn't about J-Love, it's about the fact that press, any press, whether good or bad, means that you have "arrived" as a celebrity.
As a blogger, it is in the stats, the amount of readers one has, and of course, the comments, that we know we have "arrived". And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, we love comments. We want comments, we dig for comments and we do little happy dances in our chairs when our inboxes are filled with comments.
But you know you've truly made it as a blogger when you receive your first "spam" comment. I'm not talking about the machine generated, check out this adult website sort of comments. No, I'm talking about the ones that were actually composed by what is presumably a fellow human being. Someone who took the time out of their oh so busy scheduled (read sarcasm here) to stop by your blog and leave a disparaging, insulting, or just downright offensive comment. To, perhaps, stir the pot, if you will. To see if you'll respond. To see if they can hurt you. Who knows, really, the reason why someone would want to waste your time (and in turn their own) with a comment that offers nothing? But there it is. And of course, in the true manner of the blog world, the comment is left anonymously.
How we, as bloggers, react to these comments is of course up to us. I received my first one of these a while ago. In response to an older entry, and certainly meant to offend. I chose to hit delete, and move on. It didn't anger me, it didn't hurt me, if anything, I felt sorry for the person who left it. How empty their life must be that this is how they get their kicks. A shame, really.
But it did give me pause for a minute. Does this mean I've "arrived"? Should I start wearing sunglasses and a wig when I step out to my local grocery store? What do you think? Should I go with red hair, or black?