If you are a blogger, chances are somebody dislikes you. Chances are somebody hates you. Chances are somebody out there is offended by your blog and maybe even who you are. Chances are you will hurt somebody without intending to. Maybe you are the type of blogger that blogs to push buttons and cause riotous discussions. Maybe you are the type of blogger that people look up to and admire. Maybe you have a talent that others love and connect to. Chances are that maybe blogging makes you happy and what others think doesn’t really matter.
The best thing about blogging is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a writer, in fact, some of my favorite blogs are written by non-writers. Everyone chooses the subject, tone, layout, or scheme and they are all individual works of art that people either like or they don’t. There are also blogs made up of more than one individual. Much like in real life, bloggers communicate, form friendships and enemies, they network, they find causes to support, they find niches they fit into, and if a blogger is lucky their blog feels like home to everyone who visits.
I have a daughter who is going into fifth grade, so the term cliques has started to become a discussion in our home. In our home we have had to define the difference between groups and cliques. This got me to thinking about the blogosphere. Is their such a thing as a “blogging clique” and is it a bad thing?
A clique is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting”. Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups~ Wikipedia
I like this definition because it defines a very normal social behavior. People who want to get to know each other, whether in real life or in the online community, spend a lot of time doing things together. In the blogging community this would include things like sharing and promoting blogs, collaborating, and having public conversations. This could be limited to the blogosphere or end up crossing over into other social media platforms. So using this definition a clique is what my daughter calls a group.
A clique is a small group of people who spend time together and who are not friendly to other people : a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes
I don’t like this definition BUT it is the definition that most people associate with the word clique. A group of “mean girls” who decide who can and who can’t be in their group. I think of the pink ladies /t-birds in Grease or the popular/nerds in Can’t Buy Me Love. It is natural to have a group of people you feel comfortable with that you share the same ideas and passions with. This term implies the clique in question is a bully. Some groups do bully but most do not.
Just for kicks let’s define bully:
According to dictionary.com a bully is a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. ~ Dictionary.com
In my opinion, groups such as this; normally do not last long because societal pressure forces them to dissolve. Let’s take the KKK as the extreme example. They were a clique of men who had the same political and social ideals and who were violent bullies. Today it is our kids facing the bully mentality. When groups become us against them then they have crossed the line from being a group to being a group that bullies AKA a clique.
I love my blogging community. I started out just wanting to write, but I ended up creating a safe and comfortable home surrounded by a bunch of other homes, in a neighborhood community I enjoy. Do I ever feel left out of a block party down the street? Sure. Do I ever feel jealous when a group of bloggers have a collaborative “slumber party”? Sure. Is that bad? No. Should they be considered a clique because they hurt my feelings? No.
Take a blogging community I love, (name removed), for example. I am not a standing or listed member or contributor but I do support them and what they stand for and I enjoy posting and using their platform. Am I an INSIDER? No. Do I feel like and OUTSIDER? No. A group of woman and men came together to provide the backbone to a community they created for US. I feel the same about most community blogs. Do I believe they are cliques in the way that Merriam-Webster defines a click? Absolutely NOT.
For some bloggers though; group mentalities become a trigger. Not being included causes great pain and hurt. Maybe they had a childhood experience that made them feel inferior or insecure. Sometimes these feelings turn into anger and feelings of revenge. A person who feels rejected might lash out and begin blaming others for causing them to feel unworthy. They may believe any group to be a clique.
I am all too familiar with feelings of inadequacy, poor self-esteem, and unworthiness. Freshly-Pressed, for instance, is a group I want to be a member of but it alludes me. When those around me are bestowed the honor I am extremely happy for them but not at first. At first, my heart races, I ask myself what they have that I don’t, I become jealous and angry. Well, it is something I would love, it would validate my efforts as a blogger, and it would make me feel like an elite blogging superhero. Do these feelings make me a bad person? No.
When all the hurt feelings die down I realize it is a promotional tool WP uses to share its community of blogs. It is a good marketing tool and it strives to help bloggers make connections. Just because we are not asked to be a part of something, does NOT mean it is bad, a bully, or a clique.
Most blogging communities are NOT, in my opinion, considered cliques. They are groups that have come together because they have a common belief. When people come together under a united voice great things can happen. Community blogs and collaborative friendly blogs take a LOT of work and are a work of labor that deserves respect.
