The call is coming from INSIDE your house.
The call is coming from inside the house, those you look up to, those you follow, those you respect. Oh and me. It’s time to listen.
It is time for us to take a damn hard look in the mirror. So, in an effort to that, let’s all grab whatever our comfort item is, settle in and really read (and write) with an open mind, and an open heart.
Hi, I’m Beka, and I hold a grudge like a mother. If I can get to the place to say this, you can get to a place to listen. (Yes, I know you’re on my website, and I know you’re reading this, and if you think this is about you, it is. Here’s your attention you ordered. Weaponizing your followers is disgusting, despicable, unethical, and dangerous.)
If you know anything about me, you know I am forceful, sarcastic, speak what’s on my mind, and I don’t apologize if you don’t like HOW I say something. Here’s the thing.
I’ve never once stepped up to my camera to record a callout for HOW someone said something to me. BUT, I will hold your feet to the fire over WHAT you said or did. I hold accountable those who have a platform that abuse it, for those who preach one thing, and do another and think no one will see. I hold accountable those who are dangerous to our community. So do many others in our community, and the problem most of you have with it, is that you can’t get past HOW someone said something to WHAT they said. You get in your feelings because someone said motherfucker, or was louder than you would have been.
There are creators, large and small alike, from ALL walks of life, with all manner of opinions, and all ranges of communication styles. The thing about all of these creators is that they are passionate humans, who, for the most part, deeply care about their community.
But we have two problems.
We have a community that THRIVES on drama. You all like to sit on the sidelines, or dip your toe across the line making vague videos about how you mind your own business about the “drama”. Newsflash - y’all be hypocrites. You know that you’ll get likes, comments, and follows. That’s not minding your own business. That’s some self-serving high school bullshit. Put on your big kid underwear and step up to the mic and join the conversation, or sit down. You perpetuate divisive behavior with shit like that. When someone’s whole world is being torn apart on TikTok, and they’re being dogpiled on, you are adding to the pain, chaos, and overall overwhelm, and are part of the problem.
But Beka, you’ve made videos about drama. You’re right-ish. I’ve never once made a vague ass video about some bullshit, but I’ve made videos that didn’t serve the point I was trying to make, and I’ve made videos from a point of complete done-ness and therefore was harsher than the situation warranted. Now I step the fuck up, grab that mic, and fucking speak like the adult I am. If you’re not going to do that, then don’t make the video.
BUT, if you’re going to do that, you best get ready. You better not step up without knowing all the facts, you better not open your mouth over some petty disrespectful shit that isn’t yours to speak on. You better know for damn sure that it’s the right thing for the larger community. You will have me, and many others like me, to contend with. If you’re right, I can speak for the community on this, we will support you, but if you’re gonna go out there and cause a problem… I speak for myself when I say this, come correct or get corrected.
The second problem we have is a boundaries issue in this community. It’s a problem that is complicated, personal and deep. The thing about the handmade/epoxy/tumbler/glitter community is that the majority of us started this as some form of therapy, or escape. This, for most of us, is our heart and soul. Every time we make a cup, it’s a part of us. We pour some of ourselves into what we create. That’s what art IS.
So…it’s so painfully easy to take things personally. ESPECIALLY on the internet. TikTok has made it easy to create parasocial relationships with your favorite creators. It’s easy to see them as your friend, or you quickly become friends, but you don’t know most of us, not truly. So when your favorite creator stops being friends with another creator, it’s all out war. When your favorite creator winds up in a buyer beware group…the stans ride, for both sides, and accountability goes out the window. There is no accountability to be had on the internet when there is a kernel of truth to the battle cry of “cyberbullying.”
This makes accountability almost impossible. We have lost the ability to have some hard and honest conversations, because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of a parasocial relationship, you take on the hurt as your own.
Creators cannot control their following. It’s simply impossible. Even if we say, Stop. Don’t speak for me. Followers don’t listen. You saw it when Chris and Ian broke up, “oh I got Ian in the divorce” “oh I guess today is my weekend with Chris”. No. It’s not. The weight that followers put on creators, of truly any size, is so fucking immense.
For the most part, it comes from a good place. You think you’re doing it in defense of someone you like. But you’re just making it worse. There are the rare exceptions, especially in a community almost exclusively made up of women, that are caused by the lowest of the low, who are truly just here to cause chaos, damage, and drama. (Yes, I’m looking at you. That staged video abusing the call against cyberbullying cheapens the movement, and weakens progress. Y’all did this to yourselves and accountability is not bullying.)
Creators become friends, they collaborate, they move on. Like a lot of relationships, they burn bright, then flame out. Then the followers swing in and try to internet sleuth what happened. Stop invading people’s privacy. Let creators be damn human.
We ALL react from a place of hurt or trauma at times. We all dive into things too quickly, ignore red flags, and wind up hurt. In the age of TikTok though…all too often, when we do that, our followers come along with us. They walk that path WITH us, feel the same emotions, and feel protective of us. When we are not emotionally stable, and responding from a place of humility and humanity, when we don’t create our content responsibly, we can wreak havoc on someone’s world.
This post is for followers just as much as it is for creators. Many of us in the creative spaces are both. It’s time for us to realize that we must be responsible creators, and consumers of content.
Beka, this doesn’t tell me much. HOW do I do that? You don’t come into a space that isn’t yours. You don’t go to other creators and shame them for who they associate with because of something that didn’t happen TO YOU. You stay out of what doesn’t involve you.
What does involve you?
It involves everyone when a creator takes to the camera to shame a whole community of businesses. It involves everyone when a creator decides to cause drama by asking you what you hate about a community. It involves EVERYONE when safety is flagrantly ignored. It involves everyone when doxing happens. It involves everyone when a community is targeted.
It doesn’t involve you when friends split, if they make content about it, or not. STOP FEEDING THE DAMN TROLLS. Stop feeding the sob story, vague drama posts. Stop feeding the content that causes this. Stop giving those trying to escape accountability an out by proving their accusations right. Don’t harass creators to speak on something that may or may not be something they can handle. Don’t slide into our DMs with videos asking if we saw the newest drama. Don’t perpetuate the three ring circus our community is swiftly becoming.
Creators, create with humanity. Create with integrity. Create with the knowledge that you have influence over vulnerable, easily influenced people who look up to you. Create without betraying who you are, but create with the knowledge that we are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution, but there is no middle ground.
Followers, hold space for your favorite creators. Help us keep our community spaces places we can enjoy coming to. Interact within the boundaries the creator has laid out. Respect privacy. Become an active member of the community outside of the drama. Encourage your favorite creators, but don’t go too far. Remember, they don’t know you. You don’t know their traumas, you don’t know their triggers. Hold space for them to make a mistake. Hold space for them to be tired, tired of creating, tired of putting themselves out there, tired of having boundaries crossed, tired of screaming into a void that feels like it never changes.
That’s my plea to my community. Stop picking apart how someone says something, listen to their words, listen to what they are trying to say, and give some much needed grace.