I started becoming active in the blogging community when I was about twelve or thirteen-years-old. I don’t exactly remember when it happened, but I’ve been at this on and off for as long as I can remember having access to the online world. I think we can all agree, or at least come to a consensus, that internet as a medium has changed. We’re part of the generation that realized how valuable it is to be able to share information across different channels and, for the most part, we’ve taken great advantage of that.
In recent years, there’s been a shift within the blogging community and the internet as a whole. It’s such a vast creative outlet and source of information that it’s also become a rat race to get as much exposure as possible. We’re exposed to viral stories and, quite honestly, the mundane parts of life that didn’t matter for us to share back then can now become headline news. Every now and then I wonder about how much of myself I’m willing to share in such a connected, fast-paced world. And, as a blogger, I question just what my role is in all of it.
Does this mean that I’m…fake?
Wait! I’m not instaready.
There’s a certain aesthetic we’ve come to see more often as social media continuously becomes ingrained in our daily lives. I remember taking photographs early on in my first personal blogs. I kept things as they were. I really didn’t think about making anything prettier than it was or fixing a zit that was visible in a profile picture.
Perhaps that was because I didn’t have the tools back then, but I honestly don’t think I even thought about it. I don’t think that I was too focused on capturing moments back then, because in those days we were all quite present in what was happening. We weren’t about Facebook statuses or tweets yet. We didn’t give a damn about what anyone was eating for dinner or who anyone was with and were they were hanging out. Honestly, there was a level of anonymity we could keep back in those much more simple days.
Now, it’s a ritual for us when we get together with friends and family to post about what is happening. Not just that, but to make sure our adventures are good enough to share. Speaking for myself, I’m guilty of tweaking photos on VSCO, patching up a blemish on Facetune, and cropping out the less eye-catching parts of a photo. Do we value experiences less if we don’t get a picture-perfect moment? Is it wrong for me to patch up my zits? Does this mean that I’m, for a lack of a better word, fake?
I’m a little fish in a vast ocean, with schools of fish, all following the same current.
Am I really a blogger?
I’ve said it before; I’m not very good at being a blogger. In terms of what that title has become over the years, I’m not there. I don’t feel obligated to make content, even though I should, and I still try to do this whole thing for myself. But numbers, how many people are actually sticking around, how many aren’t, all of that gets to me.
I want to, on some level, stay relevant and help people in some way. I want to contribute. I want to be a part of this community, but it’s increasingly difficult to have your voice heard. I also want to be as organic as possible with what I share. As corny as it may sound, I want my posts to come straight from the heart. I don’t want to feel bound to making content but I also can’t stand the thought of losing the connections I’ve made through blogging. With what blogging has become, I sometimes wonder if it’s still suitable for me to call this an outlet for my personal narratives. Is this still the appropriate place for that?
Do people think this is weird, childish, or are they genuinely curious about what all of this is?
I don’t think anyone will ever “get me.”
It’s hard to fit in when you know have to explain something that, simply, makes you stand out. Sure, there’s a lot of us — bloggers — but what we actually do isn’t very well understood in the real world. I find myself as reluctant about sharing what I do online as I am about what I actually share online.
Sometimes, I even [awkwardly] avoid answering any questions or references to blogging — like the conversation isn’t even happening. It’s just one of those conversations I really can’t gauge. Do people think this is weird, childish, or are they genuinely curious about what all of this is? Most of the time, I give people the benefit of a doubt. For all I know, their frame of reference for blogging is still from 2002. So, maybe they do want to know how it’s evolved.
But, honestly, I feel like I spill my soul when I start talking about blogging. It’s such a huge part of my life. When I think about it, I’ve been doing this for almost half of my life now. I’ve been letting people from all over the world into my life, yet I’m so closed off to those I actually meet outside of the inner circle I’ve found online. I’m still trying to find the balance between Shayne Blogs and Shayne IRL.