I read this article over the weekend in the New York Times about an online real estate gossip site. Basically, current listings are posted, people attend open houses or showings, then they log on to add their comments, (i.e., rip them apart.) Gems like "The bathroom looks like a Chinese bordello" and "If this apartment isn't ugly, I don't know what is" come up, for starters. Thank God we aren't selling right now.
Those of you outside the city may or may not know how *obssesed* New Yorkers can be when it comes to real estate. It's one of the city's favorite topics. I know of many people who frequent realtor.com just to see what their money would buy in Duluth or Darien or Des Moines. They call it "real estate porn" and it comes from living life in a box in the sky.
But online jerkitude in general has been on my mind lately, especially when it comes to books. If I'm lucky enough to get published, will I have the mettle to deal with the critics? And by "critics" I don't mean "people who don't like the book." That's fine. Some won't. Maybe many. It's the bullies who make personal jabs--sometimes witty, but more often than not, racist, misogynistic, or just plain mean. Just read some Amazon reviews. Many times they are either over-the-top effusive or over-the-top venomous. I've gotten to the point where I never trust them.
It's said that writers need to develop a thick skin. I have it. I can face rejections and criticisms about my writing without taking it personally. But I think personal jabs cross the line. I've read comments that insinuate (or outright state) that the author is a bad mother, or has mental problems, or is a pedophile, based on a work of fiction. Come on.
So what do you think? If you are trying to get published, will you be able to hack it? What do you think of these types of "reviews?"