Blogging is Hardly Stalingrad, But the Point is Taken

Jessica Coen: “Eventually, the constant criticism (coming at me and from me), combined with the isolation of working alone from home, began to take its toll. I’ve never been a particularly chipper girl, but my psyche darkened considerably, and the change was obvious. My language got harsher; my tone, less playful. I felt permanently on the defensive and, as a result, fell into a bizarre combat mentality. My headquarters: my tiny apartment, from which I would emerge only to secure provisions from my neighborhood deli.”


  1. I’ve been known to be scathing (and scathed) both online and off, and I happen to think intellectual honesty in a debate often requires less niceness than one should expect to crop up while waiting in a queue to purchase stamps at the post office.

    Niceness and civility are two different things (the former I reserve for children, septuagenerians and airport personnel; the latter for everyone else of less than a month’s acquaintance), and I’m of the opinion that a civil-yet-passionate clash of opposing views…a clash in which profanity and irrelevant ad hominems are avoided, while mealymouthed zero-sum relativisms are dispensed with as well…is necessary for the evolution of ideas. It can also be a pretty good cardiovascular workout.

    Jessica’s conflation of general online rudeness with sexual harrassment and death threats blurs a rather important distinction, and leaves me with the impression that she’s too thin-skinned to blog, discuss any topic of substance at the dinner table, or read her reviews.

  2. You know what really struck me about this piece? She thought nothing of writing cruel and hurtful things about people she never met until she started getting some savage backlash. I’ve never written anything like what Jessica did for a living ever single day. I’m not saying she deserved to be verbally attacked but really – there’s some serious kharma issues to consider here.

    As for not having a life; please. This is not the first girl in the history of the world to work from home. It is possible to have hobbies, volunteer commitments and even a social life when you blog for a living. Did Jessica not get that memo?

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