Yakkety Yak- Stuff Getting Stuck in Your Craw

Yakkety Yak...Let's Chat

While I don’t want this to turn into a full on rant or a pointless gripe session (note I say pointless because some gripes are, in fact, productive and legit), I do think there is a vast deal of therapeutic good in airing an opinion or two and soliciting others in turn.

This will be a “here’s what I think and do, what about you?” sort of post.  Sounding board stuff.  So feel free to cut lose and have no fear you will injure my delicate feelings.

Ah yes, the delicate feelings.  I think that’s the point, actually.  See, I don’t really have delicate feelings.  I have them, feelings that is.  As do everyone.  But mine are not so special snowflake or so tender or weak that I require others to coddle them or affirm them (okay sometimes, yes, agreement is good and encouraging).  I’ve learned to make it so.  I am aspiring not to be ego-centric, but more global minded (doesn’t that sound profound?  Snicker).  That is to say, the world doesn’t revolve around me.

Now why in the Sam Hill do I bring that up?  Good that you asked.  I bring it up because social media has given rise to two types of folks that would not ordinarily have such scope for their issues and who really don’t grasp that there are other- real, feeling people in the world with them.

First, there is the special snowflake type who we all have met on Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, etc.  Their feelings are so very tender and their opinions are so very strong.  Sigh… They rage, they hurt, they drama llama the rest of the world to death.  They freak on a rumor and pass it on to two thousand of their best buds.  They put out an opinion (generally outrageous or ignorant) and get bent out of shape when folks don’t stay quietly in the Amen pew for them.  They…well you get the idea.

But the second group are equally frustrating.  These are those who in Real Life aren’t brave with opinions and have low to average confidence on a given day.  Approach the need to address another person or share an opinion with deference and politeness.  But put them on a computer where they have the illusion of anonymity?  Oh my glands they are the ‘da Beast!’  They will snipe, swipe, and snarl in their own posts and they will be that troll on other people’s.  Not to correct an error or to share their take, but just to be THE Voice.  I don’t know if they think it is witty, sparkly, or fun snarky, but yeah…not really.  Just mean.

Now take these two types and put them in our book lover land?  Because seriously, we know that we can make MMA fighters, lord of the alien invaders, big bad bikers, and bossiest alpha wolf shifters cringe when us reader types get to feeling strongly about our books, our authors, and our blogs.   You know I’m talking true.

We now have outrageous street teams doing mischief, anti-author fan clubs, book shaming, Authors/Bloggers/Reviewers behaving badly, never satisfied complainers and commenters. Our world on-line and at the conventions can grow cloying and thick with the negativity in the air.

This is what can fatigue us all even those of us who are only sideline observers to the ‘world in flames’ behavior.  I find myself go into hermit mode.  Get on.  Get stuff done.  Get off.  This is not good.  There are wonderful people in on-line booklover land and I want to connect and engage with them.  The gold amongst the dross.

Bottom line:

How do we avoid becoming one of these two types?

How do we minimize it in others?

Here’s what I’ve thought and tried or appreciated as good techniques that others have thought and tried.  Nothing profound, I assure you.

  1.   As in do not engage; do not respond to dumb, provocative stuff.  They tossed out an opinion.  Not a bright one, but they’re welcome to do it.
  2. When silence isn’t an option because the opinion is harmful to others- Respond. But don’t react.  Reacting can lead to the on-line uglies.  Responding involves taking the time for a deep breath- brains getting oxygen is a very, good thing for higher thinking.  Responding might involve a delay to form thoughts and words.  And pause again, before you hit send ask- how would I react if someone sent me these words?
  3. Always bear in mind that whatever words I put out there while I’m on-line stay out there. No takebacks.  Oh yes, you can apologize or retract, but you cannot remove them.  Hitting delete on Facebook or wherever is not going to remove it from everything.  So yes, watch what you say and how you say it.
  4. Limit your social media/on-line presence. Gasp, I know.  (Pot is totally calling out Kettle on this one, but I’m getting there.)  This keeps perspective.
  5. And not only that, sometimes you have to make the tough call to cut out the Negative Nellies (sorry to any RL Nellies who are awesomesauce). Unfriend, unfollow, move to inactive lists, etc.  And if that’s too drastic, there are settings to keep them as followers or friends, but you can ‘mute’ or ‘limit’ their stuff on your page or in your roll.

Lest you think I’m pointing fingers, relax, cupcake, I’m not.  I have no particular faces in mind when I write this.  It all comes down to me wondering and thinking- solution stuff.

So, I shared and now I want to know your thoughts.  How do you avoid being the crazy person that people want to unfriend?  And what are some of your ways to respond/avoid/ignore others who are doing it?  Do you have a system or a rule about this stuff?  Do tell!

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Most of the time I am a lurker on social media, I don’t say much and if I do I try and word things in a non offensive way. I try and deal with negative people by following or unfriending them. In fact facebook seems to have changed some things recently and I am constantly working on teaching facebook what i want to see (by liking and clicking) and hide the posts I don’t want to see, so facebook hopefully gets the message. If a street team i am in displays behavior I don’t like I either decide not to engage with that or leave the team altogether, although luckily I haven’t had that happen a lot so far.

