I have a very good, Full Time job that I love. I work as a Social Media Manager & Business Manager for several high profile and retail clients. I enjoy the work and people I work with, everyday. It can be a tiring job, as some of my days I am burning the midnight oil, but I wouldn't trade my line of work for all the Finisher Medals in the world.
My second PT job is as a Running Coach and Sports Nutritionist. I have been a Sports Nutritonist for over year and recently obtained my Running Coach Certification (more on that on another blog).
I am blessed beyond measure to know that I work in two industries that I love.
Some believe I live on Facebook or Twitter. To a point it's true, because that is my job. If it was not my job, I would be on it about 95% less than I am now.
With that - I have met some amazing people through social media. Some have been lifelong friends. It's a joy for me to meet someone I have met on FB or Twitter at a race or social media event.
The people I enjoy conversing with the most are fellow bloggers - of any subject. I have blogger friends who are chef's, home designers, authors, freelancers, artists and the list goes on and on.
We all deal with the same blogger issues, regardless of our industry specifics.
Unfortunately, there are some hazards to social media and dealing with the "fans" of our blogs. I am very toughed-skin and my life obstacles have taught me to stake my boundaries and I won't budge. That has served me well. While others have tried to manipulate me run my life "their" way, my priorities have always been God, my family/ friends and myself. If compromising violates my basic core values and principles - I won't.
I am seeing a disturbing trend in Social Media and how people act or react on blogs, FB and Twitter. I have seen it come and go in the past several years, but the past few months have been nothing short of, disturbing.
I am writing this blog to take you through a journey of a conversation I had with a fellow blogger (name withheld to protect privacy)
The conversation went something like this.....
This person had a falling out with a certain group of friends awhile back. She is mature enough to realize that relationships are fluid. Sometimes and often friendships will end. How many of us older adults are friends with EVERY friend you had in High School? It's rare.
So...she continues on with her blog about her topics and from time to time she discussed friendships. She never mentions names, never mentions the situations, but she has used her life experiences to help out others who are struggling with toxic relationships. Fair enough.
I have read her blog and while I may not agree with all she says, it is her blog and she is entitled to her opinions. Not the end of the world, folks.
LIKE CLOCKWORK, when she has a post about "friendship", her former friends (or friend of a friend) will post snide little comments on her blog. Her topic of friendship might come up once a quarter, if that. So, what do these friends do - TROLL her blog and wait to see what she is going to post. You never, ever hear from them until she mentions friendships or friends.
Do they not have anything else to do with their time by troll other people's blogs or Facebook pages?
But, the line is now being crossed into bullying and harassment.
She has the comments on moderation.
She calls me. She is tired. She is fed up and wants to be left alone. She had hoped by ignoring her former friends they would go away, but they won't.
So, I told her this, "you know, you cannot be responsible for childish behavior from adults. If they want to act like children, then treat them as such. Call them out."
So, she did. Her blog got NASTY. I was so proud of her and how she handled them and the situation. She flat out told her former friends it's her blog and if they don't like what she says......move on and more importantly, move away. They are not the "blog police" to decide what is and isn't good content. Most importantly, she didn't share in their opinions, so go away and find someone who does.
She was accused of censorship for moderating her posts. What is this - 1950's?
If any blogger is smart, they will moderate the posts to eliminate spam and unwanted posts. I do it.
Often Bloggers (including myself) see a specific name show up on the moderated comments and we just delete it, without even reading it. We know from past history, it isn't even worth our time to read and certainly is not appropriate. I know Bloggers who delete comments by the dozens, I might delete 2 or 3 a month. To each their own.
That is what I told my blogger friend. WHO CARES if they don't like you deleted or ignored their posts. It's YOUR blog. Do it for yourself.
For me, I would still write and post my blog as if I didn't have 3K followers on my FB page or 4K followers on Twitter.
Sometimes, and more often than not, people will comment to create drama. Been there and I personally find it immature that someone would waste their time to attempt to cause someone else grief on someone else's blog.
Sound cruel? Yes, it does - but dealing with immature adults who find it within themselves to police other people personal feelings or writings - that is cruel. These same people who lash out cruelty wouldn't have the nerve to do it to your face. I told that to my blogger friend and the light bulb went off.
She has seen her former friends several times in social situations and not one of them have even looked her direction.
We hide behind the curtain of Social Media, don't we?
Think online bullying is only for kids? Think again - us, bloggers deal with it ALL the time. There isn't a day I don't see some horrible comment made on FB, Twitter, Blogger, etc. It's goes with the territory, but the key is how to handle it.
Commentors that hide behind the "just trying to help you see the other side" or "I am just wanting to have dialogue with you" or my personal favorite "just trying to be devil's advocate" is nothing more than trying to rile up unneeded drama and strife, in my opinion.
As my blogger friend said it so eloquently, "what you are you? My parent? Do I NEED you to come to my blog and parent me?"
(Gosh, I love her!)
Sometimes our response will be silence and sometimes it is fighting back. Sometimes bullies do what they do for attention. Sometimes bullies do it, in the hopes you will change something (but not sure what).
I know not everyone agrees with me and my opinions. That's okay, I never strive for that. But, I will strive for healthy conversations or debates. I have seen the patterns of those who lash out at blogger comments - they lurk, they spy, they troll - they wait for an opportunity to plunge in an cause drama. These drama-seekers NEVER, EVER post comments on any post, like a product review, a race report or other. But, the moment a blogger expresses their opinion - BAM! they are all over it.
My blogger friend? She is still moderating her blog and the comments and actually doing great. From time to time, one of those former friend tries to post something, but it is becoming less and less. Why? She is no longer silent and will not be bullied. YAY HER!
That has been my current approach to blogging. I am ALL about healthy conversation, but there are lines that will not be crossed on my blog. I don't even mind someone in disagreeing with me. But, I do mind those who are trolling my Blog only to find fault in my expressed opinions. It's my Right and my Responsibility to ensure my blog is what it says it is. Blogs are not a kids sandbox where the Bully is trying to get attention.
Lashing out at someone on their blog else does not make you look superior....ever
Next time you want to lash out at a blogger of any kind (not just a runner) think before you type. If you, you might not like the response or the silence.
Better yet, if you don't like what a Blogger has to say - please feel start your own and share your own opinions, beliefs and values. The internet is free to express as you please.
Kudos to all my blogger friends who stand up for their posts and what they believe in, whether it be by silence or with a reply. It's your blog and I am proud of you for keeping it that way!
And for the record - my blog is still on moderation. Please feel free to comment at anytime, but there is no guarantee your post will be approved. If it violates my core values or blatantly attacks one of my readers or myself - it's a guarantee it won't be posted.
And BTW, if you are that cranky that you have to insult others and find fault in others blog posts - why not take up running, it's a great stress reliever. And if you do run, I recommend you run more to work off your stress. *wink*
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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