Saturday, April 7, 2012


So today I have one explainer and two words of wisdom... well more than two words... but two main points of wisdom... or maybe it is two warnings. Anyway... Here goes.

Failure to Follow Instructions

So you know how I know everything? Seriously. I do. Just ask me.

And you know how this is my third year doing Blogging A to Z? So I already know HOW, right? I mean, duh. I've done this two other times.

But see... This is the first year there have been FIVE Sundays in the month. Now don't get mad at five. It's my favorite number. But it just didn't occur to me until MONDAY that there was going to have to be a SUNDAY, and it REALLY never occurred to me to go look and see that the consensus was that would be the FIRST Sunday... So I'm a day behind.

This wasn't my ONLY A to Z Fail... I, in spite of promoting it, failed to sign up until Monday, too. Ah, well... By this coming Monday, I will be caught up.

Facebook Fail

I am not talking about anybody specifically right now, so much as pinpointing a really BAD impulse. Relationships are hard. What you DO NOT want to do when something goes wrong in a relationship is put a bunch of nastiness in your Facebook status. I see people do this all the time, and it is 1) CHILDISH, 2) unproductive, 3) a serious additional obstacle to things getting better, 4) fuel for the rumor mill, 5) Makes the POSTER look worse than any slight they might have received.

Have you ever heard the saying, “When you throw a little mud, you lose a little ground.”? This is a true statement.

You know what ELSE you should never do? Argue with someone who posts something mean. If they start it, block them for a while and let it die. They are the one who looks like an idiot. If YOU started it, however unintentionally, apologize, THEN drop it.

These things can take on lives of their own and it is never good.

Fast Forward to the Book Review Example

A person ALSO should never argue with a review. I think if there is a serious question to the author in a review, it would be okay to answer, but ANY REVIEW, positive or negative... just gracefully watch it go by. I watched a poor young author friend get lambasted by a Mr. Nastiness man this week: she gave a suggested book to read to show that she had indeed researched what he was saying she was being an idiot about and now this guy is stalking her everywhere saying rotten things.

I understand her impulse to argue she was in fact accurate in her presentation, but this situation will never get anyone anywhere positive. It's impossible.

Even positive reviews... if it is on the thread, then thanking the reviewer makes OTHER reviewers think they are being monitored. It will bring out more positive and negative, but will likely squash those honest reviews that are on middle ground. If it is a friend and you'd like to thank them in private--by all means. But not publicly--those reviews are for readers, and most readers are smart enough to weed legitimate from hater stuff.

It feels funny to be advising moderation. It isn't something I normally condone. But this internet life never really disappears, so it is probably best not to air our dirty laundry here.

So there.


Jan Morrison said...

Wow! I want to know so much more. We had the meanest review ever of our play Death, the Musical. It was a huge blow - I saw the reviewer just the other day walking down the street as if he were a human and I wanted to jump on him and beat him to death. But I didn't. I just gave him a wicked smile and hoped it disconcerted him all day. The review was about twelve years ago! What we did with his meanest review is take a piece of it and use it in our promo -
"fabulous funny show" xxx
"great collaboration" xxx
"new low in Nova Scotia theatre" mean reviewer

Libby said...

I'm pretty sure you're not the only one who missed the first Sunday. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No major failure with the Challenge, Hart. You've just messed with my mind every time I visit and wonder if I'm off by a letter.
Arguing online only makes things worse.

Lisa Golden said...

Your message on the Facebook issues rings so true for me. Sometimes I see people post statuses that make me cringe because you can delete those things, but you can't un-say them. And now you've shared that with your friends, families, acquaintances? Icky.

Journaling Woman said...

Some people believe their job on earth is to be nasty. It's best not to feed nasty.


Tonja said...

I love the picture of the toppled over letters. Perfect. Other people have caught up in one post, combining letters. It's not cheating, just creative. :)

Tracy said...

Great post Hart,

I have a family member who posts things on fb all the time airingher dirty laundry and I just want to cringe when she does that. Having said that, she is bi-polar so I give her a bit of leeway's just so hurtful and demeaning!

jaybird said...

I agree, haters are gonna hate, no matter what you do or say. How you choose to deal with it, is the only control you have over the situation.

When it comes to me, I'm cool with it, diss away. But when it comes to my friends and/or family someone is demoralizing, I'd like to think I'd take the classy, high road, every time, but...I'm just not that mature, yet.

mshatch said...

completely agree. As much as I enjoy a good argument, sometimes it's best to shut up and let it go - even if it means biting my tongue until it bleeds.

Laura said...

Yes yes and yes! You can crash and burn so spectacularly on the internet. If in doubt, apply the word 'grace' and see what you would do!

Why don't you just post tomorrow, then you're all up to speed :)

Love Laura xxx

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

too true!
something to really think about!
i never thought about people commenting on positive reviews of their books, but it makes absolute sense!

Melissa Sugar said...

What an informative and truthful post. You are right; haters are going to be haters. The people who sling mud on fb and other social media outlets are the most insecure people and they have this innate need to try and sway others to their side when an issue should probably remain private.

Check out my post on the day we post for the letter "L". I have an interesting story about how this very conduct rose to the level of libel (defamation) and the jury awarded the plaintiff a huge sum, more than winning the lotto.

blissflower1969 said...

I had to laugh at the facebook arguing. I've taken to not responding when someone starts down a path I do not wish to travel (do not feed the not feed the trolls...) but I've actually had people shoot me a personal message asking why I backed down. Really? Um, how about because I know that no one wins in those arguments? I'm not backing down, I'm keeping my sanity.

Smethers said...

I took the philosophy to throw in a random Sunday to play catch-up, on another blog though I cheated and played two letters at once. Good luck on the A-Z Challenge!