Welcome to Caffeinated Confessions!
I wanted a forum where we could talk about bookish subjects from swoon-worthy covers to the price of eBooks. I hope to share my thoughts on a different subject each month. So that we can all chat and share opinions. In the process, I hope we get to know each other a little better. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and lets dish!
Drama, Mama, Not!
Why can’t we all just get along? Authors, bloggers, Goodreads members, Twitter, Facebook..the drama is everywhere and it inevitability upsets me. The world is made up of different personalities much like the fictional books I love and when tensions run hot, and misunderstandings abound.I cannot help but wonder why people don’t think before they speak, research before they write and above all give people the benefit of the doubt before they scream, “off with their heads!”
You’ve read my reviews and interacted with me over the past two years enough to know, that I am fair, honest and respectful. (at least by my definition) The old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me” may have held some truth but in today’s socially connected world- words can hurt! In two seconds one comment can decimate you in this social network. It is a part of human nature to crave drama and tension. One only need look at the plethora of rag magazines at the end of each checkout lane, or turn on the boob-tube and dial into the latest reality TV show to see how much we adore drama. We love this in our books, movies and sadly this toxic waste spills over into social networks that I love and am proud to be a part of. While I crave it in fiction, to see it happening in the sphere especially the “book lovers” world saddens me.
I am sure each of you has come in contact with a difficult author, had your feelings hurt by a reviewer who thinks you are an imbecile for loving a book they find inferior or have had your opinion called into question. It is how you handle these encounters that impact you, and the social sphere we travel in. It is not just outspoken authors or bloggers who can find themselves on the edge of drama. I had an author question my intelligence and claim I didn’t comprehend their story because I dared to state the book all told, and no show. Simply because I stood by my rating, their friends stalked me on Amazon and the author relentless emailed me requesting I change my review. I could have created quite the stir, but instead handled it quietly. I advised the author that their actions could/would be viewed as harassment and that in the hands of someone else could have caused them a media nightmare. I could have taken offense to someone’s comments on a book I adored, especially when said comment indicated I lacked brains for rating a book higher than a two..but the truth is, life is too short and in the end the only opinion I need to live with is my own. Once I sat back and accessed the situation, I actually felt a little sorry for these particular people. All of the comments on my review pushed it to the number one spot, and eventually, other reviews came along reinforcing my opinion. 968 other reviewers are apparently imbeciles too, they scored the book higher. Not every comment or opinion is worthy of your attention. Some people live for that attention! They have serious issues and may have an emotional reason for reacting so strongly to a book, opinion, bookshelf, etc. So sitting back, sorting the facts, and considering the source before I react works for me. 98% time they aren’t worthy of a reaction.
When you see the drama unfolding, please don’t jump on the bandwagon before you know all the facts. In the past few weeks, I have witnessed people destroyed in the sphere before all the facts were released. Peeps were broiled over an open flame only to discover we got the story wrong! Atrocities and outlandish behavior should never be deemed acceptable. However, burning people at the stake before the trial is from the dark ages. The witch hunts must stop! In my version of a perfect world, we would all get along. We’d share feelings in a respectful manner and respect each other’s opinions. There would be no name calling or abusive behavior. With the gift of freedom of speech and expression, people freely express their opinions, thoughts, and reaction with just a few clicks. I never want to censor someone, however we as a whole can and should control the way we respond. I think that as a collective group we need to pause, read, research and process before we pick up the torch in the name of justice for the offended blogger/author/person. Let’s not feed the drama, remember the boy who cried wolf?
I am not a drama mama and I encourage you to make the “book-loving sphere” a friendlier place by waiting to react, and then and only then choosing what battles are worthy of a fight. I chose to handle things quietly, by not following, not purchasing books and refusing to acknowledge outlandish behavior. You may want to be verbal which is fine…but be sure you have all of the facts. Wait to post after you have had time to research and check your emotions. Are they skewed? When someone tweets or claims injustice don’t be a drama mama. Sure this latest tidbit unfolding outrages your sensibilities but please, research before you help spread the story! Sadly once false information is out there it is hard to replace it with the truth. Despite corrected versions, most continue to believe the false stories. It’s a political campaign nightmare scenario in our own backyard! We can stop a lot of this drama by simply waiting for the truth to emerge. I love how we all stick together and protect our own but this witch hunt mentality needs to stop.
I didn’t share this caffeinated confession to point fingers or scold anyone, but rather to encourage you to consider the consequences before you act and to help make our little part of the world a safer, happier place. I don’t think anyone enjoys seeing this drama unfold week after a week filled with partial truths and inaccurate information. What are your opinions on the subject? Do you jump into the middle of the action? Are you a drama mama? Have you been caught in the cross-fire or wrongly accused? Are you like me? Do you slowly take in the facts and then decide how to respond?
You can make a difference Don’t feed the Drama!