An Open Letter To A Blogger (Not You.)

Dear Well Known Blogger: (No, not you, or you, or you.) (Quit it! It’s not you!!!)

I read you for a couple of months a year or so ago. I liked your writing and you had a great back story. Very sad, indeed. But you wrote it well. I followed you on the twit and Facebook. I wanted to know you. I really wanted to like you. I imagined gleefully meeting somewhere, having a beer. I wanted to like you as a person, not just a bloggy face.

But then…

Well, I have issues with the whole social media thing. I do. This spring I bore witness to the worst aspects of it, when a blogger got bullied and chest butted by another blogger’s husband over what I consider something so benign as to be laughable. On twitter. For the world to see. What I found so incredibly disturbing was that this was a case of cyber-bullying, in essence, by a person that brands himself as a family man. I think I get it. He mistakenly thought he was standing up for his wife, yet the way he went about it left me to wonder what he would have done if he’d had physical access to the person that offended him.

Is this what we’ve become? Is social media just the new jungle gym to knock someone else off of? Does anyone think of the embarrassment that they may cause? Or the pain?

Back to you. I stopped following you on the twit after I saw one of your tweets congratulating a country on their killing of a madman. Like Yay! He’s dead! Way to go! That just flat-out gave me pause. If you are a person that advocates for others (which you do), why would you ever tweet about anyone’s death like that? I didn’t get it. I unfollowed you and stopped reading. But like I said, I really wanted to like you. For you.

I just came back to you a few days ago. I was almost excited. Like reconnecting with an old friend. But you did it again. You insulted someone on twitter. Someone that had done a lot of work, laid themselves out in front of people. Someone who didn’t deserve to be made fun of because they were sharing their truth as they see it. You called them a name. I ask you; if that person read your ‘harmless’ little tweet, what do you think they would feel? What if that person made their living this way? Who are you to piss on them?

Again, I think I get it. I’m of the mind that you think you are as famous as The Bloggess. That just maybe, you can call people out and be rude when you feel because you are “famous” and no one will take you to task. Well, I’ve read almost all of Jenny’s work and I will say this. If she has to get into a shitfight, she manages to still do it with humour and dare I say, a semblance of class. If she calls out her minions on twitter, all of us now happy members of The Unicorn Success Club, she also can call us all back. Do you know why? Because we are all nice people. We read her because she has a good heart and like attracts like.

Having said that, if I have to be a social maven who is rude, mean and thinks others are beneath them to be successful at blogging, I guess I want no part of it.

I think I’ll happily stay here in my own dimly lit little corner of the web. I hope you are aware that if I tweet, as I’ve been known to do, the biggest person I make fun of is myself. And I never high-five anyone’s death. I don’t care who it is. That is just bad form.

I think that’s it. If you do read this, I can only hope that you realize that fame is fleeting. Someday soon you’ll be second-hand news. I also hope you learn that an inner censor is not a bad thing. You are better than some of the things you’ve put out to the world.

34 thoughts on “An Open Letter To A Blogger (Not You.)

  1. I got in trouble for saying out loud and typing it for the world to see, that murder is murder, no matter how you spin it. Glad to hear your reaction to someone’s death wasn’t as calloused as some of the people who celebrated it outright. (I knew I liked you with good reason).

    Though I’m very curious to know who this person is, and to see if I’ve met her(?), I am confident that I woulda been as disillusioned as you and unfollowed her (him? no no don’t tell me) quickly. So no need to get my panties in a bunch 🙂

    • Megan, I don’t know this person. And I don’t want to. Disillusioned is definitely the right word. Success never gives one free range to be a mean and disrespectful person. And good on you! Speak your truth but don’t be a dick!

  2. let’s get real here…it is a rare person, outside of Perez Hilton, who will get truly FAMOUS from blogging. From branching out and writing a book, doing radio, tv, sure but from just BLOGGING…bloody unlikely. So, with that in mind, they need to get off their high horse. A blog is one’s opinion and people can either go and read or not, follow or not, as is Twitter. The joy of “following” people is the ability to “unfollow” them as well.

    What I think we forget, us who use social media, blogging, computers, and internet chatting with regularity, is that we are still accountable for our words and actions on the internet. This is not an isolated area where things are said, forgotten, and go away. They are not “in one ear and out the other” kind of words. Words here are immortalized forever. Think about that…FOREVER! So today’s pissy rant is forever’s pissy rant. Once you hit submit those words are around for the life of internet itself. Think before you write. Just because you may be miles away behind your computer screen does not mean that your words hold no sway and can’t hurt people.

  3. It is so important to me to blog with integrity and to represent myself likewise on all social media platforms. Not naming this person shows integrity and allows us to really think about how we represent ourselves and how following someone without integrity almost makes us complicit. Thanks for this post.

    • Thank YOU, James. I appreciate it. I think that integrity is of utmost importance. This is a small community, but it can reach the world. We must be careful in our conduct.

  4. I don’t know what else to add to this. You said this so eloquently. I think you should be my personal lawyer.

    But really though, amen. Kindness is more important than popularity. This isn’t highschool and life is not Mean Girls.

    • Exactly, Pish! We all may not agree with someone’s topic choice, style of writing, words, etc. But being insulting is not productive. And the mark it leaves on all concerned is huge.

    • I can!!! But that isn’t really who this person portrays themself as. What I have a problem with is insulting someone that is TRYING to do something that they feel has merit. Opinions should sometimes be left inside our thoughts!

  5. I stopped following someone after he/she posted about her/his teenager’s new-found love of masturbation, even though the kid would probably read it and be mortified (as was indicated in the post). I thought, seriously? Anything for a laugh?

