Monday, October 15, 2012

The Outsider

I'm going to be honest with you guys today. I am an outsider. Part of that has to do with the fact that I'm a complete introvert. The other part of it has to do with the fact that I hate cliques. Growing up, I was never part of a group. I had a few very close friends and lots of acquaintances. I didn't like the social groups that developed in high school-- you know, the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, the preps, etc. I thought they were pointless. Why couldn't everyone just get along?

I was never popular, and if I was, I didn't know it. I got along with all types of people and was fine with that. What I wasn't fine with was when someone that I got along with in one class ignored me in another because the the rest of their group was present. That was middle school and high school. Me, the outsider, that tried to get along with everyone because it was what I thought was the right thing to do. I was, and still am, genuine. That is who I am. The superficial quality that some people seem to be able to pull off is just not me, nor will it ever be.

Recently, I've been a bit absent from this blog world. I liked to use the excuse that I just didn't have the time. I have been strapped for time, but not any more than I was last year during the school year. I did some thinking for a while this weekend and realized it had to do with a lot more than that. I love blogging because of the interaction with others, the community aspect. However, recently, I've grown to feel frustrated with what seems to be an ever-growing problem of cliques within the blogging world.

On blogs and on twitter, I see only certain people talking to other people within a small group. No worries, you might think, I'll just ignore your tweet even if you have something good to say because you're not in my group. Or, I'm not going to give you special treatment even though you are my blog sponsor because you're not in my group like some of my other blog sponsors. Or the good old tweet that says, "I DMed you!" as if there is some big secret that no one else can know, yet everyone MUST know that you are having this secret convo so that the others won't feel in the loop. Seriously? Just DM the person without announcing it, for goodness sake! It's all a bit like this:
Yup, I totally said it. It's all a little bit like Mean Girls.

Here's the thing-- it's perfectly acceptable to have your own group of friends. However, having your own group does not mean that you have to ignore, be rude to, or patronize those that aren't in that group. In addition, just because someone isn't in your blogging clique doesn't mean that you shouldn't give them a chance as an individual. Bottom line-- there is no need to treat people poorly just because you aren't part of their group. At least take the time to get to know the person! Give them a chance!

If someone comments on your blog, give them the benefit of the doubt and go check out their blog. They might have something fabulous to say. If someone sponsors your blog, take the time to get to know them. Don't write a post about them as if you were great friends without even taking a moment to email them and find out a few things about them. (This actually happened to me once. I paid to be a sponsor, the blogger never contacted me, and then the blogger wrote that I was such an awesome person that they would totally want to hang out with. Talk about awkward.) And when a new blogger tweets you or follows you on twitter, put yourself in their shoes. Reach out to them instead of being rude, ignoring them, and not giving them a chance.

I don't expect you to be friends with everyone that you meet, but I expect people to be civil toward each other, to be kind to one another. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on one of the most important aspects of blogging-- getting to know new and interesting people.

16 comments:

  1. So nice to see this article! I've started to see this problem a lot as well. It doesn't bug me as a blogger because my blog is a secondary part of my business - I'm not trying to be "a blogger" I just blog to raise awareness for my jewelry.
    However, as a blog reader (and sponsor) it bugs me a lot but, until now, I've only ever seen people talk about it like it's a good thing. A lot of advice for new bloggers is to get to know other bloggers by commenting on each other's blogs, swapping ads etc. It all makes sense until it gets taken too far to the point where these bloggers only talk and promote within their clique.

    I stopped following several blogs because far too many posts were introducing other bloggers... and they were the same set of bloggers every time! If I'm reading your blog, it's because I want to read what you have to say, not meet your friends every month! I also found, when I tried advertising on some blogs, that I definitely did not get equal promotion with the sponsors who were all part of the circle of ad swaps, even though I paid for mine!

    I have learnt to quickly recognise when a blog is that kind of blog and avoid it, but it still concerns me that this is often seen as a good way to get readers and views. It's great to hear someone else voice my concerns so thanks for posting!

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  2. i am s sorry you feel this way. i get my fair share of "big" blogger ignores daily. It hurts for sure. I guess as a blogger i should check my twitter more. i actually rarely use it. i for some reason did tonight and saw your tweet.

