Thursday, July 31, 2014

Get Off My Internets, Sticks and Stones, and Celebrating a Beautiful Life

Matthew 12:37 "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Seems like bloggers these days are getting no love these days. Between beauty blogger Michelle Phan getting sued to hate posts from the fashion people, it's getting pretty dangerous to call oneself a blogger. 

Now there is an ENTIRE site dedicated to "hate-reading" of blogs. Meet Get Off My Internets, a blog focused on the hatred of other blogs. In a recent interview with Racked.com, the founder and main writer who only wanted to be know as A. ( so A., you didn't want to share your name...but you have the ova to share hatred for other people's blogs on your site? A simple google search revealed this cyber coward's name is Alice Wright. She's the winner with the Bud in the picture above) shared her thoughts on the profession of blogging, saying "People hate-read blogs for the same reason they watch train wreck reality shows," she says. "It's entertaining to see the mess and the 'What the hell?' of it all. It's an escape, maybe not what some people would consider a healthy escape, but it is what it is." Hmm...

And style and beauty Bloggers and Vloggers aren't the only victims of this cyber hate. Mommy/Daddy blogs, craft blogs, etc have entire spew filled threads dedicated to them. Wright continues, saying "To pretend you're above snarking is the most hypocritical thing you can do. Maybe you aren't snarking about blogs, but everyone s#!t-talks something or someone, somewhere, at some point." 

To respond I say that is true. At any given point of our lives, we all could be guilty of saying something mean about somebody else. But what the majority of us are not doing is putting it on the net for potential millions to see for as long as the internet could exist. It honestly sounds like you know what you're doing is wrong, but you're covering it by blaming it upon the nature of our lower selves (everybody talks bad about each other) instead of appealing to the nature of our better selves.

When Forbes Magazine recently placed GOMI on their list of 100 best websites for women last year, the blogosphere erupted. One of the best responses composed was from LA lifestyle blogger Morgan Shanahan, saying "the behavior of grown women shocked me."

Shanahan continues, "Personal finances. Mental health. Body Image. Divorce. Religion. Baby loss. Parental suitability. Bankruptcy. Job loss. All these things being 'snarked on' by the GOMI community, almost always directed at women, wives, mothers, entrepreneurs, and most importantly HUMAN FREAKING BEINGS..." 

While the majority of the comments left on individual blogger dedicated threads is silly, pointless, irrelevant, or made up gossip, some GOMI have done some major damage. Shanahan continues, saying "The GOMI community seems to feel that it has some sort of vigilante responsibility to police the blogosphere for things it deems irritating and then pick at those scabs until they become giant gaping wounds in the lives of real people."

Shanahan is right. It is already hard enough to expose one's life to the public. Add on the element of hard work (Yes! Blogging IS work. Don't let the over glamorous Instagrams fool you. Bloggers are smart and capable men and women who devote time out of their lives to not only write, but to live a life worth writing about. Hence, working.) composing, editing, photoshoots, meetings with sponsors, sweat, tears, late nights, early mornings, a mind that must not stop running, no matter how tired you are, and how the glitter fades. It's like a real job, except where a lot of people you may never interact with get to make constant commentary on your every post.

But for those of us who possess the passion, the drive, the fearlessness it takes to be constantly (and sometimes brutally) scrutinized by the faceless masses that will happen upon your words and images, there is no other way.

Words are powerful. Words hurt. Words can damage the psyche of an individual, destroy relationships, decimate opportunites, and defame character. Words have the potential to inflict pain for years and even longer if given the opportunity. With that kind of power, I ask Alice why not do something constructive? Answer: Because that would be too difficult. It's much harder to take your words and make something beautiful, comforting, educational, or inspiring, you know, much like the bloggers you rag on are doing. It's way easier (read cowardly, crass, and classless) to just snark on the positivity of others. 

After thinking about it, I honestly feel bad for Alice. While the rest of us are crafting blogs and sites (and lives) that, 10 years from now, we can look back on and be proud about, all "A" will have is an entire site full of the scrutiny, s#!t talk and bitterness that she and other cyber cowards wrote about them.