Home > WANA > Open Your Eyes: This is Why We Blog

Open Your Eyes: This is Why We Blog

Hello

This morning I was really conflicted about what to post.  Between Twitter and some awesome people I have ‘met’ there has been so much I want to say.  I have several pending posts that demanded attention but I feel in the spirit of #FollowFriday I would use this one.

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Why do I blog?  I blog to connect.  I wanted to share my style and my projects with people who might find them interesting.  I started the blog summer 2010.  I had one follower because I accidentally followed myself.  I was posting but no one knew me.  So I branched out and looked for other people.  I stumbled upon Kristen Lamb and her golden blog.  So I branched out more.  Today I have jumped to 13 followers.  On Twitter I have almost 100.  More than that, I want to connect to you and your story, both the one you live and the story you write.  It has been great and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Social media has changed my life.  It has opened my eyes to new ideas and people.  Most of what I learned has been wonderful.  But there are a few important points to make.

Social media is a tool.  We use it to connect and most of us try to help each other.  But as I get further into this world I see many examples of it being used to bring others down or worse to send messages of hate.  It is not that I did not know about this darker side before.  I am simply more affected because I have talked to those involved or at least started following their lives.

The following story scared me because if I was the victim I do not know how I would do.

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 Through the ‘paper’ trail I found Naomi Dunford.   She has an online business that she built up on her own with her husband and it is marketing related.  She also is able to balance writing and raising an adorable baby.  Naomi was also brave enough to share her ordeal.

Her story is where one person decided not to like her.  So he started a hate blog.  It grew and grew and complete strangers were posting nasty comments.  It got to the point where she had to go into hiding.  While Naomi is ok there is not always a good ending.  Sometimes the bad guys win which pretty much broke my heart reading the story of how one family was destroyed by one generation and  then ripped to shreds by social media in the following generation.

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Using social media to bring down a person is not great but death threats are just wrong.  Making that person afraid to make a living or be in the public light?  There are lines that should not be crossed.  I know it is pretty common to rip on books or public figures who seem to suck at everything.  I am guilty of it too and I can justify it all I like but I am still tearing that person down.  What I will not condone is a death threat of any kind.  No hate comments and no bigotry.  We are writers and more open minded than the average person.

Please be careful.  There are disgusting people out there who love nothing better than to make you feel bad about yourself or worse.  They are compensating and their sole joy is to take happiness through others.  Some of them are on twitter or blog sites and attract enablers.  En masse they will do everything they can to hurt another person, sometimes physically.  Your blog is public.  Almost anyone can comment and post and if that person just wants to tear you down they can.  Deleting the comment won’t delete the impact of those words.

I have been lucky.  On my blog and on Twitter I have interacted with many kind and wonderful people who are supportive and I return that to them.  Without this mini network I may have gotten bored a lot sooner.  I might have just let writing be a passionate phase rather than open up.  I owe much to each of you and you know who you are.

In the event that one of you is not so lucky I implore each of you to not give up on writing and social media.  Keep reaching out and networking.  It is your right to become a semi-public figure and each of you has a vast store of talent in some area of writing among other talents.

Remember that we are not alone.

The funny thing about a writing network is how quick we are to jump in and support another fellow writer who got bashed or felt a little down trodden.  It is not that far fetched to want to support the brother who is against his younger siblings divorce after living through the same ordeal years before.  Just as social media can hurt us we also have the ability to gain support and to give it.

I will not stand for anyone one of you to be silenced especially when you each helped me find my own voice.

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  1. Maggie
    October 1, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    I love this post! That’s the way I feel about social media and blogging; it’s helped me “meet” so many interesting people and it does let you know that you are not alone. There’s always someone out there with the same odd quirks as you. 🙂

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