How nice is too nice?

Twitter is having a moment. It feels like *everyone* is talking about bitchiness, or trolling. Not just the sex/relationship bloggers either, but more widely than that – beauty bloggers, lifestyle columnists…

I’ve witnessed a bit of it, but nothing like on the scale it’s apparently happening. I don’t really get nasty tweets, or cruel emails, but other bloggers clearly do – Laurie at MyPOTL wrote this this week on the subject.

Laurie doesn’t give examples of exactly what she means by ‘bloggers trolling bloggers,’ she just says ‘They snipe, they bitch, and they generally makes the nice little close knit community of writers fragmented and bitchy. I HATE IT.’

I agree that I’d be really sad to see the bloggers I like, admire and enjoy interacting with get bitchy and competitive about blog hits, followers or content. But equally, I worry about a ‘Let’s just all be nice to each other,’ approach (although I understand that this might not be quite what Laurie is advocating.)

Debate is healthy. Twitter doesn’t facilitate it because of the 140 character limit, which means that the comment section of someone’s blog is an easier place to engage with their ideas. And yes, if on occasions that means disagreeing with what they’ve written, I think that’s ok.

I wouldn’t want the people who follow me to retweet or share my content indiscriminately because we’re ‘friends’ – I’d much, much rather that they cherry-picked the stuff they like best or find most interesting. Equally, I think it’s fine to retweet something you don’t like, and to say so, as long as you’re polite and respectful when you do. One of the things that I really don’t like in the Blogosphere is that some bloggers who are sponsored or paid to write posts for other people will no longer engage in discussion which is ‘off message’ – if you disagree with something they’ve said or written, rather than responding to a polite comment, they just cut you dead.

So personally, I’d rather that people continued to give constructive feedback, to publish the negative comments, as well as the positive, to engage in discussions on Twitter that they really can’t do full justice to because of the character limit. As long as they’re respectful, disagreeing with someone’s opinions rather than laying into them as a person, and not being aggressive, that’s what makes this interesting. Isn’t it?

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6 thoughts on “How nice is too nice?

  1. i happily have not experienced any of this either, my niche of social media is so far pretty bitch free. that being said, if everything i heard was positive i would start to not trust it. once you put yourself out there, you naturally should have thicker skin. i agree with you, seasoned with respect, bring on every opinion and thought.

  2. I’ve had nothing but positive, friendly and welcoming comments from the sex blogger community. It’s been great.
    However I do have a lifestyle blog, which I’ve had for years now. I don’t get involved in the discussions, or interact on twitter due to some extreme nastiness and bitchiness back when I first tried to reach out. It was very cliquey, and I was made to feel really unwelcome. Put me off reaching out again. I have a few lifestyle blogger contacts but not many.

  3. I think it’s definitely ok to disagree with another persons point of view but the Internet makes it so easy to be nasty. If you disagree in real life you might exchange ideas, it might even get heated but it doesn’t seem to get to the level of disgusting that online comments can get. Easier to be mean behind a screen I guess.

  4. I agree that pure nastiness is unacceptable, and that we all need to be mindful of voicing any sort of disagreement in a respectable way. I think quite a few ‘spats’ start from comments that aren’t made ‘in nastiness’ but get taken that way because things like nuance, context and irony are difficult to get across in writing. A couple of times I’ve received tweets / messages etc and thought ‘Bloody hell that was harsh’ then you re read it a bit later and realise that wasn’t the sender’s intention at all, and it was just worded in an unexpected way.
    Caveat – stuff like “you’re a slutty cougar” I tend to take at face value though. Call me over sensitive & everything …. 😮

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