I don't spend a great deal of time on twitter but when I do I often discover bits of news, rants, ramblings from those in the twitterverse. Lately I've seen more rumblings about authors getting bad reviews. Hey, I've had my fair share of bad ones but I just laugh them off. There was a time when the reviews were so negative that I had to stop reading them. What I've learned is that the best thing is to not respond or retaliate. Why? Simply because it's the reader's opinion. Perhaps they're having a bad day. Perhaps they genuinely hate my writing or storytelling...whatever the reason, it's not going to impact the way I continue to write or tell my stories. If the negative reviews are constructive in any way, I would weigh their opinions because I want to write a better book.
I've heard about instances where authors ganged up on a reviewer for their negative stars. I've also heard readers of authors gang up on the reviewer. I've also heard a lot of horrific things because with the power of technology and the internet, it is so much easier to be hateful and cruel. A few days ago I heard about a review site that had to shut down to all the negative and outrageous comments they were receiving for their reviews. It got to the point where an 11-year-old girl committed suicide due to all the cyber bullying. This really saddened and angered me.
Bullying is getting out of hand and the use of it on the internet makes everyone an easier target. From facebook to twitter to blogs...it gives me this sick feeling knowing that there is so much hate and anger out there. Toxic tongues have become something that people celebrate for their boldness. Well, I think it's stupid that people would support such nastiness. We're giving them the power to continue to bully. Sure, everyone has a voice but it doesn't mean that they are entitled to get away with it.
No matter what social media I'm on, I'm very conscientious of what I say. It is my professional image, it is my desire to do my best. When I read a book, I won't give bad reviews but I'm happy to praise and celebrate the ones that touch me. I feel that sometimes people just want to vent and it's easy to target those we don't know. I hope that when more and more of these bullying cases are profiled that people stop and realize that their careless words have caused so much pain.
Life is too short and too precious to have others demean our existence.
Next time you get a bad review, just turn the other cheek. Who cares? It's not the first and won't be the last but why put yourself in a situation where it can be destructive to your mental health when you could be creating amazing stories!