Monday, October 1, 2012

This is the first initial post of Anti-Bullying week. A friend gave me a link and said I should check it out. I did and didn't like what I saw. Since then I have been in contact with the blog owner and have been given permission for Jodie and I to republish their last post.

*This is copied directly from: Bye, Bye Blogging - Hippies, Beauties and Books OH MY!

Hello Readers,

Jon and I created a post a few weeks ago about us taking a break from blogging, or at least slowing down extensively.

For the past several weeks we have been bombarded with rude, vile and offensive comments being left on our blog in the comments section of our posts and in our emails. We've done our best to ignore and delete as much as possible, but we can (or rather I can) only handle so much negativity. This is a problem that has grown steadily worse and since I started blogging over a year ago. To be honest, I'm not sure what brought all of this to us. We are generous, nice people who genuinely care about others. We aren't sure if this is stemming from THE SITE THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED, the fiasco with self-published author Carrol Bryant, or if people just decided to make us their next target.

Something occurred this week that was an eye-opener. A young girl we knew decided that she would rather die then go to school and be bullied. She was also tormented relentlessly on the Internet. A few days ago, her mother found her passed out unresponsive. She tried to hang herself using a belt around her neck. They had hopes she would pull through when she was rushed to the hospital, but she died yesterday morning.

She was only 11 years old.

When we do things on the Internet, some of us forget that there are ACTUAL PEOPLE on the other end of the conversation, blog, or whatever. When you type in a hateful message and click the send button, it goes to a real person with real feelings. It doesn't matter who you are, it's going to hurt.

I was bullied relentlessly in school. I refuse to be bullied when I go online. The blogging world has become something toxic that I don't want to associate with anymore. Between all of the butthurt authors complaining about bad reviews, the jealousy that flies around, that wacky site that can't figure out what real bullying is from a hole in the ground, people being stalked at their homes, rabid fans attacking reviewers, and all of the other crazy things I have witnessed (especially over the past few months), I feel like I'm living in a fucking soap opera. The drama is too high and the pay out is too low. It sometimes feels like almost everyone is competing with each other to see who is the biggest bitch and I'm all out of Drama Queen awards.

Jon and I have decided we are shutting down our blog for good. This will be our last post. At this time, we feel as if we can serve our community better without all of the drama and without waking up each day with people belittling the things that we do. The stress is not worth it anymore.

We'd like to thank everyone who has loved our blog and all of our friends and followers we have come to know this past year.

To everyone else, be kind and aware of what you say to others.

-Amanda & Jon

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY? I don't have any other words. How can people be so cruel? She goes on to tell me more...

"I've had more than my fair share of nasty people. When I was a kid, I was bullied horribly. I would walk home from school and I would have kids throw rocks at my head. My grandmother bought me a faux fur coat when I was in first grade and the name Hairball stuck with me all through school. Kids are, excuse my french, fucking cruel, and the crap didn't calm down until I finally snapped and beat up a boy when I was in 6th grade. My mother always told me to just ignore them, but ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

When all of the stuff started to happen with my blog and then continued to get worse, it just brought me back to those times. Then this little girl killed herself and all I could think about was how close I had been to doing the same thing. At just eleven years old, that is much too young to loose your faith in humanity."
-Amanda

 
More information here - 8.24.12
Rest In Peace Jasmyn Smith
 
I think Amanda is right in saying "be kind and aware of what you say to others."
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10 comments:

Annabelle said...

I too saw that this blog had stopped and I was horrified to realise that this is going on with many other blogs. I myself have been targeted in the past and it is horrible. I was on the edge of shutting down my blog but then i realised I was doing something i loved and I wouldn't let other get in the way. But now i can see that things are getting worse and that decision is constantly in the front of my mind.

I hate to see this happening to fellow hard working bloggers but it may be the only way to get out of the drama that is currently revolving around the blogging community.

For everything bad there will be something good. So I think we should stand tall and keep going. Thank you so much for this post, it's a real eye opener!

SacredmOOn said...

I will always miss Amanda and her husband Jon and their blog. It's really sad what us readers have lost because of certain peoples repeatedly bullying. This type of behavior is NOT acceptable! I have to wonder what the hell is going on in these bulliers heads? *shakes head* Thanks for re-posting this Amy! It really needed to reach farther out than just us readers of Hippies, Beauties and Books OH MY! :) DeAnna Schutlz

Pam Margolis said...

i have no words for this. it pains me. bullying has to stop. NOW.

Nancy said...

Unfortunately it's the bloggers who have a good heart who are the ones who decide it's not worth the bullying. Pam is right, it has to stop, NOW, today. I don't think I've ever written a comment that could be construed as bullying, but I will certainly be extremely careful in the future. That a young girl died as a result of bullying breaks my heart.

Nightmarchers Book said...

This is rough and heart breaking. I hate that blog owners have to feel the need to close down. I am an Author and I would never think of writing anything negative towards anyone who gave me a bad review. I wouldn't even contact them, it's completely unprofessional. I don't know how the lines could be so blurred that authors resort to this now.

Also, my heart absolutely breaks hearing stories like that of Jasmyn. I can't stand this! I agree that bullying has got to stop NOW! Our children's lives are way too precious to lose because somebody doesn't know how to hold their tongue.

Mary BookHounds said...

My heart breaks when I read stories like this.

When I first started blogging, I had no clue how memes worked and I tried to do one that was hosted by a popular YA blogger. Her followers bombarded me with hate mail and messages that I was "stealing" from her blog. No one bothered to explain how the meme worked either. I was lucky that a few seasoned bloggers helped me out and I continued blogging. I deleted the post and the comments. I still think about how horrible I felt when that happened to me. Karma got that blogger back by the way!

My niece was so horribly bullied by a group of kids in middle grade to the point that she had to be home schooled. Between the texts messages, online groups, her life became super unbearable. I am proud that with the help of her family, she fought back against the mean girls and is now succeeding in school. Her mother was vigilant and paid attention when she complained but I still think that there were a lot of horrible things done and said to her that none of us will ever know.

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

I just discovered your blog and I am so sorry that this has been happening to you. I am sorry to see you go!

Candace said...

I read this shortly after it had posted and it really opened my eyes. I have been lucky enough that I haven't been bullied. As a kid I was teased but I don't think it officially crossed into bullying. But I remember how it made me feel. Its SO horrible that there are people out there that bully. I don't understand what goes through their heads.
Hopefully posts like this will help people realize that bullying is a problem and maybe it will get through to some of the bulliers as well.

Anonymous said...

Everyone join Rock The Challenge in recognition of National Anti-bullying Awareness Month. This nationwide coast to coast challenge for kids, parents, schools, communities, churches to unite, and stand together against bullying, support kids, strengthen victims of bullying, empower kids to choose life over suicide. The challenge is to commit to Rock It at least 5 min a day for the month of October, rocking peace, love and respect, not bullying. Get your free download of Rock It at wwww.rockingitforlife.com and let's Rock It Across America being on one accord to stand up for our kids!

Froze8 said...

That was so hard to read. Honestly as an outsider looking at the blogging world when I was considering starting my own blog I feared the drama, lawsuits, and other crap more than anything. Now that I have just started out I'm still so cautious about everything. I want to be able to share the books I love but I do not want to end up in such drama. Really, blogging should not be like this. I can't even begin to explain how wrong this all is.

-K8
http://froze8.blogspot.com/

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