I held off writing this because I’m not really in the business of spreading bad feeling, but I had a bit of a run in with a fellow blogger on Saturday and it really knocked the wind out of my sails. I was out shopping with my Mum and Ettie, when I glanced down at my phone to see a rather stabby comment had been left on my latest Instagram photo. Thinking it was from a troll trying to provoke a reaction, I didn’t give it much thought, however when I delved a little further, I noticed that the comment was actually from a fellow blogger. She was annoyed at me because I’d un-followed her on Instagram, but instead of messaging me privately to sort the situation, she’d chosen to leave a nasty comment on my latest post instead.
Now before we go any further, I would like to make clear that I fully respect her decision to be annoyed, losing followers is an irritating business especially when you work so hard to build them up, but is publicly vindicating someone on such an open platform really the best way to go about dealing with your anger?
It sounds so petty writing this down, but I suppose I’m sharing this as a bit of solidarity towards other Instagram folk who may have found themselves in a similar situation. What might have been a fleeting comment to that person, actually ruined my afternoon because I had a lump in my chest for the rest of the day, worried that I’d done something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings. Had I played this blogging game all wrong for daring to unfollow another blogger? It plagued my mind all day, but it shouldn’t have, it was the comment that caused the upset, not the action. This was a blogger who chose to belittle me in public for something so trivial as an unfollow on social media and yet I was the one worried about how it might look?
So back to the point.. the issue she had, was that I’d followed her only to unfollow later on. For those who do not know what this means, ‘follow/unfollow’ is a growth tactic used by some to draw attention to their account in the hope that some of the new connections will follow them back. The unfollow bit comes in when the user then unfollows the new account once they have ‘caught the fish’ so to speak. The whole process is time consuming and you don’t really build up great engagement so it isn’t something I choose to do (or have time to do!), but I do appreciate how bloody irritating it is and so was even more annoyed that she was having a go at doing me doing it to her!
Now I’ve had time to reflect on the situation, the first thing I would like to say to her is ‘hold on there Miss Shouty, before you let loose with your stabby comments, make sure your facts are correct!’ Yes I may have unfollowed you, but that’s because looking back through your account I actually have no idea who you are! When I follow someone, if they are kind enough to follow me back I take time to get to know them by engaging with their photos. Occasionally I have a big clear out of people I don’t engage with, so if you were removed during one of these culls, then I am sorry but its because I don’t actually know who you are!’ Mother Pukka made a brilliant observation earlier this week, when she said ‘your Instagram feed is like your own personal magazine‘ and I think this is great way to look at it. I want my ‘magazine’ to be full of friends and people I admire, I go to it for inspiration, therefore if our engagement rate is zero, I’m not going to keep following you just for the sake of it!
Secondly I’d like to say ‘the image you chose to leave your tirade of abuse on, was an image of myself and my daughter. I have many other photos in my top nine squares which do not feature Ettie. If you have an issue with me and really did wish to air it publicly, then please choose a different platform to air your grievances and do not tarnish my innocent daughters smile with your abuse! As a mother of daughters yourself I hope you can appreciate how this would hit a nerve!’
And finally ‘how dare you! As a fellow blogger and fellow Mum, how dare you jeopardize my account over something so trivial as an unfollow on Instagram. I work damn hard with brands, support others and try to be a good friend. As a blogger you understand how important reputation is and you know the damage that could have been done if the wrong person had seen your comment. You knew all of this and yet chose to post it anyway.’
I feel like I can write all of this because I know hand on heart I am a good Instagrammer. Instagram is my happy place and I love connecting with people and getting to know them. I’ve made some amazing friends this way and if this person had taken the time to read my blog (or even read my IG captions) she’d know that I actually go out of my way to be supportive towards other mothers because I know how important that support can be. We may live our lives through social media, but no one really knows what’s going on behind those squares and for her to be so venomous really hit a nerve. I love blogging and I love Instagram because the supportive community makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I love the thought that one of my comments may help to make someones’ day (as they can mine). This Instagrammer most certainly did not give me the warm and fuzzy feels, in fact I think she’s completely missed the point about what the instagram community is all about.
Speaking to another blogger on the subject I was given a great piece of advice. She said “if they don’t know you personally don’t take it personal.” And this is so true! We all use Instagram in different ways and yet by using a social platform we are opening ourselves up to good comments as well as the bad. Instagram means different things to different people, to me it’s inspiration and a means of staying in touch with friends, to her it might solely be about growing numbers. Whatever the reason I don’t think the answer is to abuse people for what they choose do with their own personal space.
Leaving comment publicly like that was a low blow but it was her prerogative. I’ll be living by the quote above in future and maintaining my stance that as mother’s we should all be in this together, a negative comment doesn’t really solve anything but the trick is not to take it to heart x
Has anyone else has shared a similar experience? How did you deal with it? Have you ever been so annoyed that you’ve left a comment for someone else? I’d be interested to hear both sides of the story x