Don’t like the comments at the end of my columns? Don’t respond!

Cakes for a Cause photo oneThe other day, I got a message from a reader asking why I allow those who constantly criticize me and my columns to be Facebook friends. The answer is simple: I am glad they are reading my columns. I’m not writing these columns just for those who agree with me.

So far this year, I’ve had 868,000 views of these outdoor columns posted on the BDN website. That pleases me very much, and it doesn’t matter to me whether you always agree with me or not. I am very grateful to you for reading my columns.

I learned a long time ago that responding to the comments and criticism of some readers is a mistake. It only encourages them, and they always insist on getting in the last word.

So my advice to you, if you don’t want to get caught up in an ugly exchange, is to not respond to their comments and criticism – either on Facebook or at the end of a column posted here. Ignore them. Trust me, that will bother them a lot more than if you try to debate them.

Last year a new BDN blogger received her first negative comment and was very distressed, asking how she should respond. My advice was: don’t respond. Period. And don’t let it bother you.

If you are a regular reader of my outdoor news, you know there is a small group of people that are compelled to criticize almost everything I write. Doesn’t bother me a bit. Shouldn’t bother you either.

I wouldn’t have lasted all this time in politics if I didn’t have a thick skin. And I really appreciate the positive feedback I get from readers of this column. And I don’t let the critics bother me.

Of course, if you enjoy debating and debunking these people, then go ahead. Have fun!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.