You’ve heard the saying: “Hurt people, hurt people.” In other words, bullies are really just cowards. Look at their victims. Their prey is someone who is trying to find themselves in our big old world. And social media, which isn’t sociable at all, is a sure hangout for these oppressors.
As a member of the Goodreads community, I discovered that this is one of the best places on the internet for bullies. These aggressors pretend to be interested in reviewing books. However, their real intention is to be crude and cruel with their reviews.
Most authors would be okay if a reviewer didn’t like his or her book. But for a reviewer to make a showy display of their disdain for a book, just to solicit laughs at the expense of the author – well, that’s not humorous. That’s bullying.
Last week I encountered a pact of bullies on Goodreads. A young author who had written her second novel was viciously attacked by, one would imagine, the Leader, for when I pointed out that her review was more of an attack than just a simple review, the Leader’s followers came out bearing their claws. No doubt, the Leader sent direct messages crying on the shoulders of her minions to come to her rescue. And they did.
About fifteen of her followers attacked me. Some of them even flagged my two comments. I guess telling someone to seek therapy because they’re reacting irrational is considered an attack. However, the mean spirited review towards the young author’s book and the insulting rants they hurled at me – one of them even called me a troll – I guess were compliments.
Cue the knight in shining armor! Out comes one author guy who sees a chance to maybe impress the ladies and maybe, just maybe, make a quick book sale. He claims I have a fragile ego, and I suffer from insecurities that are suffocating me. His advice: “I should move to a world where only flowery reviews are written.” What?
Why did these people think it was wrong for me to review the reviewer, but it was okay for the reviewer to hatefully attack and try to destroy a budding author’s chance at success?
Cognitive Blindness. We experience cognitive blindness when we are either too macro-focused or too micro-focused. Either way, being aware of our surroundings is imperative.
I asked the Leader of this band of misguided souls: did she take into account the feeling of the author? She bluntly replied, “I don’t care what the author thinks of my review.”
People, like the ones that attacked the young author, are incapable of making their light shine bright. So they do what comes natural to them: they dim the light of others.
I wish the best for the young author and those like her on Goodreads. But in my humble opinion, Goodreads is where authors go and die. There is no life in most of its members. It’s a haven for tyrants. I don’t have a sore spot for bad reviews; I have a soft spot in my heart for the victims of bullies. So, with that said, I bid a farewell to Goodreads and its band of tormenters.
And my rating for Goodreads is: