I very much enjoy writing for the Odyssey, as I very much enjoy writing in general. I like to write about a little bit of everything. Before Odyssey, I had my own blog, but my posts never really got any views. I know I am not the best writer by any means, but I actually get to reach people with my writing now, thanks to having Odyssey as a platform. I have even had people reach out to me about how much they loved my article, or how much it touched them.
I absolutely love giving people something they can read and relate to, and I definitely love when they give me positive feedback.
I don't even mind criticism, as long as it is done in a respectful manner.
However, that sometimes is the problem with writing on any well-known platform — there is no respect.
I consider myself to be a very opinionated person, but also very open-minded to and respectful of others' opinions. However, there is a vast population lurking around Odyssey's social media pages that do not have this mindset. They hide behind a keyboard to post threatening, hurtful, mean and down-right ridiculous comments on the articles of mine and the other writers.
I definitely don't expect everyone to agree with me, not even the majority, on any issue. I respect that others would like to point out where they disagree and present their point of view. I am perfectly fine with this! However, most of the people reading my posts do not know me even in the slightest, so how do they have the right to make assumptions about me and be completely hateful to a person they have never even met.
I make a point in every article I write that could be considered even the slightest bit controversial to try my best to be mindful of other opinions and be as respectful as possible.
Just because you disagree with me does not give you the right to blatantly disrespect me.
I have heard from several that Odyssey might have the reputation of pointless articles written by a bunch of sorority girls. But honestly, what do you expect us to write? Some of us might be brave enough to actually take a stance on an issue and write about it, enduring the completely unnecessary rudeness thrown our way.
But for me? I don't even go there.
I am very interested in politics, religion and other controversial matters, and would love to write about them, but I don't. I, unfortunately, do not have as thick skin as some others, so seeing people I have never laid eyes upon call me uneducated, stupid, pathetic — the list goes on — keeps me from expressing MY freedom to write what I want to.
So you complain and say you want more meaningful content? Well then how about you take down your keyboard shield and stop harassing the writers behind the content. How about you learn to present your difference of opinion in a respectful manner like a decent human being. The lack of respect some people have for others that they have never even met is upsetting.
This is not only for Odyssey and the articles it posts either. This is for social media in general. It has become a place of harassment in every aspect. Comments, messages, even entire posts. It cultivates drama, bullying and hurtful words. Memes made from people's personal photos making fun of them, derogatory comments, threatening messages. It has to stop. What on earth gives people the idea that they have the right to treat other human beings in this way? I will never even begin to understand it.
I'm tired of playing nice and keeping quiet.
I'm tired of being nervous to look in the comments section when the Odyssey page shares my article.
I'm tired of all of it.
So comment what you want and show me what kind of person you are.