Are Bloggers Becoming Mean Girls?

A few days ago, I saw on someone’s Facebook page a post about how much bloggers have become cliquey. It was from a relatively new blogger. I won’t give any identifying characteristics of her, besides that she is a “her,” simply because I feel bad that she got so upset about this, and I don’t want to make her feel worse. Anyway, this blogger was complaining – emphatically – that she couldn’t get into any of the “in crowds” and, therefore, she was going to stop blogging altogether. She has since deleted her blog site.

I thought about this for quite a while. In high school, I hated the cliques. Now when I think of them I think of Mean Girls with Linsay-the-trainwreck-Lohan. When you have cliques, you have backstabbing. You have cheating. You have a load of gossip. You have more drama than a daytime soap opera. And you have people being excluded for no reason other than that they aren’t “cool” enough, by whatever standards of “cool” the clique collectively determines.

I have a hard time believing that bloggers have become Mean Girls.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized this blogger was let down by her experience in the community of bloggers probably of her own doing. I, myself, have felt let down with the ebbs and flows of blogging, but I didn’t allow myself to give up as a result. Really, the blog community may have niches (politics, food, parents, humor), but on the whole, if you find yourself not being “embraced,” it has absolutely nothing to do with being excluded from a clique or some vague, ruleless popularity contest.

#1 You may not be generating

good content

It’s hard to look at our own writing objectively, so if you find yourself lacking readers it’s sometimes a good idea to ask someone you know to read a post to see what may be turning people off.

My dad is one of my most faithful blog followers, and while many of you may think he is too “close” to be objective, he thinks I’m a blazing asshole, so usually serves as a pretty good source for what’s awry in my posts. You can always tell he’s been giving me constructive criticisms (read: yelling over the phone at me) when my language tones down a little, I talk about hookers less, or I change up my themes a little bit.

Beyond good content, bloggers are writers, which means they want good grammar, excellent spelling, and – for God’s sakes – appropriate punctuation. I’ll tell you faithful blog followers right now, if someone places a space between their sentence and their exclamation point (like this !!), my brain explodes into tiny particles and I immediately put that person on the “not interested” list to avoid future damage to my noggin.

#2 You may be a liar

A couple weeks ago I saw someone post that they had made it into the Top 25 on Top Mommy Blogs – a list server where people cast their votes for the best of over 5,000 mom blogs currently out there.

I was floored because I knew this woman had only written a couple blog posts in total, and had just joined TMB. When I clicked to see where she stood (as compared to my meager standings that hover between 50 and 75), I saw she had totally made it up. She wasn’t anywhere near the Top 25. She wasn’t even near the Top 200.

The most important rule of blogging is to be honest and yourself. If bloggers find out you’re nothing but a big fibber, you’re going to have a hard time getting support.

#3 You may not be a sincere peer

The blogging community is a community of peers. That means we have equal respect for each other. It means we help each other, and often. It means we communicate with each other. And it means we approach each other with sincerity.

It does not mean we follow people on blog hops just to get follows back, then “unfollow” the next day. It does not mean we ignore people’s comments, Tweets, and otherwise communications because we think we’re “too big” for that. It means we thank people for what they’ve done for us.

If you find yourself feeling a little excluded from the blog community, it may have to do with your sincerity towards your peer bloggers, or rather your lack there of.

#4 You may be a victim of the ebbs and flows of blogging

Newsflash: we are all victims of the ebbs and flows of blogging, on many occasions through the course of our time as bloggers. Earlier this year, I was so “over” blogging because I hardly got any comments or views for a one month period, and then a few posts later I was Freshly Pressed. Over the summer I had another ebb, and was just completely disillusioned with where to go next to get out of the rut; then completely out of nowhere I got about 600 more Facebook fans in a matter of days.

The point is to not give up. You haven’t been excluded. The Mean Girls haven’t stabbed you in the back and permanently kept you on the “don’t bother” list. You are just experiencing the same thing we all do as bloggers.

So do I think that bloggers have become Mean Girls? Absolutely not. Do I feel bad for anyone that feels they have, regardless of what I just said? Absolutely. The community of bloggers is one of the most supportive, open-arms communities I can think of. We aren’t Mean Girls. We’re all just people with stuff to say.

65 Replies to “Are Bloggers Becoming Mean Girls?”

  1. this reminds me of two of my facebook friends, one i’ve known since i was in 2nd grade and one i fell in love with in 9th grade. at least five times a year, when not enough people are commenting on their posts, they tell everyone that they’re tired of all the facebook phonies and they’re deleting their accounts. and then a few of us say, less than emphatically, “no. please. don’t. oh. how. we. will. miss. you.” and they’re back in about a week.

    they suck.