    Sometimes it’s just sad to see so much negativity around and I mostly try and avoid it and stay out of it and not get pulled down with any of it. I also know there are topics I might have a different opinion on some things as people and I don’t want to get into an unhealthy or uncomfortable discussion, so if I see a post about such a topic I might read it, but don’t comment as I know it won’t do well. I believe that sometimes it’s better not to say anything than risk accidentally insulting or hurting anyone.

    • Actually, it sounds like you have some good rules in place for yourself. Lurking can give time to think about whether it’s good to reply or merely to let it go. Avoiding is also a good option. I do that as well. I try to ignore the burning need to voice an opinion every time. 😉 Yes, FB is doing odd things with what we get to see. In some ways, it’s helpful b/c it does minimize me seeing what I don’t engage in much so when I ignore stuff it does take that into account vs when I ‘like’ or comment, I see more of that person’s posts.

      I like your goal of trying not to hurt others.

  • “outrageous street teams doing mischief” I’ve heard others talking about this and how the author had even sent her street team over to Amazon to down vote all of the bloggers reviews because *gasp* she gave the author a 3 star review on her blog! Oh the horror! Thankfully none of the street teams I belong to have had that happen or I’d be out of there faster than a virgin being chased by a vampire. *They like virgins, right?*

    “anti-author fan clubs” I didn’t even know that existed. Wow. smh

    “book shaming” Yeah I had that happen when I posted a review of a book people didn’t like but I loved. I ignored them.

    “Authors/Bloggers/Reviewers behaving badly” Yep, I’ve seen it and mostly don’t comment.

    “never satisfied complainers and commenters” There are a lot of them. People who for whatever reason need to find something to complain about to stir up drama about. I try to ignore them as long as it’s not involving me.

    I have a bad temper. Really bad. I’ve learned not to get in the middle of online debates for the most part but sometimes I end up making a few comments because I see people saying things that are out right lies or make no sense and I can’t help myself. But I’ve learned over the years just like in person, I have to control my temper and the bet way to do that is not to engage or respond to the idiots.

    • Yeah, I’ve had to leave two street teams that were busy doing unethical stuff. Both were eye-openers for me b/c I couldn’t believe people did that and the authors both knew it was happening.
      And yeah there are anti-author fan clubs, I’ve seen a couple in action. In fact, you might have been the victim of one for that author from the review that people attacked.

      I think you bring up a good point, Mary. Not getting involved when the drama doesn’t involve you and knowing that it’s not your rodeo. I think that’s a biggie. Some of the biggest pot-stirring messes come from people who don’t belong in the situation.

      That is neat how you recognize your own temperament and know how to keep it in check as best you can. I tend to be more slow burn, but even then I have to watch for my blow ups. So hard. You’re right. Not getting in the middle of stuff is so important, but also knowing when you have to step in when the lying starts. Oh yes, biting the tongue when the idiots are out in force. Another tough one, but you’re right, it does no good to engage.

  • I think its really important to be careful how you react especially online because you can never take it back!! I always try to not get too involved in the negative discussions too much unless its something I feel its important to put my opinion on. But honestly I have done that maybe twice in the whole six years I have run a blog. I am not really on social media that much, frankly its more about time management than anything else. But I do try to stay away from topics that are super intense or where its not important enough to get involved. Even when I do say something, or comment, I try to make sure I am keeping it as positive as possible. If there are others that get crazy or does something I am not okay with or can’t support, I normally just stop interacting with them. Great topic here and good advice to think about. Especially since social media and the negative aspects have become stronger over the years. When I first started blogging, this wasn’t a huge deal at all. The best you could do even five years ago was mostly just comment on blogs or goodreads. Twitter and Facebook weren’t huge back then. And quite frankly, I have seen more anger over the past few years or people acting out in ways that they probably shouldn’t. It can get pretty depressing so I stay away from it when I can.

    • Really careful, indeed. It’s amazing where I find posts or shares of posts I’ve done. Once it’s out there; it’s out there.
      Only having to put your opinion out there that few times shows that you have good perspective and understanding of this stuff. I think the key is that you probably deem lots of it unimportant and get along fine without it.
      Yes, good point about how social media is evolving and not necessarily for the better with how it is used for negative expression.
      Thanks for weighing in, Renee.

  • RO

    Super Sophia, if I could figure it out, I would jump through my laptop and hug you for such a prolific and thought-provoking post! I never want someone to agree with me all the time, because it’s plain boring, and doesn’t make the world go round. But lately, in just about every area of social media and on the news ,plain old meanness keeps rearing it’s ugly head with a vengeance. Even if people are quiet at a party, then wait to rant like a banshee on-line, that’s really who that person is. We are what we do, but I wish more people would take a step back, put themselves in someone else’s shoes and realize that kindness or silence would be the better option. HUGE Hugs…and thanks! RO

    • Wouldn’t that be something else if we really could enter the cyber world and exit on the other end of the screen? Thanks for the virtual hug. We all need those.

