I both agree and disagree with what this blogger has to say.
I disagree because most YA readers are, themselves, young adults and odds are they are not reaching for Margaret Atwood when they want to read something that will distracted, amuse, or provoke….
Yesterday, I wrote the above. Today, I write this:
Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in ages: I wrote a blog post responding to another person’s blog post. I used to do this sort of thing in the past and usually it results in an interesting dialogue even when there is disagreement between the bloggers. I anticipated that such would be the case with this blogger based on her posts in tumblr.
You see, her posts were full of sarcastic rantings regarding the publishing industry as she shared some of the best and worst of slogging through slush piles, stroking a writer’s delicate ego, and such. I use the past tense because yesterday she posted something that inspired an author to private message her and, in the message, the author directly threatened the blogger’s employment.
That’s right—this blogger’s livelihood was threatened by a writer because that writer didn’t like what the blogger had to say.
Some of you know I’ve had very bad experiences with people online. Although I’ve never had my job threatened, that was only because I was (am) very careful about giving out certain specific details about my life. So when this happened yesterday, when I saw that the blogger decided to delete her account altogether, it stirred up a sort of flashback trauma of just how hard it is for me to engage in social media.
And this on the heels of last week’s experience where some stranger in someone else’s post left a comment to one of my comments calling me a whore. Context is everything, I suppose, but I will never ever feel safe online. I know, nobody should ever really feel safe online but we’re not talking about normal safety here. I mean, I feel agoraphobic unsafe, scared to say anything because I don’t know who will be attacked next. I mean, the last time someone used my online writing to attack someone I loved (in this last instance, it was my daughter and Rob respectively and by two different people), I stopped writing for a year because every time I tried to write anything I would have panic attacks.
It takes so much courage to be vulnerable and when being open online becomes more painful than pleasurable I know how far I will go to protect myself. I hope it never comes to that again but the past few days have truly dashed all hope I have.