Why I avoid being part of 'the blogging community'
This post was partially inspired by allll the drama that took place on Twitter last night after the shortlist for the #bloggersblogawards was announced, but also by a lot of nastiness that's been building up over the past few weeks. For about the last month or so, every time I've logged into Twitter there's been some kind of heated discussion over the notions of positivity and negativity going on. People are starting to have their say against the notion that all bloggers are meant to be positive, which is fab, but what isn't fab is the backlash. People are being slammed for suggesting that they do like to be positive all the time on social media - that's who they are - and others are being slammed for suggesting that negativity takes place. What's even worse is that it's turned the whole notion of 'the blogging community' into a sphere for bullying. Someone dares to suggest a well-liked blogger has a wrong opinion? Suddenly it's the scene with Kovu from the Lion King 2 again. You know the one, where everyone starts screaming at him as he's removed from the Pride lands with the lyrics 'evil as plain as the scar on his face' etc accompanying him. This is not a community, or at least not one I could say I wanted to be involved with in any case.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love some of my fellow bloggers, and totally support them. But do I need to label myself as being part of a (sometimes truly nasty) community to do so? No. If a blogger has a personality that I get on with, a blog I love and a tweet that I think deserves recognition, then of course I'm going to give it a cheeky like or retweet. I don't however, have to feel the need to do that with everyone. If our personalities clash, your blog isn't my thing, or we just haven't clicked, that's okay - I don't need to support everyone, and I would never expect anyone to do the same for me out of a weird sense of obligation.
Now, whilst I'm saying that I don't feel the need to actively support every blogger in 'the community', this equally doesn't mean that I feel the need to tear them down. If you tweet something I don't agree with, cool, that's fine, I'll ignore it. Unless y'know, I really disagree, and then I'll say something, but always to your face, and without asking for backup to bully someone down. Obviously I'm not perfect - no one is, and we all made the odd bitchy mistake, but it doesn't mean someone deserves to be hated on. Equally I'm never going to go out there and slam someone on a post they've written, because that is honestly just cruel. Just as I won't actively support everyone, I see no need to actively tear anyone down, or follow the wave of 'the blogging community' that jumps on someone's back every so often.
Ultimately, 'the blogging community' for me is something that has become a pit of cliques, bullying and nastiness, with the odd ray of support shining out. No one is ever going to like everyone, and I think the 'community' forces the idea down our throats that if 'so and so' is friends with a blogger we like then we have to support them. No. Support who you want, be kind, and most of all remember that if you don't want to get involved in drama you don't have to.
Now, before anyone goes on a rant about this being a totally patronising and bitter post - it's not. There are places where you can receive a buttload of online support from bloggers, and #TheGirlGang (@TheGirlGangHQ) is definitely one of those places, and something I'm proud to be a part of. This post was more of a reminder to myself more than anything, and something I wish someone would have said to me a few months ago when I was really feeling the pressure to integrate myself into the community. Maybe one day the blogging community is something I would like to make myself a part of, but sadly that day is not today.