Chances are if you feel left out you will consider the group a clique. My advice would be to examine why you feel left out. Did you ask to be part of the group, and if you did and where rejected, was there a good reason for the rejection? Many groups have a hard time if they get too big. If you can’t be part of the initial team you can probably participate by guest posting. Most likely, if you feel left out you aren’t really trying very hard to be included.
Once I stopped being afraid of being left out I started working on participating. For instance, I may not be Freshly Pressed but I still support those that are and I still look at the Freshly Pressed feeds to support those I enjoy. I have made some great friends because of Freshly Pressed. Sometimes, you just need to change your perspective.
To end I would like to highlight some of the awesome collaborative opportunities I have seen and I would like to encourage you to try to find places that make you feel welcome. The places that feel like home to me may not feel like home to someone else. The blogosphere is a universe where everyone is someone. So get out there and explore and if one planet feels hostile try another one until you find a place to call home.
Oh and remember you don’t have to be in a group to be a bully. I believe “mean girl” mentality is a very individual journey and sometimes those individuals make up a clique. Blogging cliques will kick you OUT of groups and most likely bad mouth others. They will publicly ridicule anyone who doesn’t see things their way. There is a difference between airing differing opinions and being hateful. These bloggers, I think, are a minority and for very good reason. Be the positive force you want to see in the world and go out and multiply, or something like that!
There are hundreds of opportunities to take advantage of and here are just a couple of my favorites that came to mind to help you on your journey. Don’t forget you can also visit my collaboration efforts and participate by writing poetry with me by clicking here.
36 thoughts on “BLOGGING GROUPS VS CLIQUES”
You have basically just verbalised everything I feel about blogging. Sometimes I do feel a little excluded or unworthy, but the majority of the time, it’s my own insecurity and nothing more. What you said about Freshly Pressed is bang on; I pretend like I don’t think about it but of course it would be a massive privilege. Ironically, this would make a great FP post.
That’s why I had to stop doing awards; they always led to me excluding people (obviously by accident) but I used to feel so guilty. It’s funny, I find Facebook off putting for similar reasons, it has this effect on me where I end up feeling all kinds of inadequate and insecure and I really don’t want to feel like that on here.
The truth is, we make friends on here, we have jokes and quirks in common and sometimes people probably feel a little put out by that. But we all need to understand that people are naturally drawn together.
I’ve done poetic duets with David and it’s the best experience. I don’t worry if anyone is ever annoyed because, without sounding too confrontational or aggressive, that is their own problem.
I’m really glad you wrote this, because it’s exactly how I feel 🙂
I would LOVE to! Ha, I’m like “be cool Janey” 🙂
Reblogged this on The Migraine Chronicles and commented:
Leave it to Hasty to explain things to us 🙂
If you haven’t been over to her site, go spend some time, you will not be disappointed. She was one of the first bloggers that pulled me in and she has never failed me since.
I feel the same about you!!
I’m really glad you wrote this. I’ve had similar discussions with fellow bloggers, but you did an excellent job of putting it all together for us, thanks.
A powerful and thought provoking piece Hasty and really well articulated – Cheers J
[ Smiles ] Well, if they hate me, they never mentioned it!
Going to take bruisedbelly’s word for it and check you out.
I trust her judgment implicitly. Consider me a new follower. ;D
As far as you know….. LOL.
😉 Seriously, nice to meet you also and looking forward to reading your work.
Just brilliant! Thank you for helping me organize my messed-up feelings about not being FP’d yet. 🙂 Your words are full of love and light and COMMON SENSE.
Well said, my beautiful SW. Sunshine for sure. Personally, I enjoy the unity in the blog world, the friendships and the caring and all of the support. Am I supported more by some than others? Yes. Do I have some that I support more than others? Yes. Is that wrong? No. We are human. People are going to upset us. The way we handle those hurts will show the true nature of our character.
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*waves hand in the air* I wanna come to your slumber party, Hasty 🙂
This is awesome, and thank you for sharing the TToT 🙂 *massive hugs* You rock, Sunset.
Sunset? I like that. Can I use it, too?
Doesn’t bother me – go for it 🙂 The morer the betterer 😀
Very beautifully said. You nailed it. Thank you!
Very well said. Many times I’ve seen posts where bloggers tag each other and another blogger will ask “Can I get in on this?” and I’ve NEVER seen one person ever say ‘No.’
