Why So Mean?

Social media fosters negativity, or so it seems. However, I think it’s more likely that social media is just a convenient way for people who were already negative to share their frustrations and anger with the world.
A TV channel in our area has an interactive screen for viewer comments during the evening news. The unkind judgments of many who post during the newscasts can only serve to cause hurt for those who are unintentionally thrown into the spotlight. Unfortunately, pessimism and hate can be shared publicly while critics remain anonymous.

My mama always told me, “If you can’t say something kind, don’t say anything at all.” Great advice!

With the release of my novel, I allowed my identity to become public and I did this with the full understanding that there are “not very nice” people out there who can decide to share unkind things about my writing. So, of course, my dream for social networking is to have a prohibition against posting under pseudonyms or anonymously. This would call for accountability and maybe foster more respectful discussions.

Literary agent, Rachelle Gardner, provides a lot of helpful guidance for writers. In a recent blog post, “When a Writer Becomes a Target,” she gave advice concerning how writers should handle negative comments. She also reminds writers to be careful with their own words out there in cyber-space and to “treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Not a novel idea! There is something about that in the teachings of Jesus.

Are you ever tempted to respond to an on-line post, especially to defend when a critical comment is posted on your blog? It’s a great way to get beat up.

Being a writer is not for sissies!

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