Let’s not beat around the bush here, the online book community can sometimes be a terrible group to be a part of. There’s bullying, people denying the need for diversity in books, and a whole lot of insults being thrown around that really don’t lead anywhere.
There’s also less harmful things going on, like the increasing pressure to spend all of your money on hardback books or the constant need to have a minimalistic or over clustered feed. Sure, it’s online. However certain ideas will carry over into our real, physical life – so I’ve come up with some ideas of how to start to counteract them.
PS. A FEW OF THESE POINTS RELATE TO ONLINE CONDUCT IN GENERAL
1. Follow A Variety of People
Not just people who have thousands of hardbacks and a massive, aesthetic library. Follow the people who post pictures of paperbacks, old books, books that have little tears in them and books that have been read so many times that the pages are starting to become loose.
2. Stand Up for Others
Don’t be a bystander. If you see someone getting ganged up upon, or being talked down to by someone who has a lot more power than them (think author vs reader), speak up! If you can’t do that, then at least like the person’s arguments so that they feel as though they have some support – but remember, the opposing person does have feelings as well. Don’t be unreasonably cruel just to make a point!
3. Make an Effort to Seek Out New Things
Yes! That new book that just came out that was written by your favourite author is brilliant. Yes, it’s also loved by 500+ other people. It’s great that you have a community to talk about these things without having to deal with the casual readers or the people who just don’t quite get it. However, consider searching out new things as well. Reviews for a book that doesn’t have quite as many readers, or photos with a gorgeous book that you’ve never seen before. Take a chance on new things!
4. Be Kind
Being on the internet doesn’t give you a free pass to insult others! Being on the internet doesn’t give you a free pass to insult others! Being on the internet doesn’t give you a free pass to insult others!
I can’t stress this enough. Yes, maybe there are some incredibly annoying users who take every chance that they can get to self promote. Don’t go to their page and roast them about how pathetic their life must be. Delete, and block. If it really bugs you, tell them off in a calm, and precise manner. Then forget about it.
Same goes for other annoying users. If they’ve said something incredibly ignorant, by all means try and educate them. But don’t be cruel. There’s too much hatred on the internet, there’s no need to add anymore!