  2. You have peered into my wretched soul and have written about things that trouble me so….

  3. Reblogged this on Simply Jimmy and commented:
    Smart blog here. I’m currently experiencing points #1 & 4. Definitely have thought about putting an end to my blog due to a lack of creativity, motivation and hope in humanity. Just a phase I guess. I’ll be back soon. Until then, I’ll still luv ya tomorrow….

  4. Great post, Heather! Also, thanks for admitting that you get discouraged with blogging at times. I feel the same way. It’s nice to know that other people experience this “ebb and flow”.

  5. Well said. I definitely feel the ups and down with my blogging. Some days I think, “I ROCK!” Other days I think, “I suck ass.” So, it’s nice to hear that we all go through those feelings.

  6. Oh, please. If the only reason she was blogging was to get people to like her, she was blogging for the wrong reasons. And, there’s give and take with blogging! I’ve found people are pretty awesome if you give them a chance. But you have to actually participate with others in order to have friends!

    1. I totally agree with you! The few people that I have come across that blog for the wrong reason (attention) walk down the path to failure so quickly. With everything out there, I have no idea why anyone would do that. Thanks for the comment!

  7. In reading your post it makes me wonder if she was blogging for the wrong reasons. I’m a relatively new blogger and I do it not for attention but because I need to write. Personally I haven’t told my family or friends and appreciate the anonymity.

  8. I wrote most of this yesterday…I’m not going to post it now…Great post, looking forward to following!

  9. That’s the stupidest thing ever. (Not what you said, but what she said.) This is the only place where I can be friends with a 65 year-old man from California, a 20 year-old guy from Egypt, and a homeschooling teacher/mom with a foul mouth! (I have a foul mouth, but no kids.) Where else would I ever lump those 4 types of people (myself included) in my circle of friends. This is not a popularity contest. Oh wait, I guess it sort of is. 😉 And damn, I hate those trolls that like and follow so I’ll follow them back.

  10. Love it! Beautifully written! As a new member of the blogging community, I have been treated with lots of love! Great read!

  11. As a relatively new blogger I can relate to what your friend says..but I also understand that its not a one-way street. The likes, comments & follows may ebb & flow but so does the content – well mine does anyway. In the short time I’ve been doing this gig I’ve found that everyone that takes the time to read &/or comment are genuinely supportive people & not mean at all. As for being in the clique, I never was at school so I’m not about to start now 😉
    Love your work. 🙂

      1. I initially read your reply wrong & thought you said if there cheques, screw them…
        No me the money!!! 😉

      2. *if there do end up being*…sometimes fingers don’t keep up with my brain…or is it the other way around?

  12. Who knew all this stuff was going on?? Cliques? Mean girls? Mind you that sort of behaviour is everywhere in life so why not here? Sod them, as we say in England.
    Luckily my little, fledgling blogs are tucked away in a cul de sac that few wander down and don’t attract too much attention. If a weary blog-nomad stops by for a read, I’m very happy. If they leave a comment, I’m thrilled and will always reply. Sometimes I’m late in doing that because of my job which takes me out of internet range (I’m a sailor) and sometimes my blogs are sparse for the same reason but I’m very happy to simply have the luxury of being part of the blogging world. I get to read and comment on some great writing, I get to write my own stuff – and, people read it! It’s all groovy. It’s a terrible shame if someone was hurt by the meanies but hey ho, pick yourself up and do what Chaucer did – excoriate them with the written word (avoiding lawsuits, of course).

  13. Although I agree with everything that you’ve said, I feel that there are some Mean Girls (or Boys) in the blogging community.
    Personally, my blog is my parallel universe, my alter ego, and I use it as a place to calm myself after a busy day. Writing relaxes me like nothing else.
    However, I do feel that there are Mean Girls in the blogging community who think that blogs are simply another way to measure popularity. I don’t think that these people are automatically evil or trying to hurt someone on purpose, but I do feel that they have completely misunderstood the whole point of blogging.
    I deal with them the same way I dealt with bullies in school. Ignore them.

  14. I’ve never been an extremely “social” person, so at times I find it extremely difficult to reach out to other bloggers… I know it’s a neccessity, in the blogger community, so I push myself to step out of my comfort zone. Hopefully once I push myself enough, it may transpire into the “real world” 😉

    1. I can think of a lot of ways that being more outgoing in the blog world has made me more outgoing in the real world, but it has been a very slow process. And not always positive – I swear more in real time because of it for sure hahahah 🙂

  15. I haven’t had a single blogger be mean to me yet. Sometimes I think we forget that the other bloggers all have lives outside of their blogs too. Sometimes life happens and so there is less time to write blogs, read blogs, or comment on blogs. Also, the really popular bloggers with ten thousand + followers probably just don’t have time to read your blog or respond to your comments. I think sometimes we look to the wrong people to build our own community. It always starts out small. I have felt the ebb and flow. It seems like when things seem to be stagnating I will suddenly have something great happen that makes me want to keep going. Most of the time a comment from someone saying “You made me feel less alone,” is all I need to regain my enthusiasm.

  16. It does break my heart that someone out there is hurting and is so upset with the blogging community. However… You really brought up some great points. I really appreciate this post. BRAVO!

  17. Totally makes sense. I blog because I love writing. I enjoy that people may click over to my site and read. That is so cool. While I don’t think there are cliques, I think some pretty crappy bloggers get in good with one big blogger and their content is severely lacking. Maybe I’m jealous. I admint, I don’t put myself out there like that. I just want people to read occasionally and hope it sparks some interest and further inspires me.

    1. I have seen some pretty crappy bloggers and then I see how popular they are on the Internet and I’m like “huh?” Maybe that is a little more “getting in on it” but I also think that no blogger should expect anything like that. Good content gets you far. What gets you further is writing for yourself and not caring much about the rest 🙂

  18. Keep up the good work! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog (even if I don’t always comment) and I appreciate the usual dose of honesty combined with a touch of sarcasm and pinch of real life. 🙂

  19. Gosh I just love this post. First off, blogging shouldn’t be a popularity contest and if someone sees it as such, they are doomed to fail. Honesty is the biggest thing people can see (and read) right through. Be honest, real and appreciative of those that do spend time reading your blog and followers will find you.

  20. So many fantastic points. Glad to know I am not the only one experiencing ebbs and flows. By the way, I am glad you changed your theme. This background/text color combination is much easier on the eyes!

  21. Totally agree with you. If you’re writing because you are expecting to be the next “Bloggess” then you are doomed to fail.

    While I’d love to be Freshly Pressed and have enough followers that I could populate my own little JWo-ville, that’s not why I write.

    I write because I enjoy it and because there are times I make people laugh. But you are 100% correct in that you have to have good content AND tell the truth. I’ll write stuff then run it by Tammy and she’ll correct me, “that’s not what I said,” and I change it. Because even if we are the only two people in the world that know what was said I still want it to be correct.

    That being said, I’d stab that girl in the back if it meant you and I could get more followers. hahaha… See how I shared with you!?! That makes it OK. Right?

    1. Oh sure, makes it GREAT hahaha ;D

      I completely agree … chances are if you fabricate something that only you and another person knows of, others are going to catch on that it was fabricated. Best to be honest all the time!

  22. Great points here…for the longest time no blogger was reading my posts but I kept writing…it’s what I came out here for. I have met some of the nicest people…it tales time to build support. I think this person probably just had assumptions…

    I honestly don’t know how cliques would be possible or work here

  23. …and let’s not forget that Facebook screws us all, lol

    I don’t know – I don’t take anything personally and I don’t do Facebook drama. If someone was trying to be mean, I missed it & I don’t give a flying monkey… 🙂

    1. I don’t know if this blogger thought someone was being mean, or if she just thought it was too hard to “break in” to what she thought was a “clique.” I don’t know, I don’t really give flying monkeys either, although I did feel bad for her because she stopped writing altogether (at least on a blog).

  24. I really appreciate what you said about telling the truth–I’ve checked out some blogs that there is NO WAY the shit they write about is true–and about the sincerity factor. It may make me an a-hole, but if I don’t want to read someone’s blog, I don’t follow it. If someone comments on my page in a way that sounds fabricated and a plea to get a follow back, I don’t Like it. I want to interact with other writers who speak to me, entertain me, and support me, and I’ve had great luck with that. As a professional writer, sometimes I get a little pouty when I see blogs that are super popular and the blogger has posts that are fifteen sentences in capital letters and cat meme’s, but most the time I just think, “whatever cranks your tractor.” My blog is catharsis for me. Facebook is where I hook up with great people. My experience has been so far from ‘mean girls’ and clique-ish. I’ve found so many fellow bloggers that just want to share and support one another. And sorry if I’m one of the punctuation freaks–I have an English degree and I know how to punctuate but I tend to write how I think when it’s for creative purposes. You know, like Tennessee Williams and shit.

  25. oops- cut me off LOL! Anyway, I respect that lots of you all have been friends for years-you tend to get really close to someone who stands in line for you for 4 hours for a free vibrator at a Blog Con hahaha

  26. I’d been blogging real estate for years (YAWN) and started a personal blog in July at the urging of friends. I blog for them-if someone else likes it and shows up-Yahoo! I can’t blog for bloggers and I don’t want to be The Bloggess, Iris, You or nanuy other

  27. I sure hope I live up to “good content” like you do! I have felt embraced by the community so far. Although I have had my fair share of blogholes stopping by my site.

  28. Good points you make here and yes, it’s not a realm for everyone. Putting yourself out in front of all of the world comes with acceptance that anything can happen. I like what you say about being sincere too. I think all fellow bloggers are attracted to the sincerity part of other bloggers. I am anyway and I’m also very sincere with everything I write.
    Great writeup here! Continue blessed and continue blogging! 😀

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