      Yes, it’s okay to disagree, but being mean about it isn’t necessary. I agree. And for sure, the RL mouse and the on-line lion are definitely just two sides to the same coin- words and actions tell the story.

      You succinctly made my point- step back, see it from the other perspective and find a better way. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Okay Sophia Rose I guess I’m living under a rock because I didn’t know about the unethical street teams. I have seen and reacted (by sending the link to her publicists, not responding to her post) to an author’s unethical treatment of a fellow blogger. I personally try to stay neutral to idiots and not react at all because once they have their mind made up you really can’t sway them, respond and usually you only make yourself madder. Walk away because you can’t fix STUPID! Great post!

    • No, you’re not living under a rock, Debbie. 🙂 Actually, I think it a grand thing that you haven’t come across any unethical street teams. It was my bad luck to leave two of them out of the six I’ve been a part of.
      I think you do right to contact the publicist about the author’s unprofessional behavior since they not only rep themselves, but also the publisher who signs them.
      I love it! You can’t fix stupid, indeed. It’s true. No one changes their mind when they’re in a mood. Good point!

  • This is very timely with all the negativity about politics. I am blessed with several friends and family members that don’t share my politics. Thankfully only a few post things that drive me crazy. Outright lies at times and it is all I can do to keep myself in check! Once in awhile I say something but not often. I did one political post back in November and I am still feeling some repercussions so keeping my mouth shut! The closer we get to the election the worse things are going to be! Can you tell I am on Facebook a lot?
    I am on one street team for J.T. Geissinger and not one problem. Sorry you had to put up with that! Great post!

    • Politics is so ticklish. My side of the family have all shared the same political ideology since I can remember, but my husband’s side it is a mixed bag and it can get ugly at family gatherings and even on line. A few of them actually had to unfriend each other on FB to keep from too much frustration at each other’s posts so I get what you’re saying. I, too, tend to keep my political opinions to myself unless directly asked when it comes to family. 🙂

      I have had a few great experiences with street teams so I know there are good ones out there. I just had bad luck with a couple. I discovered that the responsibilities got too crazy to keep up with to stay in more than one at a time. I’m just in Victoria Vane’s group at the moment and all she really relies on me for are reviews and cross posts which I can handle. I like her upbeat posts even when she had a family member struggling with cancer, she kept it positive. Total respect for her.

      Looks like you’ve figured out how to make it work with Facebook by staying quiet even when you want to react. I think that’s great. I’m trying to do that, too. Thanks for sharing, Lorna!

  • Great post Sophia. I’ve been lucky never to have been involved with a street team issue, though I’ve heard about them. So far, I haven’t unfriended anyone, though I’ve thought about it. I have quit reading authors because they have behaved badly. I know of one author who blocked another blogger on Twitter for sharing a three star review of her book and she was tagged when it was shared on Twitter. THREE STARS. That isn’t a bad thing. I read the review (blogger wanted my opinion if the review was meanly written, which it wasn’t. She gave good and bad points about the story.). Said author also ranted for a bit on Twitter about why would you ever tag an author for a negative review. Three stars isn’t negative. I also quit reading an author who supported her narrator very strongly after a very inappropriate trial and was trying to hide what this narrator did. She was deleting comments where people were just trying to let others know of the crime, which was horrible. She said that she knew facts that the rest of us didn’t. Well, said narrator pleaded no contest, so he admitted to what he was charged with and it was horrible. I also quit that narrator too. That is the most I’ve really had to deal with. I guess I’ll call myself lucky.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • I think I’ve been pretty lucky, too, though I did have to leave two street teams over the years for unethical behavior. I did it quietly with messages to the author about why just in case they weren’t aware of what their promoter and fans were doing. One didn’t respond and the other was gracious though she didn’t say she would address it with her promoter that her team members were going over to Amazon and clicking the unhelpfuls on the three or less reviews and the helpfuls on the four or more along with some doing up five star reviews before reading the book.

      And I wow, yes, I was just talking to someone the other day about how a three star rating which whether it’s Amazon or GoodReads means like or at least average can be said to be negative and get them all riled up.

      Oh, I think I know what author/narrator combo you refer to. I was ignorant of the situation until I finished reading the last book and read a friends’ explanation in her review thoughts why she had to stop reading and not finish the book. Her words were not inflammatory, just an explanation just as you ending your support were both very appropriate actions to take. You didn’t stir the pot and make a bad situation worth while still standing on your principles.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Melanie.

  • Hmm I have a couple of those special snowflakes on my FB friends list and they drive me crazy. I really wish FB had an eye roll option instead of like/etc. lol

    I have cut a few of these people out because seriously I just cannot take their special brand of dumb every day. Whew!

    • You know, lol, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but it is watching some of the people in your feed that give you such headaches that partially motivated me to ponder this stuff. You handle your bizarre crowd well. 🙂

      • Bwahaha oh that is too funny. I wonder if they’re the same people that make me need to eyeroll now and again.

        • I would imagine they are if my eyerolls are any indication. 😉