Google Something Clever 2.0: FYI (if you're a blogger)

Oct 1, 2013

FYI (if you're a blogger)

There's a disturbing new trend in the blogosphere that's gotten me all riled up.

It seems that every time a blog post goes viral, within a day or two, there are ten more bloggers rushing to condemn it.

If you read many blogs, you'll see a lot of authors gushing about how inclusive and supportive the blogging community is. And that's true, to a degree. I know I wouldn't be where I am without the bloggers who have read and commented on my blog, joined my Theme Thursday blog hop, invited me to private Facebook groups where we could advise and support each other, and most notably, hired me to write for In the Powder Room (thank you, Leslie!).

But it's not always sunshine and roses. Sometimes, an article blows up all over the Internet, and we just can't believehow much everyone's fawning over it. Come on, we say to ourselves, my stuff is so much better than that. I need to make everyone see how awful this is.

We become consumed by jealousy. It's just not fair that everyone's reading and sharing her stuff, and not mine. I'm better than her! Why haven't I gone viral? I'm going to show the world that they're wrong!

We forget that the complete idiot who wrote that piece of crap article is a human being, a writer just like us, who worked long and hard to put their thoughts and feelings on our screens. We feel the need to prove our superiority by tearing down a faceless person who exists only inside our computer.
That's not how I want to build my brand.

Yes, I can be snarky. Like, most of the time. I poke fun at silly Texas laws, and absurd dating websites. I complain about my party guests. I accuse my Facebook friends of spreading Internet VD. But I would never begrudge another writer their success—not publicly, anyway.

Sometimes, I come across an article I disagree with. Do you know what I do? I close the browser tab.
Sometimes, a blog post goes viral, and I think it kind of sucks. So I have this little trick: I don't call attention to it.

Life is not a reality show. "I'm here to win; not to make friends" is not an acceptable mantra for an adult human being. If you're not here to make friends, that's fine by me, but I do take umbrage with those who are specifically here to make enemies, or more accurately, here to make a name for themselves at any cost, up to and including stepping on the backs of others.

I'm not asking you to love everything that everyone else writes. There will always be opinions that you disagree with. But humiliating a fellow writer for the sake of (Internet) fame and (relative) fortune is not the best way to handle it. Take a breath, roll your eyes, maybe say something snarky to your spouse or friend if you need to, and then carry on with your life.

In other words, don't be a dick.

Is that too much to ask?

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.