I am a tiny little fish in a big big ocean, a blogger that wants to help promote one of the things that brings a lot of joy to my life, reading. Now once I started blogging and interacting on social media with many of the indie and book communities I thought I had found a niche. A place where a community got together and supported one another and in many ways that is still true. But there is a nasty side that counteracts all the good that is done. I suppose like with many things you have to have the good with the bad, but bloody hell not in this. A question that haunts me everytime I see something happen to a fellow blogger or an author is why must this happen? Recent events show the darker side to a great thing, the games people play that affect not just the emotions of the person it is aimed at but also other aspects as well e.g. financial, career, personal lives.
I’m talking about the sheer amount of cyber bullying that is going on in social media within the book community. Now we hear about it affecting our youth and the damage it causes. We see everyday people turn nasty over a post that they don’t agree with, in what I see as virtual mob mentality or peer pressure (what are we… back in highschool). Trolls who gain great pleasure in reporting a picture, a post, a tweet, even a profile or page. You get the idea!
Now the definition of Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. So those who think its fun to mess with someone’s life by reporting their author/blogger pages, pictures, posts on new releases, reporting posts as spam, when in fact they are just spreading the word on something they have spent hours doing, putting blood sweat and tears into giving us the reader something to read that brightens our day. Allowing us the reader, a small window in time to step out of our everyday lives into a world not our own. We get to live and breathe the characters and their stories.
But here’s the thing that I find most hypocritical, I will lay bets those who use these disgusting tactics (because yes as in most games tactics are involved) in real life would be up in arms if something like this happened to them or a member of their families. Heaven forbid that something they themselves do to others, should happen to them or their close ones. If you don’t like a particular author, scroll on by. A blogger who has done non stop promoting of a particular release, easy unfollow them, give it a week and then refollow, you don’t need to unlike their page but you do have the option to unfollow so you don’t see it in your news feed. You don’t particularly like a model’s picture, again scroll on by, there is no need to report them for doing what they do. Its their professional life your messing with. If they advertise on social media guess what its no different than the ads we see in the newspaper, on tv, billboards or even buses.
Jealousy has no place in this community. The amount of authors I see who are more than happy to help others warms my heart. Bloggers who stand out because they are more than happy to help those who need it, even without being asked too. There is no need to put a bad review up on Goodreads before a) the book is even released and b) arcs aren’t even sent out yet. If you read the book genuinely review it as you feel, that is what I do. After it has released, not before its even an email in the beta readers inbox. Not because you think its a hoot to bring down the hard work someone has put so much effort into. No need to be pushy or rude when contacting bloggers to promote, read and review, we are more than happy to help out IF (and yes we have lives outside of the community too, mind you I would love to bow down to the great Book God, but alas that pesky real life sure interferes ALOT) we are able to do so.
We can warn against scammers, but a personal/professional issue shouldn’t be put out for all to see. Deal with it privately. As a community, can’t we rise up above the sheer pettiness that seems to infiltrate other aspects of our lives. Some may thrive on the drama that infects the community regularly, like a bad flu. Myself, personally I don’t. I hate seeing authors and bloggers in tears, ready to give up, with their hearts bleeding because some have chosen to do the wrong thing and use nasty tactics to bring them down. That is not the type of community I wish to be a part of. I may be an idealist in this, but I want the good without the bad.
Being a wee fish in a big sea, I will plod along doing what I do. Reading, because I love it, review because I want to pass on my thoughts on what I have read. Interact with those on social media because I enjoy it, perve on the pictures that are so nicely done without scrolling on by, because I not only appreciate the final product but all the hard work that has been done to get to that final picture. Laugh, joke and promote, when I can, because I will not allow myself to fall into the virtual mob mentality that one can be turned into at the drop of a hat. I will not become a cog in the wheel of drama, I damn well hate flu’s, I will scroll on by the drama.
Now it’s time to sit on my front step, feed the nicotine monster, because I too, am a part of that small minority. Contemplate a) how much I’ve written & b) it was done sober. Which leads to further contemplating that I have not had a friday night oops saturday morning (cause I just saw the time 2.44am WTF where did the time go) of drunken posting in a very long time (3 years, damn you pain meds, damn you). Wondering why instead of being out and about, I am at home watching Batman vs Superman (who I think got the bad rep when it came to reviews, cause I quite liked it) typing a novel of a post. Which I am sure anyone who has checked this blog out, has never ever seen me do. While also adding punctuation in places that most likely don’t need it.
Night all, movie has finished, time to go back to my happy place… Just got to work out what to read next.