Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boo Bullies!

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 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!


CaroleDee said...

You gotta love 'keyboard warriors'. They hide behind the anonymity of the internet and feel powerful.

Good for you for taking the high road and not letting the trolls get you down :)

Naima Simone said...

Awesome post, Jax!

I've received negative reviews as well and, yes, it stings, but you keep it moving! Like you said, it doesn't determine who you are as an author or the quality of your work. Yes, people can use the anonymity of the internet to "eat their Wheaties" when they would never have the cajones to voice those same opinions if their names or faces were attached. Still, that doesn't give us permission or a pass to retaliate in a gang mentality. We can't control other's actions but we can control how we react. There's life and death in the power of the tongue, and that goes both ways. Before authors start attacking others because of their bad behavior they should consider this: the same gift that we use to create shouldn't be perverted to destroy. Then it's shame on us.

Wynter Daniels said...

Yup, we've all gotten some bad reviews. Gotta let it roll off your back. I think there's always been bullying, but now it's right out there where it's visible to so many more people. I just despise bullies!

Jax Cassidy said...

I agree, Carole! Sadly there are a lot of them...

Well said, Naima!

Wynter...I despise bullies, too!!!!

Casey Crow said...

I agree, Jax. I think it's unprofessional when I hear these authors whining. It's part of the business.

Dalton Diaz said...

Yep, it's part of the job. I don't care for personal attacks, but if it's a real review of the book and they just didn't like it, that's the way it goes. If everyone liked the same things, there'd be no variety to life!