Blogging & Cyberbullying

Bloggers now are somewhat like internet celebrities. We put ourselves out into the internet for the purpose of giving inspiration to people or to help people with their purchasing decisions. With the intense product competition in the marketplace in this day and age, combined with the heavy marketing and advertising being done, as a consumer it is hard to choose products that are suitable for you at a price point you are comfortable with. The purpose of bloggers, especially us beauty bloggers, is to be your white rabbit: test out the products for you and then give you recommendations based on our thoughts.

I’ve received feedback from several PR and company reps and they’ve all come to the same conclusion, that blogging has become one of the most important forms of media available to consumers, many times even surpassing the power of magazines and other traditional forms of print media and advertising. The reason for this is simple, that bloggers operate their blogs because of their pure and simple interest in the topic, without any real forms of compensation. We spend hours photographing, swatching and testing products, and then hours writing about it. Blogging is not an easy task; when committed to it, a blogger can spend anywhere from 15 or more hours doing blog-related things. Not many people can say they are that committed to something, especially without receiving compensation.

Cyberbullying, or trolling, is not new to the world of blogging. I’m sure all of us have experienced it, the occasional reader calling us ugly, or anything else that is rude and completely uncalled for. The vast majority of the time, we just suck it up and ignore it because we know that those people are just a tiny percentage of our readers, and that most of our readers are actually very supportive of what we do. But I can tell you now that it does hurt. Every mean comment that we get, it really does affect us emotionally.

Recently one of my best blogger friends, and a very dear mentor of mine has been subjected to really terrible cyberbullying. I won’t go into details of what happened, but in the end she had to resort to deleting all of her blog posts prior to last year so that her presence on the internet has been decreased and so the possibility of her being trolled upon is also decreased. As a loyal reader of her blog, I found this news very saddening because I believed that all of the product reviews, swatches and makeup looks that she does are extremely helpful for me personally when I am looking to purchase products or just for general browsing to see what kind of looks I can create. However because of the few select people, she had to delete all of her hard work prior to last year. That was completely understandable though, because no one should have to go through that kind of abuse, it’s just very sad. No one should have to go through something like that. What difference is that to when someone is bullied so much at school that they have to transfer schools or be homeschooled. Even worse, you cannot run from someone on the internet, as long as you want to be there, helping people.

I’ve been pretty fortunate to not have to go through too much trolling on my blog, but on my Youtube channel it is a completely different story. I only have TWO videos on my channel, but I still get terrible comments, some of which I were just downright weird. I’m not that active on Youtube so I don’t really mind, but I can’t imagine what the popular Youtubers are going through and how much abuse they have to suffer every day because of their simple hobby. On my blog, I do get the occasional comment left by a troll, and even though I don’t get many, each one I get still hurts me, and that says a lot.

Rude comments are completely and utterly uncalled for. We spend hours and hours a week doing this both as a hobby, but also as a service to our readers. We don’t expect that we get thanked for our work, but at the very minimum we shouldn’t be getting emotionally abused. We don’t deserve any of this bu**sh*t. No one makes you read what we write. Of course we would love it if everyone came and read our blogs and wrote nice comments, but that’s not realistic, so we just hope that the mean people can keep out and only the nice people continue to visit us. Of course, it is easy for the bullies to say “why not just stop blogging?” Well then what about the 99.99% of our readers who actually find our work helpful, stopping the blogging will just be unfair to those who want to read our content.

On the other hand, I know I love to get supportive comments or e-mails. Once in a while I get a reader e-mail me saying she loves to read my blog and hopes that I can continue writing. It’s comments or e-mails like those that really touch me and remind me of why I am doing this in the first place – for you, my readers, as well as for myself. I’m sure other bloggers think the same way. There is nothing more comforting and supportive than a reader thanking you for all of your hard work.

This post has been somewhat like word vomit. Sorry if it’s a little random, I just thought I really needed to get this out there. Please remember that even though we are bloggers, and yes we are somewhat in the public eye, we are still human beings and we deserve that little sliver of your respect.

Thank you for reading!

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16 thoughts on “Blogging & Cyberbullying

  1. Awesome post! I hope that you won’t mind if I link back to this on my blog. I think it’s that important for all to read. There’s nothing more that I can say that you haven’t.

  2. Well written and precise. Its very saddening to see these things happen especially to someone we know, who did nothing to provoke it in the first place! Boo to all the haters and yes, we are human too!

  3. A great post, Sheila! I totally agree on all points. Yes, we blog because it’s our passion to talk/ write about this topic, and because we love to share our experiences/ opinions in order to help. Every single support and ‘thanks comment’ makes our work so worthwile, doesn’t it?

  4. Yea, I agree that even one tiny comment can hurt. But sometimes, I guess we do need heads-up from other people so that we may improve. However, not everyone can give negative comments in a tactful manner, so we really just have to live with it.

    • While I agree that feedback helps us improve, but I don’t agree that we just have to live with it. If you’re not a long time reader of my blog, and you’re leaving behind negative comments that don’t help the overall quality of the blog, then why bother leaving it? Things like “you’re so ugly” or “your photos are crap” do not help the situation in any way. If you don’t like the content on that blog, then you don’t have to read it. Why bother coming back if you’re just going to leave comments that hurt other people.

      If you really, sincerely want to help the situation, sending an email would probably be the best way, and include suggestions of how the person can improve instead of just saying that they’re doing something wrong.

  5. Some people really have to stop hating. I truly feel sorry for the more popular bloggers, YT-ers etc that have people hating them for no reason, that or just hating purely because they think it’s okay since they’re saying it through a computer. If they want to criticise something, they should at least say something constructive rather than just nasty comments that don’t help anyone but themselves.

  6. Aww this post was a really sad reminder of how horrid some people out there are. T.T You made some really good points. I hope it gets through to some cyber bullies, but unfortunately I very much doubt it will. 😦

  7. I agree… those gossip forms only serve to perpetuate cyberbullying since it’s so easy to comment anonymously. IMO, if you dislike someone so much, stop going to their blog or watching their Youtube channel! Who has all the time and energy to waste hating on someone you don’t even know?

  8. Cyber bullying is soo easy to do since the internet is so accesible. I really don’t understand why some people have so much hate. Though the saying goes that actions speak louder than words…words are just as harsh in such situations. =[ Those that are behind the bullying are such cowards…

  9. You couldn’t have put it any better. Even though I do not follow your blog (I was just Googling around for cyberbullying related posts), I do follow other blogs and am very aware of cyberbullying in the blogging world and what consequences it can have. Blogger or not, everybody is vulnerable when it comes to bullying and it does leave its marks. The sad thing is that, when it happens on a blog, it directly affects the one thing a person is passionate about. And it does take thick skin to ignore it and not start having doubts about what you’re doing.

    I personally find most blogs (especially the creative ones) very inspiring. The thing is, with it being online, it is very easy for these trolls/bullies to do what they do. It’s anonymous and direct, which only increases the chances of them doing it. Compared to ‘normal’ face-to-face bullying, bullies will not be confronted as quickly when it’s done online and anonymously.

    But, like you said, it is complete bullsh*t, and no one deserves it. While feedback is one thing, negative comments can be taken way too far. But it shouldn’t discourage you from doing what you love. There are always going to be people that enjoy bringing others down. But if you love doing what you do, and if it’s such an important part of your life, you shouldn’t let anyone ruin it for you. 😉

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