These groups have been very supportive from what I’ve seen.
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Thank you for this. Beautifully stated and I hope it brings some light and happiness to everything.
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Great blog post. As a young girl going to a high school in a big city, I had problems with cliques. I would avoid groups of girls because back then they were all about competition. I could not be bothered with that back then and now either. I learned powerful and difficult lessons from life experiences. Life is too short for nonsense. Thanks for your interesting reminder of my earlier years.
I feel very fortunate to have found a supportive and vibrant blogging community here. I wasn’t aware that there are blogging groups, though I’ve seen fellow bloggers collaborate on various projects. This is refreshingly honest, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts here.
Thank you for articulating this.
You’re outta control, Don! Hahaha
how i love this… i’ve felt like an outsider.. an outcast and then felt the love as well.. life is a lot of things except being predictable 🙂
This was perfect and spot on. I also love the part about being fresh pressed as I feel the same way. Thank you for including Tipsy Lit and glad to hear that we are viewed as a welcoming community because that’s what we strive for!
Reblogged this on Cellulite Looks Better Tan and commented:
HastyWords is one of my favorite people in the blogoshere, always so supportive and full of sweet, kind, gentle love. Some of my favorite people are all cyber friends, and she explains that kind of friendship/support crashing down the walls of blogging groups vs. cliques. Thanks for writing this, Hasty!
As I am generally an asshole, I don’t work well in groups. Maybe it is my traumatic childhood, but I’m not comfortable with all the touchy-feely of it all. I’m much better one on one, but I understand and appreciate what you’ve said here, and you did it very well.
I have more than one blogging community. They feel natural. It shouldn’t be much effort to feel part of it. If it is, maybe you need a new group.
Being Freshly Pressed was an honor and tremendous stats boost. But it meant less to me than a follower taking the time to comment and share on social media.
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Oh, how you shine in this piece. The part of blogging I love most is interacting with my online friends. But you’re right – some people will connect almost chemically, while others won’t – and that’s the way of the world, bot just blogs. I think it’s all about intentions, really. If a group’s intentions are to support each other, that’s a good and harmless thing. If their intention is to feel superior (basically existing solely to exclude others, and get their kicks from that), well then, that’s something else. But honestly, I’ve never seen the second type of group on WP… maybe I’m naive, despite having been here for over a year… but I have seen MANY groups where the members make each other better and happier for sharing something they all get. And I think your best point here is that groups have many reasons they might want/need to stay small – for example, that the entire essence of the group might change were it larger, and it couldn’t function in the way the current members love.
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Hey… nobody dislikes me… do they? Well, maybe a few politicians… or terrorists, racists, gun nuts, Dick Cheney, people who take religion too seriously… okay… I might have pissed a few people off…
PERFECT. Yes, Yes, Yes. All of it. Thank you for articulating this so sublimely!
Hello there! I found this post on Beth Ts FB page. Well said girl! I am a peripheral member of several groups, but don’t really feel like I’m an integral part of any of them. I don’t have time to be, honestly. I still like the interaction and have found some great people through blogging. Oh, and I was Freshly Pressed once, so you will get there soon too. I’m sure of it.
Bravo! This is the best written post I’ve read about the clique thing. I think we’ve all felt left out at one point or another, but the hope is that we’re open-minded enough not to completely disregard a group of like-minded people who come together for discussion, friendship and more. That being said, bullies are another story entirely, and I think this sums it up pretty well. So thank you.
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You did a wonderful thing here with this post, my sweet friend. It says a lot of things that should be said and it wasn’t hurtful. Very important 🙂 As for being FP…your day will come, I have no doubt.
Timely. I just recently entered the realm of things blog . . . I’m still not sure what exactly it is I’m doing or what direction, if any, my odd ramblings will lead me. I am thankful you took the time to share, now I know a little more about this crazy thing!
I found you through “Cellulite looks better tan” whom I found from… gosh I don’t know…I got lost in the internet and found you. This is a great piece and it really resonated with me. I still consider myself new to blogging, and finding a community of readers and bloggers has been very satisfying. I started blogging just for me, and am trying to stay true to that – but it’s hard to not pay attention and care about statistics, and occasionally compare myself to others. But I remind myself that I’m telling my story for my own therapy and it’s just an honor and privilege to have even one other person find it to be of interest.
I look forward to exploring your blog some more!
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