Stop The Online Hate. Just Stop It!SOCIAL MEDIA | Nirasha Jaganath | March 15, 2012 at 3:47 am
It is 5:30am and I should be sleeping, especially since we have been dealing with the a bug from hell in this home that captured my entire family with fevers. Mama is exhausted with whiny kids (more than usual when they are sick) when she herself feels sick but I needed to write this post. I should have written this post 3 years ago, and truthfully at times I did come close to, but I decided to stay positive and not give hate any food to live on. Recently there has been a ruckus about a blogger plagiarizing another blogger and get this – getting paid for it! Disgusting I know. Worse still this stuff stolen was about pregnancy which to me is about as intimate as you can get.
I won’t provide links but you can Google it easily and to my non-social media friends I apologize for this post. Here’s what bothers me: the continuation of stone throwing and mud slinging and slicing and dicing this. My attitude is wow, move on people – this is a train wreck and if you have nothing positive to add to the conversation, then move on. Discussion is good but, healthy discussion: like how should big sites choose contributing writers, how do brands choose the people they work with etc. Writing posts mocking this situation and dissecting character is NOT YOUR RIGHT! Seriously, IT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT!
What is it about being online and freedom to say things that we feel it is all justified, does not grant us the liberties to make snappy judgements, however appropriate at the time. Want to know classy? Classy is this amazing writer who was copied, who just tweeted that she accepts the apology, without slicing or dicing the sincerity of it. Thats what makes her doubly awesome, rising above it. More examples of classy: Redneck Mommy who tweeted out healthy advice with no ounce of meanness and not even a trace of her famous sarcasm tweeted to her husband.
Someone needs to counsel you that the best thing you can do is let her apology speak for herself and BE QUIET
Sound advice I tell you.
This is not a discussion about who is wrong (and I do think she is if anyone starts doubting that) but about how we think we have a right to dish out words. Pause, that feverish 4 year old just woke up. Ok back to my story. Three years ago when I was just starting to work with brands and I knew I needed to needed traffic and relationships so I reviewed a ton of stuff (NO REGRETS) and hosted giveaways (at no charge). A blogger clearly described her meeting me, without mentioning my name it was pretty clear it was me, about how this blogger thought when I said “I was busy these days” that equated her thinking that my quality of posts had declined. Also my giveaways meant I became a PR WHORE. Now I know these words are not used easily just to make a point, but here’s the thing:IT HURT! I had just hugged this person and to me the connotations of whore is not only tacky but cheap. To make it deeper another blogger came and commented calling me a media whore. Yeah it stung. I wondered why anyone cared what I did on my blog. I was devastated and feel free to call me “overly sensitive”, the thing is I don’t want to grow a thick skin – I like feeling stuff, it is what makes me, me! I contemplated to stop blogging but did not. I contemplated writing about it, but my hubby wisely advised that that would give hate life.
My point is this, words, whether deserved or not, hurt. And contrary to what you think you don’t have a right to judge. It is like I tell my 4 year old who would say someone is smelling yuck in an elevator, it is rude to say it. Is it true? Hell, yes, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. People love bandwagons, and it is easier to ride one than drive your own, but a little piece of advice: those that start the nasty bandwagons just had some other fat to fry anyway. Who knows, one day the shoe may be on the other foot, and you will pray for someone to cut you some slack.
Hate actions, not people! When I had an issue with a brand, I tried to be clear when I did write that it was about the tactic not them. Although I turned down doing paid consulting with them in the fact that it may look like I wrote the post just for money, I held no harsh feelings. When I did a charitable event for kids born in poverty, I invited the brand to participate so I could show no hard feelings and display their logo on my site (of course all of this was for free) and they accepted. When I met the person in question at the Toy Fair and he walked up to me and hugged me, I actually felt that this was attributed to my success about focusing on actions in a constructive criticism, lazed with zero meanness (yes that is possible) rather than people or the product itself. I also make sure that the comments to posts don’t spew evil, because ultimately we control what type of stuff we throw out. Many people start discussions and people take it out of hand in comments and by not curbing the rhetoric,we are saying we approve. Constructive discussion, even if I disagree, stays but I have no space for pure hatred.
We have online influence. I may not have much, but the little I do have I want to use for good. Now while I cannot control what you spew on the internet, I can control it in my little blog world here. What that means is that you can trust I will use the moderate comments options judicuously here, so if you have nothing constructive to say, keep moving along.
Ok, I am heading back to my germy bed with kids who decide to snuggle their fever induced bodies with mine. Fun! In the meantime let’s rise above stuff, learn and be careful about those stones we cast, they do tend to splash mud straight on us. Be nice!