This post is particularly relevant to me because it’s something I’m often in complete conflict over.
One day my Instagram will be the positive motivational place I want it to be, other days it’ll be the standard day to day grind. It will even be a little woeful at times in my bid to keep it real and honest, because that means including the negatives too.
I’ve read a lot of interesting theories about having a niche for your blog, and in all honesty I’ve never followed any of them. The reason being is that, I want my platforms to be a true reflection of myself as a whole, and that is what I feel like each of them honestly portray. If I tried to squeeze it into one category, it wouldn’t be me. I started blogging as an outlet for my feelings and my words.
With that though, comes A LOT of different readers/viewers.
On Instagram I have the mums who relate (unsurprisingly) to the ‘mum’ part of my handle. I have the people with mental health problems and chronic illness that come over for what’s in my bio. I have readers and bookish followers, I have my real life friends, and I also have some people who follow because they’ve been with me from the start.
On the flip side of that I also have some people who just follow me to be nosey, or because I follow them and they don’t want to lose a follower, but they never show any love on my posts. That’s not me being negative or paranoid, but it is the truth. I know it’s the truth because I myself have done just that. I’ve continued to follow someone who brings nothing to my table but a bit of goss for the group chat.
We’re only human.
I think it was Olivia Bowen from Love Island S2 that said once ‘if you don’t like someone’s vibe, moan to your mates about it, but don’t post it online’ and I felt that deep in my soul. Because let’s be honest we all have opinions whether good OR bad, but sharing your opinion by way of making someone else feel shit about themselves or trolling, is NEVER ok.
I know there are people who love me, but don’t love my Instagram captions or my blogs because they find them uncomfortable to read, or overkill.
I know there are people that knew me before I got sick and don’t connect that person with the person I am now, I respect that it’s difficult to accept change in others, sometimes more so than in ourselves, but I’m still me. Just different.
I know there are people who relate to what I write but don’t necessarily have much in common with me the person, or they love my blogs but hate my incessant swearing – again though, that is me.
My posts might get 200 likes on Instagram and 5 on Facebook. It might get liked by 200 accounts, but none of my real life friends double tap.
If you’re an other thinker with low self esteem like me, then this stuff can easily get in your head.
Numbers can swirl around like a whirlpool of competition and lower your confidence.
I start to feel like if I post a bad day, people think I’m an attention seeker and that if I post a good day, my Spoonie followers will think I’m gloating or was never sick to begin with.
It’s all rubbish though, and the bottom line is we’re all juggling, we’re all chasing numbers on follow counts and hearts under our pics and quite honestly, it’s pointless. There is no validation to be had on profile views.
I can say till I’m blue in the face that I write for myself, and that is 70% true, the other 30% is relying on someone to read what I write, to relate to it and credit me for it.
I probably would have more followers if I stuck to one specific topic, but then I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be keeping it real and honest, and as aforementioned that’s something I genuinely can pride myself on. What you see from me online or in person is my true self. I am intense. I am up and down.
So begs the question, how do we make social media a positive place for us over thinkers?
How do we stop feeling like we’re in competition with the rest of the world living our lives through non other than a highlight reel comparison site?
We stop trying to be like everyone else, we stop trying to do all the things that everyone else is doing, and we start being 100% our authentic selves.
There is no fake it till you make it for me. The only time I feel like I’m actually happy, both online and off, is when I’m being honest.
When I’m spilling my guts.
When I’m sharing things I want to share, no matter how raw, rather than a trend off the back of someone else, or an Instagram bandwagon. (I don’t mean campaigns, because I feel these are important for awareness purposes) but the general copycat textbook insta/blog doesn’t bring me joy.
Of course I get disheartened when my posts don’t break the internet, especially if I feel I’ve written a really good blog on an important topic, but what it now means is, I won’t change myself or conform to social acceptance. I won’t try and be someone else, someone funnier, prettier, someone with a tidier house or better behaved kid. Instead, I’ll still be me, I’ll still be posting the content that means something to me, whether days in the park or long chats about mental health, and I’ll still be here liking all your posts even if I find them a bit cringe!
Why would I do that , you ask?
Well the reason is this: I might find something you share cringey, or a bit unnecessary but as a person doing the same, I know that we can’t please everyone, and you’re a still a badass doing your best and surviving, winging it through a platform that places value on likes and followers.
We all are, and so for that reason I’ll always have your back, sprinkling likes and good vibes all over the shop (unless you’re a fascist in which case I’ll be hitting unfollow accordingly)
I’ll make the effort to tell you how amazing you are, or your post is, if I think so. If I don’t think so, I’ll just mind my business. It took me a while to realise but it turns out it’s perfectly acceptable to do that too.