Thursday, August 15, 2013

The One with all the Facebook Bullying: Guest Blogger Grace Hurtienne

I have had the pleasure of 'meeting' many amazing artists in my journey as a newborn prop vendor (and now newbie photographer) and I have to say Grace from Beyond the Wanderlust is by far one of the gems of this vast internet photography community. She and I were recently chatting about the Facebook realm and the hurt that is can do/be to us -- the people behind the businesses. When you come right down to it -- it is a form of bullying. Whether it be the assumption that everyone is copying you and you need to put them down, or belittling others and their photographic expression. It is all bullying - this notion of you being better and that somehow this gives you certain 'rights'. I just don't want to be a part of it. Am I competitive?  You betcha. Do I want to do my best? Heck yeah! But not at the expense of others. I really hope that what we write here today is an encouragement. I am not a perfect person - but I do strive to rise above. And I hope you will too.

"The One with all the Facebook Bullying"

You see, there is this thing going on in our industry. This thing where certain “Facebook Celebrities” with inflated fan counts feel that they are entitled to special favors. (mind you it's not everyone with big fan counts)  They are quick to tell us that they are doing us a favor by using our product, or sharing our giveaway, ect. That they are offering us a “great benefit,” and how dare we question it, or nitpick it. Because we are nothing compared to them. 

And here is the thing. They are getting away with it. They are getting away with it because we are letting them.  So we continue to send them our props for free in exchange for promotion that never comes. We continue to let them in our giveaways, watching as they gain thousands of fans, and when we ask them to simply share our name, we get blasted. We continue to stand by while they threaten to black list us in the industry, plagiarize our words, and steal our images. 
And after all is said and done, we keep our mouths shut. We hide our stories in silence out of fear they will ruin us. We hold these wrong doings in the deepest darkest places, as they destroy our spirit.We are told we are lesser. We are told we should be happy they even know our name. We are told lies.

But here is the truth. WE MATTER. Not our fan count, not our following, but US. We are talented, we deserve better, and we do not have to stand for this bullying. It’s time for this thing to stop. 

So I’m going to make a promise. I will be here for you. I will not take advantage of you; I will appreciate you, and will help to pick you up when you are feeling down.
And I will challenge you to do the same for someone else. Forget about Facebook, forget about fans. Stop taking and start giving. Make a friend, give a compliment, put others first.

*This blog post was not meant to be a blanket statement about all of the higher fan count businesses. I am happy to say that the occurrences of bullying are few and far between - but they still do happen, and I feel should be warned about. 

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