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  3. There definitely needs to be more sincerity out there. I think people get so caught up in networking their blogs they forget that the whole point is about community. At least when it comes to growing it. Thanks for you honesty =)

    - Sarah
    agirlintransit.blogspot.com

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  4. I can totally relate to this post, Heidi. There have been many times that I put myself out there as a blogger, but because I'm not a popular blogger, I'm going to be overlooked. I'm not asking to be a part of a clique - I try to stay away from that because I've been burned in the past. I totally know what you're getting at though - & I'm right there with ya!! :)

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  5. Thanks for this post. I often feel the same way. I'm trying to be better lately about reading more and interacting more, but life has been a bit crazy lately. Still, you are right, we should be building community, not cutting people out of our circle.

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    1. I agree-- life can seem crazy at times trying to keep up with everything! Sometimes I think we use that as an excuse to brush people aside, even if it's not intentional. My biggest hope was that this post would help bring all sorts of people together since I've always been one to try to interact with people from all sorts of walks of life.

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  6. I've always been sensitive about this kind of stuff, too, and honestly, I can't believe we have to deal with it on the internet now. I haven't had too many examples happen to me personally, but I know this is going around like a nasty cold.

    It can be hard to comment back for every single thing, but I always do my best because I remember what it was like when nobody was reading my blog and I just wanted to know somebody was out there. It sucks that some people don't feel the same way, because there are a lot of things to gain from knowing fellow bloggers.

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  7. I'm sorry you've had this experience. What a bummer!!! :(

    I have to admit that I do, and appreciate, the DM tweet. but this is only because twitter's new interface makes the DM notification so small that I never notice it, and then people think I am ignoring them! I'm such a dork sometimes.

    I hope you find a place to fit in. Not all of blog land is clique-y :).

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    1. I have probably been guilty of the DM tweet before, but what I've noticed is a long time frame in which individuals chat about the blog world and then all of a sudden, boom--- DM! I think that's what makes it seem exclusive. It's as if something they want to say can't be shared with everyone. I don't want to find a place to fit in. I am ok being an outsider and don't want to be a part of a clique-- they just aren't my thing. I just wish that I could see others taking my approach and try to get along with everyone. Why can't we all be friends?

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  8. even though we had a short convo yesterday on twitter about this post, I just have to say again - THANKS for saying what I never could! It got to the point where I felt bad about myself - like my blog wasn't even worth it because I wasn't part of the "in" crowd. Instead, I stopped writing and blamed it on time management. Perhaps I will start blogging again... I do miss it...

    I do really enjoy your blog and hope you'll continue! :)

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    1. Thanks again Katy for the encouragement! I really do hope that you start writing again! I've decided I'm going to. I don't want others to bring me down when it comes to doing something I enjoy!

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    2. aw bless your heart, you shoud start again! I have very little audience etc...However I love to blog and do it like I have a audience HA! Its fun and relaxing for me an most important its modivation

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  9. YESS. Exactly this. I've been noticing this a fair amount lately. Blogging cliques have actually made me roll my eyes when checking my google feeds, which isn't something I want to be feeling when I'm checking out blogs, y'know? I get that everyone has busy lives and whatnot, but sometimes it can appear so alienating and actually taint the view of the bloggers in question.

    I like to think, personally, that they don't really realise they are doing it, and that it's all perfectly innocent. But I have been known to always give people the benefit of the doubt and have even been called naive for always believing the best in people!

    Alli xx

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  10. I'm right there with you Alli! I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and get along with everyone, but recently it just didn't seem as though people were giving each other a fair chance. Even fun interactive blog posts and swaps have become centered around cliques instead of the real purpose behind them in the first place-- to get to know new people.

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  11. I do agree with all of this, and I understand what it's like to chat with your online friends. I have them, too, and it's like old buddies. But I do know what it's like to see those blogs advertising the same people, doing the DM tweets, and so on. It's part of the reason why I did the free advertising offer just this week on my blog, and why I'm doing the Holiday Swap. I want to try and break into some of the circles out there so we get to know more people. I don't know if it will work, but I hope it does because it's hard to make friends out there!

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  12. Very well said, Heidi! (Or, I CAN say, very well said, friend!!) :)

    I feel the same way. There is this tiny part of me that notices the cliques, and High School Gayle™ kind of makes a brief appearance. But, I am not that same girl in high school, who was totally jealous of the "in" crowd and really just wished I could fit in with them. But, adult Gayle honestly doesn't care.

    I want to be kind to and friends with everyone. I love people. You are right that the best part of blogging is getting to KNOW people. I love love love my little blogging community. I really, really love it! I love my blogger friends, they make my heart happy. There are some who blog and get lots of attention, and blog FOR the attention, which is totally fine! Some people love the spotlight. But, it's a huge turnoff when those same people forget why they became popular in the first place: they had to start somewhere, too. :)

    xoxo,
    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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