Throughout my relatively short time blogging, I’ve considered the entire concept of it more times than I can count. What does posting so much of myself online mean?
As bloggers and even social media users, we post so many thoughts and opinions. Even more generally, we post a whole load of ourselves. Does that make us vain? I don’t think so.
There are so many bloggers writing such diverse content that there’s no way I can generalise a post like this. Some bloggers are vain. And whether there’s anything wrong with that is a whole different topic.
Today I wanted to share some of the reasons that I’m posting online. As someone whose voice has been smothered by shyness all too often, I wanted to share my own perspective. The reasons I share parts of my life on Instagram and this blog. There’s no doubt that everyone will have their different reasons, and of course, there is no right answer. I’d love it if you could share yours with me in the comments though!
IT’S ABOUT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Within my lifetime, the way in which people communicate has changed unrecognisably. Online worlds have become an increasingly fundamental part of our society. Facebook holds us hostage, teasing us with the small chance that we’ll miss an invitation to something being held via its events page. Participation in most social circles nowadays requires maintaining active social media accounts. Even my Nan has Facebook.
So what about when it’s not just Facebook you’re checking in on? Why are so many of us choosing to share details of our daily lives via Instagram stories and Twitter?
We’re no longer just checking in on and posting online for the sake of IRL friends. Social media has ensured that modern friendships are no longer born solely out of location-based convenience. We post parts of our lives online in a bid to connect with like-minded individuals and vice versa. It’s an amazing thing to open an app to so much inspiration as well as so many personalities, recommendations, and discussions. The blogging community has been heralded as a supportive group and I’ve happily made my share of friends.
IT’S ABOUT CREATING A VIABLE BUSINESS DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE
Controversial, right? There seem to be very divided opinions surrounding blogging for money, but personally, I think that it’s important to accept it as the successful industry it has proved itself to be.
For so many people, blogging has proven a fantastic way to earn income. Maintaining a consistent and high-quality blog requires financial investment as well as dedication and a lot of graft. If both audiences and brands are benefitting from and enjoying blog content (for free, may I add), why shouldn’t creators be compensated for their time and effort? I’ve always preached the importance of knowing your worth and as such, don’t see the slightest thing wrong with blogging as a career. I follow a diverse range of bloggers and the most important thing they have in common is integrity. I trust that every one of their recommendations, paid or unpaid, is genuine.
Chloe from The Little Plum writes about blogging for the money much more eloquently than I ever could. Instead of me attempting to explain it any more concisely, I’d highly recommend reading her article.
From an entirely different perspective, blogging is a great hobby. People blog for many reasons, but I began investing so much time into it because I found it enjoyable, rewarding and distracting. Creative pursuits have always been labeled as cathartic: Painting, photography, writing. Really, blogging can be just another creative outlet. As can Instagram.
IT’S A FORM OF EXPRESSION
Portraying ourselves in the exact way that we’d like to can prove a constant struggle. However, shaping ourselves online is considerably easier. Online communication affords us the luxury of deliberation and delayed response. We are able to put more thought into wording our opinions and our trusty backspace key forms the perfect safety net.
Psychological research into online behaviour actually indicates that introverts have favourable attitudes to being online because it allows them to express a side of themselves that they feel less comfortable revealing offline. A prime example is how comfortable I am to share these images within a blog post in comparison to how self-conscious I felt when cars drove by and saw them being shot. As one of the many people who sometimes struggles with anxiety, I do relate to this and feel more comfortable expressing myself online than in person.
For all its faults, Instagram is a brilliant way of storing memories. The more you post online, the more of your life you have to look back on and my travel blog posts in particular are ones which I love being able to occasionally re-read. Obviously, a large proportion of my posts aren’t written for personal reasons, but looking back on how my writing style and photography is changed is interesting too.
For me, blogging isn’t about vanity at all. I’ve learned so many things and gained so many different skills throughout the last two years. I’ve become more confident, shared parts of myself online, and I like to think I’ve provided value, even if only in recommending a favourite lipstick. I’m both a hobby and career blogger (okay more like additional income than career, but maybe one day) and I’ve loved almost every minute. I’m nosey and I like to see what beauty products other people recommend, where they go on holiday and what they eat for breakfast. For that reason, I’ll continue to share these parts of myself and hopefully, I’ll continue making the odd friend along the way.
These are just a few of the reasons, but there are countless others, personal to each individual. I’d love to know why you’re posting online, whether that’s on a blog or just on social media?