When tragedy hits, people band together, but when times are uneventful, people gossip, backstab, and hate. It happens in the workplace, families, and, of course, the blogging community. I often feel discouraged and disappointed from it all, and often wonder why we indulge in tearing others down?
The blogging world is extremely susceptible to this destruction because we are always voicing our opinions. While some tough issues do end up in healthy debates, others result in nasty Twitter hashtags and defaming posts, which end up worse off than the original issue. I cannot figure out the logic or reason for these actions. Boredom, perhaps?
As many of you know, I experienced a taste of Twitter bullying and hate when I attended the Nestle event in September. I was judged for simply being at the event. I was bullied before any discussion took place with the Nestle USA CEO, heck, before I had even unpacked my bags. I was called a "drone" and the all popular "shill" for attending such an event. There were obviously more civilized ways to debate and discuss the issues that were at hand, but nonetheless, bullying flooded the tWitter streams. Yay, name calling!
I was thrilled when the LA Times contacted me about a "Twitter terrorism" piece a few weeks ago, because I REALLY felt that it needed to be discussed. So many of the cyber bullying rules apply to minors, but where does that leave us adults? Obviously, we can handle our emotions better than children, but isn't it still wrong, hurtful, and dangerous? So, why do we do it, and why didn't the LA Times use the opportunity to raise awareness on a national level?
I can't remember where I heard this quote, but I've always liked it:
"Hurting people hurt people."
This is the only way I can slightly understand why a person would engage in such behavior.
The same goes with gossip. We are all guilty of it to some degree, but there is a line that, when crossed, becomes destructive. I suppose it all stems from jealously and insecurity, but, geez, aren't we adults? I have been beyond amazed at the gossip that goes on in the mom blogging community, and baffled at the things I have heard and read. By the way, most gossip I hear is so far from the truth, that it is comical. That is why it is so dangerous. Get the truth from the horse's mouth. Form opinions from your own experiences, even if so-called leaders in your community tell you otherwise.
So, how do we change these habits? We have the power to come together, agree to disagree on issues, and lift each other up. Take fellow blogger, Anissa Mayhew. When we all first learned of her stroke, we quickly came together and asked, "What can we do to help?" It felt strong, like an army. Why not ALWAYS be an army then? We can still love, support, and encourage one other, regardless of our differences. Isn't this what we teach our children? The mom blogging community has enough naysayers to deal with, the last thing we need to do is turn on each other. If our fellow bloggers or friends go down the wrong road, try helping them. If they choose to engage in destructive behavior, they will deal with their own consequences, so you need not rub it in their faces.
Try to inspire. Try to lift up. To to help. You have a voice. What are you going to do with it?