The photos in this post are not good, and frankly they were never meant to be shared since most of them aren't in focus, but they just seemed appropriate for the topic of this post.
I also want to forewarn you that this post may be offensive to some of you, so read further at your own discretion.
In real life, just as online I've been very fortunate. I try and treat people the way I hope to be treated and most of the time it works out well. I've been very lucky to have met so many wonderful people through blogging and to see some amazingly talented men and women through this wonderful thing called the internet. I had heard horror stories about blog jealousy, nasty emails, and bitter anonymous comments, but I have managed to avoid most of this and frankly I think it's been pure luck.
Over the past few months I've had a few email exchanges or read other blogger's posts about how they haven't been so lucky. I've heard stories about how people will literally harass other bloggers if they don't follow someone back, or if their blog is becoming too popular, etc. I've seen mean accusations flying around about people stealing photos and using people's pictures without their permission. And it's like a match being thrown on a parched field of grain...it spreads like wildfire and leaves devastation in its wake!
I even thought twice before deciding to do this post, wondering if I wouldn't be fanning the flames and likely to cause a bit of drama here on my own blog by even bringing this up. After all, I have been pretty lucky in avoiding everything but the occasional mean spirited comment. But then I thought, if I see other bloggers, friends, strangers, whomever suffering the ill effects of this sort of behavior and I turn a blind eye to it, then how am I really any different from those who choose to use the internet as a means of bullying?! So I decided I would speak out about what I sometimes see in the blog world.
I mentioned in a post a while ago how most of my friends growing up, and even to this day are men, and there's a reason for that. Women can be mean...I mean really mean to one another, and I've never understood why?! Just like in high school when a girl would show up in the latest designer clothes, or carrying an expensive purse, or even with the latest fashionable haircut you could almost smell the blood in the water and see the sharks circling. And it wasn't just the fashionable, popular girls who suffered the fate of being eaten alive, it was also the girls who a select few decided just didn't fit in, so they too were punished for whatever shortcomings they were determined to have!
I managed to stay away from all of this by being an athlete and being a generally funny, happy go lucky sort of person, but it enraged me when I saw it happening to others and I would often wait until an opportune moment to lob a bit of a dig at someone who I knew was always willing to dish it out, but clearly couldn't take it. I developed a bit of a sarcastic reputation with some, while others saw me as someone who wouldn't just walk by and ignore their plight. Now I'm no Mother Teresa, but I don't like seeing people get picked on...in real life or online!
Like the swans in my pictures, I often see people starting trouble due to a complete lack of self confidence on their own part. Sometimes when the swans fight it appears to be for no real reason at all, and their beauty belies their ability to truly hurt one another. Thankfully this phenomenon of blog jealousy and in-fighting is relegated to a tiny portion of the otherwise wonderful blogging community, but they are there, and like a thorn on a beautiful rose, they sometimes overshadow the beauty of the entire flower!
Do people really have so much time on their hands that they can spend their days trolling the blog world to seek out others to pick on?! I dream of a world with that much time, but I can assure you that if I find it I won't be wasting that precious time on trying to bring someone else down.
Women and men blog for all sorts of reasons. It can be for the shear fun of it, the opportunity to have a voice which they feel they lack in real life, to find friends, to share a love or passion for something, and the list goes on and on. Whether you agree with or like someone else's blog is really up to you. So if you don't like someone's blog or what they post about then move on down the street to the next blog.
Those people who feel the need to control and dictate what others portray on their blogs should really get over themselves! I mean really, who died and made you king anyway?! Hey that's kind of catchy, maybe I'll write a song! ;-)
Sadly, online is really no different than real life. There are people online who will pretend to be something they aren't, they'll profess religion or knowledge, or whatever in order to justify their behaviors and they'll be mean when it would be so easy to be nice. As I said this is such a small segment of the community, but unfortunately a very vocal one at times!
So the next time you see someone have success with their blog, get sponsors, buy a new camera, or do a great job with a project, stand up and cheer for them. You might be next, and you'll want those same cheers and supportive comments coming your way. Those of you who already do this, keep doin' what you're doin' and to those who don't...I say try it, you might like it! What goes around comes around my friends!