I have a tendency to avoid discussion posts of late. I find myself steering clear of joining in on them or posting them. I am not proud of this fact, but it is truth. I find more and more that I tire of sharing and debating on social media and public forums because it feels there is always someone lurking, just waiting to aggressively tell you how wrong you are or why they know best. It seems incredibly counterproductive and I can be a very non-confrontational person. So with that being said, this post has been drafted and deleted several times over the last month. And my apologies in advance, this is winded. If it sounds a bit negative, it truly isn’t. This is just discussion. So stick with me here.
Recently I pulled the plug on my relationship with several blogging groups I have belonged to for varying lengths of time. I silently slipped away and hit that “permanently leave group” button hoping it would go unnoticed.
I am not one to make a scene or complain. I am also sure that in most groups, my absence is unnoticed (they are rather large). I appreciate the new friendships, connections and opportunities these groups have given me. Most of the members are friends of mine on social media still. In fact, I highly recommend finding groups for networking if you spend a significant amount of time online. The right group offers support (emotional and tech), friendship and often inspiration. So why am I here telling you that I left some of them? Because I noticed an unhealthy pattern that I felt like exploring further with you for the sake of discussion. I am not seeking to rant nor do I wish to receive one.
In a single word: Scrutiny (this is my nice way of saying “judgement”).
For the past month or so my feeds were looming in a shadow. I noticed bloggers passing an ever scrupulous eye over one another. Now to be quite fair, I understand that judging is a natural, human behavior that most of us are guilty of on a somewhat daily basis. We all see things and instantly pass some form of internal judgement. With so much happening in our lives, we are surrounded by people and topics that seem to solicit our opinions. Opinions are great. Opinions encourage discussion and can bring about great changes, but how and when we choose to share them is everything.
So here was the problem I continued to encounter that finally gave me the needed “ummph” to leave those groups: I found myself unable to log in without reading at least one remark shaming or outing a blogger for how they have chosen to run their site, what they are or are not reading, or some other decision they had made. It felt depressing and somewhat suffocating for myself. So I had to ask myself, why? I cannot control social media. Life is full of people who need to be heard and jerks. But thankfully there are also “follow/unfollow”, “delete”, and “leave group” buttons (the beauty that is social media-right?). So why shouldn’t I take the steps to remove the negativity I actually had some control over?
I had tired of seeing shared screenshots of accounts or personal messages, especially when they are unaware that they are being shared to a large amount of people in a private group. After all, if we are going to point the accusational finger, let’s give the receiver the chance to speak for themselves. Not that I personally feel someone is obligated to answer to others for their varying blogging goals. My disagreeance with your choices do not give me the right to humiliate, berate or attempt to tell you how you should be doing it. And this is not an argument for or against monetizing a blog or any other hot topics. This is about what happens when others feel they have the right dictate how it should be done. I would have to fill some pretty big pants to think I have earned that spot above fellow bloggers.
My winded point is that we all have varying notions of right and wrong. We have individuals goals and desires. These are the very elements that set us apart and should also bring us together as a community. If I feel your blog isn’t for me, I don’t follow (same with social media accounts). There is no need to be aggressive or hurtful. It is pretty simple actually. But I will never feel that it is ok to post a bloggers info or link to them in an effort to shame their behavior. And I don’t enjoy hopping online to share my love of books and seeing a feed full of this nonsense. I do not think this is the purpose or principle that most groups are built upon, but yet it does happen.
Now, I still ❤ love ❤ groups and the people in them, so I want to end this on a high note. Blogging groups are wonderful! And I believe the right group does exist for anyone. It is simply a matter of finding that group and not being discouraged when exploring groups and you find yourself disconnected with others. Everything in life is trial and error. So don’t be afraid to drift on when the winds of change touch your sails (poetic enough for you? 😉 ). I personally belong to three groups at the moment that are very ideal for my own needs:
- Open-minded with a sense of humor but considerate of others.
- A community that supports and promotes each other without endless spam.
- A place to share advice and tips without telling one another how we “should” do it.
- Overall – a positive air that makes me want to come back.
I am sharing this here because I have a feeling I am not the only one who has felt this and vocalizing is healthy. Also, I want personally make more of a conscious effort to openly discuss issues that matter to me without allowing my fear of negative feedback to interfere. As I mentioned, I am not proud of avoiding discussion posts.
So talk to me about social media and blogging groups:
What has your personal experience with social media and blogging groups been? Do you belong too many? What are you seeking in a group or have you ever left one (no names please)?
It is definitely possible to find a good home online, but sometimes not without a few bumps in the road.