**I apologize to any booktubers & bloggers and other personnel if I offend
Freedom of Speech - the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint
In the United States we pride ourselves on our right to speak our minds, yet I can't help but consider all the ways that it doesn't hold true in life. In school. In work. In public. In politics. You may not be arrested unless you threaten lives, but there are other ways to restrain what people say, and I still view that as infringing on our right to express our opinions. And apparently on social media. And possibly on our own blogs. I'd be lying if I said I'm not afraid of this post I'm writing right now. I'm afraid of the backlash, but this post is something I need to say. But isn't it a sad day when I need to be hesitant to post on my own blog? It's my personal place to share my opinion.
What prompted this post? On Monday night, a blogger friend of mine tweeted some comment about booktube. She said something like "I wish blogs got as much traffic as booktube." Although I tend to agree, I would never respond to such a tweet for fear of the response to my unfavored (but honest) opinions. It was late at night, and I obviously wasn't thinking clearly because I did respond. And then she, another blogger, and I started discussing booktube in general. I explained my weariness for the top tier booktubers because some of them are paid by publishers to promote books. Some even admit to being paid to do promos for books they personally hated! I thought it was sort of unethical... I just don't know how I can trust their opinions when it might be swayed. I'd be weary in any situation where the critics could be swayed. Then we discussed how from what we've seen we weren't much impressed by the reviews. I mourned how from what I've seen booktubers do lots of flailing and savvy camera shots and angles for their reviews and not much actual content. I thought in my own opinion that the reviews I've seen (for the most part) weren't impressive or impactful. I've read so many blog posts and reviews that have moved me to tears or made me yearn to pick up a book. The booktube videos I've seen does neither of that for me. A booktuber who was reading the thread left a sassy tweet basically shaming us for our opinions. I was shocked. I thought I had the right to share my opinions (and honestly, who cares what I think?). I realized it sounded like I was generalizing and I was totally disappointed in myself for hurting so many people, so I apologized. And I meant it.
Pandemonium ensued, the booktube community lashed back. Discussions and debates started happening, people reflected on the BEA conflicts and past conflicts, #booktubelove sprouted. I couldn't apologize enough. Of course booktubers are spinning this now to say that all bloggers "hate" on booktubers and it's never the other way around (when it goes both ways and hate is too strong of a word to use). Nova from Out of Time wrote a great clarifying response to a video about this conflict that I'd like to link to here. I feel horrible knowing that bloggers have been wrongly roped in to my opinions. They are individual people with their own personal thoughts. What I say has no reflection on them whatsoever, and I am deeply angered that my fellow bloggers are getting crap for what I said. I don't hate booktube. I love any medium that spreads the love of books. I just don't agree with some of what I see on booktube. And it shouldn't matter to anyone but myself. As if that weren't enough, I got hateful tweets and DMs. One DM threatened my life. And this is where I draw the line. This is where the reflection comes.
I'm saddened and shocked to realize that we don't live in a world where we can share our thoughts and opinions without fear of being misjudged or mistreated. I don't know why people care what my thoughts and opinions are. That's just what they are, my opinions. I shouldn't have to censor for anything or anyone, yet we live in a world where that has become necessary. It's wormed it's way into every place I've ever felt comfortable. I used to love Twitter, but now I doubt everything. Because I chose to speak my mind, the bookish community went into retaliation and spit back hateful things. Because I chose to speak my mind, I see that people are disappointed in me. Because I chose to speak my mind, I'm more nervous and afraid than ever to be myself. Because I chose to speak my mind, I don't feel comfortable in the community at all and I never will feel fully comfortable again.