Dear Anonymous Internet Commenters

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You guys are really good at what you do, but you don’t seem to get a lot of credit for it. Trust me. I know. I’ve seen the fights you get yourselves into on blog and website forums. They’re not pretty.   
No one seems to appreciate your acerbic wit, your snarky comebacks, or your vast vocabulary of insults. No one gives you much credit for pointing out their intellectual weaknesses and having the courage to be a complete jerk when seemingly necessary. No one truly understands the amount of depth you put into each lengthy and well-researched counterpoint you basically hand to them. It must be very lonely in your pocket of the world. I guess that’s why you band together in your anonymity. 
Yes, it’s true. People really dislike you. But I don’t. In fact, I really appreciate what you’re trying to do. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I just want to say thank you. I love what you’re doing so much that I’m dedicating this entire post to you. Here’s why:  

Without your consistent and diligent responses to my blog, I’d feel a little discouraged that my thoughts went unread. I’d wonder, without your overwhelming reactions, if anybody had any opinions on anything. People so infrequently express them these days, you know.

So thanks!

Without your beautiful and wide handle on the art of pessimism, I wouldn’t realize how good my life is. I’m not bitter enough to have the hard job of spreading negativity to the entire Internet. It does my soul some good to recognize that you would take that hit for people like me who are much better at being optimistic.

So thanks! 

Without your intellectual prowess, I would be extremely arrogant about my opinions–maybe I am, since you constantly say that. I’d probably think, “I know everything and no one disagrees with me!” Thank you for keeping me in check with your honest comments about how I need a dose of reality, “need to get my processor checked,” and how I’m embarrassingly unintelligent. When I need to be humbled, I can always count on you to have my back.

So thanks!

I’d especially like to call out a couple of you for a few deeds in particular that I’m grateful for. Don’t be shy about it. I know you people naturally are, choosing to be anonymous and all. 

To the he or she who dedicated a whole forum to how stupid my blog is, rife with comments about how I’m 22 years old and expect the entire Internet to kowtow to my opinions, thank you. I’m flattered that you dedicated a whole thread to me in spite of that.

To Mr. Whomever You Are who prefaces his comments by telling me I’m an ignorant idiot, you’re right! I am ignorant, and I am really idiotic sometimes. I appreciate the fact that, in spite of my obvious intellectual flaws, you have enough faith in me to ask difficult questions that not even the smartest person could give acceptable answers to. As an idiot, it warms my heart that someone still cares to hear what I have to say, even if it’s painfully stupid.

To the stranger who tells me that deleting comments shows a complete lack of character, thank you! You inspire me to leave up insulting and degrading comments, even when I don’t have to, and in the process of examining my own character, I’m realizing that true character is having the courage to stamp your name all over what you think, even if what you think is stupid. 

To the individual who leaves lengthy annotated comments to prove how wrong I am, thank you. Your effort inspires me to up the ante when it comes to what I post. 
To the person who makes lots and lots and lots of judgement calls about who I am as a person, I appreciate that you’d put so much effort into analyzing me for me. That’s just a whole lot of work you don’t need to be doing, sweetheart. 
To the group or person who always finds some way to insult or offend me on my blog in one way or the other, thank you for giving me contrast so I can truly appreciate human decency and kindness. 
You guys do so much, and I’m just sad that I don’t have names or faces to thank for it.  
See, what you guys are doing is just quietly living. You don’t want to be Martin Luther King, Jr.s or Abraham Lincolns or John Lennons. You don’t necessarily want to aspire to great things or have your names in quote books. So you sit back on the sidelines and leave room for others to try, perfectly content with bringing attention to what you have to say instead of yourselves. You also give others the challenge of opposition so that victory can be more sweet for them. That’s pretty selfless of you.
You sacrifice your own credibility every time you choose to comment on a blog without your name. I know of very few people who would be willing to do such a thing. In that way, you’re brave.

Some would say you’re doing what is easy. It’s easy to make mean comments with the shield of anonymity. And let’s be honest. You really do let other people do the hard work. Some might find that lazy or cowardly, but I appreciate it, because I need more hard work to do, and with less people doing it, I feel more obligated to speak up and fight for a cause. 

So thank you. 
When I get comments from you, I know I’m doing something right. When I get comments from you, I feel brave and honest and open. When I get comments from you, I realize (again) that true sincerity is found close to home, not at a distance.  
Thank you, for the good times and the bad. For checking me quietly and for verbally abusing me loudly. For telling me where to stuff it and advising me as to how.

You don’t have to concern yourselves so much with my life and opinions, but you do.

Here’s to you, anonymous friends, who care more about what I have to say than I do sometimes.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes and reminding me every single day of the reason why I blog.

Love,
Ari 

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