I was at my friends house. We were having a glass of wine and some cheese. All of a sudden, she perked up, her eyes widened and she said: “ERMAHGAWD, I cannot believe I haven’t shown you this yet, you will die!” She opened up her laptop and typed an address into the browser. It was a blog. A blog created by a girl we knew at uni, for whom we both had a mutual disdain for. As I had deleted this girl from Facebook on the day we graduated, I really hadn’t heard boo about her since then and didn’t care to. Lo and behold, she’d started a blog, with all the things we didn’t like about her on the world wide web for us to hate read.
I’m sure it is not something anyone wants to admit to, hate reading, because it implies that you are an awful human being for reading something that you won’t agree with or don’t like just for the sake of disagreeing with it.
The world wide web with it’s freely available information and everyone wanting their 15 minutes by writing a blog fuels hate reading in a way people have been unable to do through newspapers, magazines or TV. 20 years ago, if you couldn’t stand a particular magazine editor, then you wouldn’t spend $5 buying the magazine. You might hate read it at the hairdressers or a doctors waiting room (5 years later). But I’m sure, hate reading has existed, we’ve just never had as much access to material to hate read. I’m sure my mother hate watched 60 minutes sometimes because she couldn’t stand some of the reporters. I’m sure everyone who reads a newspaper has a particular columnist they can’t stand and read it anyway.
Think about it though, how many people loathe Andrew Bolt? Lots. If it weren’t for hate reading, would he even have a column? He attracts attention because he is controversial. People often read his work just to disagree with him. Cue, hate reading.
The phrase “people we love to hate” has been around for a lot longer than the internet has been. Who loves to hate the Kardashians? Snooki? Tony Abbott? Cause I see plenty of disdain for all those three popping up in my Twitter timeline.
Whether it’s the girl I went to school with, fitting the small town bogan stereotype like it was made for her by posting racist comments and pictures on Facebook while misspelling everything except her own name, the blogger who endlessly posts pictures of themselves pouting or posing in front if the mirror with “selfies” (and they aren’t blogging or don’t blog about fashion, beauty or clothes), or the religious blogger who goes on about their relationship with their imaginary friend, the level of obnoxious narcissism online provides so much fuel to the fire of hate reading.
The beauty of blogs and Facebook is that the person writing these things doesn’t have an editor to spin it in the best way possible. I mean really, some bloggers are as narcissistic as the Kardashians. Except the Kardashians are actually commercial enough to make decent money out of it.
Let’s remember here though, hate is a pretty strong word, so I wouldn’t go as far as to say I hate the blogs or Facebookers that I hate read, but I do think of many of them as being stupid, narcissistic, vain, annoying, smug or condescending. The really special ones are all of those descriptors and more! It’s not even dislike, it’s more like entertainment, but entertainment in the way I am entertained by reality TV. Some blogs are like watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Every Major City in America. Some Facebookers are like watching an episode of Jersey Shore. I could never actually “hate” either of them, but rather, I am mildly amused by the low grade entertainment they provide, the fuel for “can you believe this” texts I send to my friends, and the many eye rolling opportunities they present me with.
So I don’t feel guilty about it. I hate read. For those who don’t, well congratulations, you’re morally superior to me. I do it and my friends do it and I’m pretty sure plenty of internet users do it. It’s no worse than watching an episode of reality TV. I don’t publicly share exactly WHAT I hate read and I never would. We can’t all be perfect and only watch documentaries on the ABC and SBS and read dot org or dot edu websites. A little bit of low brow entertainment never hurt anyone.
Do you hate read? Do you hate watch TV shows? Will you admit to the websites, shows or publications you hate read?