Today I want to talk about quite a touchy subject that I anticipate will cause some debate – and that’s okay. We all have different experiences in this big ol’ blogosphere of ours and I’m intrigued to hear everyone’s thoughts in a calm and concise way… or so I hope!
It’s the day after the “Instagram bot” drama and frankly, I am tired. I am tired of all the drama and I feel embarrassed to be a blogger. As I stated on Twitter yesterday, this is not a community – it’s a bl*ody high school. And it needs to stop.
This has been something on the backburner that’s annoyed me for quite some time with blogging and I feel now is as good a time as any to voice my concerns.
I will start by openly saying that I have felt the bitchy undertones of blogging ever since I became more involved in the “wider world” of it just a year ago.
Before then, I kept myself to myself. A followed a select few bloggers, a few local accounts and things that I found interesting as a whole and left it at that. When I found out there was a bloggers scene in Sheffield, I was thrilled.
I went to event after event and met loads of nice, new people at a time when I was lonely, recovering from depression and in real need of the companionship. It was great, and I made some truly wonderful new friends. And I understand that by talking to other people, I’ve been lucky and not every offline community is so welcoming and inclusive.
Now just because I saw the bitchiness of the online world does not mean I haven’t made some amazing, genuine friends both online and offline. In particular, there’s a select group of lovely women I have met online, never off, who are always there supporting me and who only ever have nice things to say. I am always so grateful for that.
But I’ll be honest, as a whole – often the rest make me feel like I’m back in secondary school – and from discussions with other bloggers, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It feels as though every two minutes a friend of mine is pointing me in the direction of some new blogger drama – perhaps someone has tweeted that someone else has bought their followers or, in this case, used Instagram bots. When this stuff goes on, all I can think, really, is WHO BL*ODY CARES?!
We are all grown ups with jobs and families and blogging for me, as the majority of others, is a HOBBY. The ever-prevalent drama is tiring and unnecessary and for a industry that calls itself a “community” I have to say I have never really had that vibe – just false niceties and near-constant shade and subtweets. Think office politics but on a massive scale.
But the fundamental question is WHY is blogging so bitchy?
Personally, from my experiences, I feel as though everyone thinks they are completing for THE SAME brand opportunities – when in reality, there are PLENTY enough to go around.
In an industry that thrives on numbers, of course things are going to get competitive. But there is a line, and all too often it is being crossed.
When I got flown to Paris last year, in the back of mind I couldn’t help but think that there’d be flippant comments from people wondering why someone with less than 10k on Twitter and Instagram had secured such an incredible opportunity.
And yet why should I (or anyone else for that matter) be made to feel that way? I’ve worked my ars* off running my blog for the past three years. I, like so many others, have juggled it with pride alongside university studies, a career, a relationship and a family/social life.
I’ve done photo edits and emailing at 11pm and all the other unglamorous sides of it – so when something like that comes my way, the last thing I should be doing is worrying that people I’ve never met think that I don’t deserve it.
I’ve got a lot of opinions (she says, writing an opinion piece), I’m sure this is known. But I honestly feel that, as human beings, the least we can do is BE NICE to each other.
We all have a shared, vested interest in blogging so why can’t we bring each other up instead of pulling each other down at seemingly every given opportunity? Or at least, if we haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?
If one thing’s for certain, this “you can’t sit with us” mentality has to stop.
What are your thoughts?