I don’t want to dwell too much, nor give unnecessary attention to, that blogger whom everyone has been discussing since a certain Cosmo article was published.
However, given the masses of ‘blogger drama’ storms going on recently, I do want to offer a commentary on what is happening and why. This isn’t for attention, or because I value my own opinion over everybody else’s, but more actually because it’s easy to forget why you’re a blogger (and, indeed, become disillusioned by blogging) when it seems that a whole new Twitter drama rears its ugly head ALL THE TIME.
Whether you write a tweet that in hindsight is totally inappropriate, say some pretty outrageous things to a huge following, attempt to discourage new bloggers or…now this one is controversial – if you’re publicly bullying someone for their mistakes, listen up.
Even if you’re a totally innocent bystander (like most people), maybe still keep reading. I myself have found things funny until someone points out the more sinister side of it, so maybe it’s an important perspective to consider.
Before I start, I want to clarify that I am not taking sides. I hope that I’m offering a mostly objective view, based on how people should be treated/treat others, rather than claiming that any one person is right and others are wrong.
Why do you write on your blog?
I’m pretty sure that nobody writes a blog just to be mean, or promote negative things. Most people do it because they’re passionate, or there’s something they love in it. By criticising a person and/or their blog, you’re effectively squashing someone’s passion.
Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s very important that a blogger community can pick up on potentially damaging or dangerous comments and explain that it’s not ok. But equally, I’ve seen people making these kind of comments about those who wrote the original ones. Yes, it can be funny and I’ll admit that I had chuckled at a few until someone pointed out that it’s essentially bullying. It’s really good to be light-hearted in what we can all agree is a pretty dingy world at the moment, but at the end of the day there is still a human being on the other end of those comments. We don’t fight fire with fire in real life, why are we doing it online? And be honest, can you put your hand up and say that you’ve never said anything inappropriate? The key is learning how to apologise and not make the mistake again. I’m fairly certain that, creating a hashtag for example, doesn’t resolve the issue. It incites hatred and bitching.
On the other side of this is “teaching” when someone says something totally out of whack. *Ahem* Cosmo *Ahem*. Educating a person is entirely different to belittling or discouraging a person from doing something that they love. I think that most bloggers I know were outraged to read that article, myself amongst them. But I also tried to remember that interviews can be taken totally out of context. I admit, the chances are slim when something like that is said, but we just don’t know. Regardless, though, I think the way we handle stuff like that is important. Most people I saw called it out in a really professional way, refusing to be discouraged. That’s really great to see, but why do we do it for one person and not another?
At the end of the day, people say stupid stuff. That’s it. They may say stupid stuff frequently and I get that there’s only so much education you can give. But at that point, all you can do is block it out. We call out negative comments, we act professional and we move on. We don’t start Twitter wars over it.
Finally, why are we criticising bloggers for the way that they share their work? I was really disheartened to see people making accusations about this kind of stuff. People use Twitter to share their posts, they’ve done this forever. You might not use it in a way that someone else does, but if they’re harmlessly sharing their work, why does it matter? Everyone uses Twitter for views, so we can’t criticise others for doing the same.
On that very long note, there’s only one thing I feel is important to remember here. And that’s to be you. Don’t let people dishearten you, don’t dishearten others either. Love what you do and keep doing it. That’s all it takes.