    Of course we’re all curious about how this person is, Leanne, but without a name, your words stand with truth and dignity, as is your way.

    • Oh Jesus! Really? Where is the line? I also have made it a point to never hang my family out to be made fun of or mocked. Me, yes, them, no. I hope I’ve succeeded. And Thank You, Karen. That last bit, well, Thanks.

  6. I have a tendency to be kind of mean. At least that is what my kids tell me. They say that my direct honesty and shoot from the hip reaction is generally taken as a verbal assault on a person. I try to not be mean as that is not my intent, but honesty is not always nice. However I try very hard to be honest with some tact.

    Praising death is not a good thing. If I ever were to get as famous as Jenny Lawson it would be AMAZING! However I just want to sew clothes and make costumes and make a living at it. Otherwise all this other stuff is my brain word vomit just to quiet down the design hysteria.

    Mean people suck!

    • Hey! I’m glad you came over! I think honesty is a grand virtue and I’ve been told the same thing! I’ve had to learn tact and yet I still often fail! What I have a problem with is not being who you are in order to manipulate things in your favor. If you are cranky, be cranky! But own it. Don’t pretend to be all sweet and cuddly if you are not! Hypocracy does me in faster than anything.

  7. Social media is unfortunately just another way for bullying to exist. If there’s a bully, there’s a way. I wish there weren’t. My family reads my blog, so I try to keep if fairly clean and when I rant, I usually have some sort of disclaimer – like, I how I don’t usually post about something or that I really don’t have all the details. If something bugs me, I write about it and post it. But I try to keep it tasteful. Not sure if I always succeed, but I do try. And for those that go around trying to hurt people by doing what you wrote about, shouldn’t be allowed technology of any kind. As it’s just another way for them to show their prowess.

    • I love your first two points, Lady. I try to do the same, and I always make it clear that this is MY experience, MT knowledge. But knock another down because I think I’m better, never in a million years.

  8. Power corrupts & fame brings a swell head. People like that would be wise to remember they were once on the bottom and can easily end up there again.

  9. Brava!! I was horrified at people celebrating the death of anyone and it made me sad to see respected news outlets promoting that kind of thinking. This was a well written, well thought post and as much as I love all of your really funny posts, I heart this one even more! You are DA WOMAN! And I love that here in our blogging world, most of us celebrate each other and our bumps and hurts or sucesses with equal fervor. Long live the community! Love you!

  10. I’m not trying to whore myself out and solicit hate, but I recently wrote a post called “Take Me To Your Leader” that kind of addresses the same thing. Sometimes blogging is like a damn cult. Between social media and followers and a certain sense of entitlement and obsession that can sometimes be attached, it get a bit ridiculous. Glad to know I’m not alone–and whew! At least I know you’re not writing about me, as I’m simply a peon in the blogosphere 😉

  11. As I started this I thought I hope she doesn’t mean me but as I read more I could breath easy as I know you don’t mean me as my husband is clueless with the computer……………….lol Now I do not get why some people feel the need to bully another it is not me a I am such a good person and would never do that…………..stop laughing I am a good person just ask anyone who doesn’t know me very well and they will agree just don’t ask my family they will tell you the truth…………lol

  12. I’ve just (literally) started tweeting. I plan to try and stay away from the bitchy circles – it is just like High School, WTF hey? Very well written, you’re so right. On the net as in life, there’s never a need for mean. Anger, yes sometimes, but not mean.

  13. Interesting. Makes me wonder if I’m doing it wrong. I’ve called out a few people on my blog. Mostly for the sake of humor and those people still follow me. We actually became closer as a result of my childish behavior. I think they know it more to generate a laugh than it was to actually insult them.

    I was talking to my mom the other day about finding a new job. She said something that kinda freaked me out. She said “You really should be careful what you put on the net these days. A lot of places nowadays google your name to get a little background on you.”

    I instantly became worried. She makes a good point. The last thing I want my future employer to see is that I openly discuss smoking pot and offer a verbal barrage directed towards my current employer.

    And I agree, no death is worth a celebration, no matter how much one wants justice. God is the only executioner on this earth. He, and only He has the right to take life. That is what I believe.

    • Hey Dan! All strong and valid points. However, I think if you are going for comedy as long as no one loses face, you are probably not deliberately hurting anyone. But being a bully is something different altogether. And your Mom has a scary point!!! Damn. This lives forever? Oh…

  14. Love the inner censor line. I think loss of the inner censor is beginning to be almost common now, along with not caring about our neighbors. I like my own little corner, too.

  15. I would never deliberately post anything to embarrass my children, although by nature of being their parent I am sure I do inadvertently. I have called out politicians on my blog on occasion for positions that I think are hypocritical and wrong. While I swear a lot and am very outspoken, I try not to single out any one person

    • Hi! Well politicians are sort of asking for it, in my view! And cursing is just part of todays vernacular. I try not to embaress my son or hubby. Note I say try! But I was more making the point about being rude and cutting to a fellow blogger. To me, everyone has a different voice, no less valid than mine. Opinions are sometimes better left off of social media.

  16. Meh, when some people think they’re getting a lot of attention, they turn shitty. Just goes to show what’s really inside of them. But maybe I’m shitty for calling them shitty, I don’t know 🙂

  17. I was just about to comment on your newest post and then I happened to see this one. Wow–this was powerfully written, Leanne! I’ve seen some tweeters , bloggers and Facebookers saying the cruelest, most hurtful things online. And I cringe the most when they make fun of their own children for the sake of a laugh. I don’t understand why it seems so difficult for some people to simply be pleasant.

Go on. Talk to Mama Duck.

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