A month ago, I received my very first hate mail. It was quite a long one, where the anonymous sender basically tells me I shouldn't blog anymore "because you suck." I immediately deleted it, thinking ignoring it was the best solution for me. A month later, I received another one. A rather vicious one; using name calling and low blow tactics. There have been several mean anonymous comments on some of my posts too, of course, but I guess that comes with the territory of blogging in public. Now my initial reaction when I got these was that I was just surprised. I didn't know how anyone could waste their time e-mailing hate mails to others, anonymously.
Now on Twitter, in the last couple of days, there have been several "shout-outs," bad mouthing other book bloggers after another, blasting them by spotlighting all their flaws. Some even go so far as to blasting their actual names and posting their actual blog links. Example? "Look at this blog, everyone! (link here) Her writing and reviews make me cringe. If you agree, please RT." Apparently also, he/she created a petition where he/she asks several of her followers on Twitter -- and on her blog -- to "kick the book blogger out."
I simply could not understand this. Does the person who bad mouths other bloggers not understand that this is simply bad etiquette? That it actually ruins his/her credibility, more than it ruins the one he/she's talking so negatively about? Truthfully, these unnecessary comments full of hate and spite is just making him/her seem very immature.
I would get it if the purpose of these acts would be to help. Constructive criticisms, and frank but helpful recommendations and suggestions are always welcome. In fact, they are even encouraged. However, bad mouthing someone, blasting them and exposing their links, to encourage others to join in the hate, is just ridiculous.
Now I ask, why so vicious? Why so mean? What's with all the hate? I came up with a book blog, to talk about books. I came here to write about my thoughts about them, not even knowing there was even such a thing as a book blog community. When I discovered it, I thought it was just wonderful. Through blogging, I met so many other people who share the same love I have for books, and at times, even writing. Everyone is so helpful, encouraging, and supportive. I feel as though the community is a team, in a lot of ways. But are we a team fighting against someone? I think not. We are a team, who reads, writes, and talks about books. We aren't here to fight, hate, or mock anyone.
Book blogging is not a competition. It is not about who's on top, who's rising, and who's on the bottom. There is no such thing as a hierarchy here. Book bloggers who get 500+ followers and so many books for review get them for a reason. They work hard to keep their blog moving, and they are helpful to the blog community. They do not cause jealousy. They do not cause an uproar or fights. What they have and what we all should have is the ability to keep our feet on the ground, while sharing the love we have for what we are passionate about.
At the end of the day, all I'm trying to say is that we should never forget the reason why we started blogging in the first place. Remember while you deal with others and with yourself, that integrity is so important. It is one crucial quality everyone needs to remember; it can make or break who you are as a person. Finally, remember to keep doing what you love, and loving what you do. Just keep in mind there is no place for hate around here.