Hate Reading: Do You Do It?

Hate reading. Can result in reactions like this.
Hate reading. Can result in reactions like this.

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.

Who loved to hate Melanie from season 2 of My Kitchen Rules? Same thing as hate reading!

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.

Hate reading. Can result in reactions like this.

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?

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  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    “the blogger who endlessly posts pictures of themselves pouting or posing in front if the mirror with ‘selfies'”

    Oh noes! You hate read me!

  • Melissa Savage

    Hate watching is surely the only reason so many people were watching Big Brother last night and tweeting about it. Likewise Q&A (what sensible person would watch Richard Dawkins & George Pell yell at one another). Thank god for hash tag muting because I honest to goodness don’t have time to hate read/watch/listen because there are so many things out there that I watch, read and listen to because I like them. I also realised some time ago that talkback radio, Today Tonight, Andrew Bolt and Mark Driscoll elevate my blood pressure and do nothing to enhance my quality of life so I don’t engage with them or their many, many troll buddies.

  • Monique Fischle

    We’ve often had conversations about hate reading. It’s not something I consciously do but it happens nonetheless. I’ve found I hate read comments on articles or blog posts more than I hate read the post itself. I’m sure there are many who hate read me. I also hate watch TV shows like Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras. But there are many things I will never admit to hate reading.

    • Whippersnapper

      You are so right. On certain sites, I will hate read the comments moreso than the article itself, 90% of the time.

    • Hayley

      Completely agree about hate reading comments. I’m pretty sure the only reason I ever visit The Punch is to hate read the comments. It’s madness on there sometimes!

  • Rose Russo

    I hate watched The Shire last week… I just sat there dumbfounded that I couldn’t change the channel. Are people seriously this stupid?

    • fender4eva

      Um, Rose. Who didn’t change the channel, then ?…… 😉

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    In all seriousness I’ve given up hate reading. There was a day when I suddenly realised there were people on my facebook who just made me SO angry, and it was like watching a car crash. I couldn’t ignore it, I couldn’t let it go and I couldn’t look away.

    So I’ve hidden all their updates. If I can’t see them I can’t hate them. I have never been happier.

  • http://music.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    I don’t get it…you read/watch things you don’t like for the experience of not liking it? I still don’t get it…

    • Whippersnapper

      So you’ve never read Andrew Bolt or any pieces written by Tony Abbott then? Both men, I’m sure you disagree with and may even dislike.

      • http://music.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

        No, once I realise that I don’t like someone or something, I stop reading/watching them…like when we were discussing Kelsey Grammer in BOSS…I tried the first episode, but stopped watching the show because I knew I didn’t like it…

        I’m not having a go at you – I’m just saying I don’t get it…I don’t understand deliberately seeking out stuff you don’t like or disagree with…I much prefer spending my time reading and watching things that give me a good pleasurable experience, not make me angry…

  • S

    Interesting concept. Genuinely curious as I read this article – do you ever worry (or not worry, as the case may be – it may NOT infact be something that would upset you if you found out!) that people hate read YOU?

    • Whippersnapper

      Nope. I don’t care. You put yourself out there, you have to take the good with the bad. Not everyone in life is going to like you, and in fact, there are going to be many people in life that can’t stand you, particularly when you have a personality like mine. I’m not going to hide away in a corner because I’m scared people won’t like me.

      Besides, if someone hate reads my blog or my posts on here, they are giving me site stats – hence making my blog or posts most popular and increasing my readership = winning.

      • Melissa Savage

        This is another reason why I avoid hate reading: I’m not giving them any clicks!

      • Jess

        See I find it hard to believe that you genuinely don’t care if someone reads something you’ve written and thinks “what an idiot, she is so dumb, I can’t stop reading this crap.” When I say you, I don’t mean just you personally but anyone. It’s hard to imagine it woudn’t get to you and that you actually consider it “winning.” If you get hits this way, it’s hardly going to make you rich, we all know how many bloger make money by blogging, or that the amount of people that hate read your blog are going to make it popular. Surely it would be a fairly insignificant number that wouldn’t make a difference in the big picture.

        • Whippersnapper

          Well, I know that’s not true – I’m not dumb and I’m not an idiot, and sometimes I write crap (literally, I once wrote about colonic irrigation) but oh well.

          Some people might read my posts the same way I watch an episode of Real Housewives. Like I said in the post, it’s not about “hating” anyone, it’s about getting some low brow entertainment from it.

          I made the point about the stats as an aside, not as the SOLE reason I don’t care. You can’t write blog posts without getting some people who are not going to like you. I’ve never been the kind of person who is desperate to be liked by everyone and I’m not in real life, so why would that be different online?

  • A

    Whippersnapper, you’ve been quite vocal that you think that Mamamia and iVillage take content from you and write posts with similar themes. Yet this exact topic has been discussed before on Mamamia http://www.mamamia.com.au/entertainment/hate-reading-bet-youve-been-there/

    I don’t bring this up because I think you’ve plagiarised (I really don’t think you have-it’s a topical debate), but I do wonder if it shows you that just because someone touches on a similar topic to you, does not mean they’ve copied you?

    • Whippersnapper

      You are probably right, A. Sometimes, I get a little bit dramatic and shoot my mouth off about things, don’t I?

      Thinking about it realistically, it’s doubtful that such popular website writers would come on here. Being realistic, I doubt they would, besides they probably get sent so much content, they have no need to troll others for story ideas. You are probably right, that similar topics just “come up” as it is. Interestingly, it was first written about on Jezebel a fair while back – think they have coined the term!

  • Valentina B

    i honestly can’t be bothered hate reading, and I don’t care if anyone hate reads me and if people do it, i genuinely don’t care. What I do care about though are comments that have nothing to do with content but get personal instead… but that’s a whole other issue!

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