I’ve been asking myself the same question every single day for the last five years.
I love writing. I want to build my blog audience, but I really struggle with the social media aspect of things. Not because I’m incapable of doing everything I need to, but because I don’t want to do all the things I should be doing.
Yes, I love to take selfies and sometimes share the inner workings of my world. But I’m certainly not going to be photographed in front of a perfectly Instagrammable wall with this week’s on trend outfit on gleefully smiling at my followers (as my outfit below deminstrates).
I’m too impatient and lazy to take a picture of my sofa cushions arranged perfectly next to an uber zen lamp shade and a sassy framed quote. I definitely don’t have the photography skills to take decent flawless images or the time to spend four hours editing three pictures.
I. Just. Can’t.
It’s not me. And it just feels too fake.
I don’t want to put down people who are killing at social media, because they’re doing an amazing job. All I’m saying is I’m not at that level, I don’t think I ever will be, at least not in the same kind of way.
I’ve tried my best with Instagram, but it often feels too much like I’m trying to be something I’m not.
The trouble is, you can’t really be a blogger without being present and have a gazillion followers on social media. Or can you? I’d like to completely give up and see, but I don’t want to lose the following I do have. So I kind of settle for a compromise.
Social media, although often described as being false, tends to emulate the real world in terms of the social hierarchy.
Instagram sometimes feels like you’re back in school and trying to find a voice amongst the cool kids. You’re like hey, look at me over here, my life is interesting and inspiring and I’m super successful. And it puts ohhhh so much pressure on everyone.
I LOVE the blogging world but I struggle to relate to what it has turned into. When you see an influencer’s Instagram page and every single feed picture is promoting a brand, or four – all you’re really doing is browsing through a magazine full of advertisements made by bloggers.
OK, so I can kind of accept that this will happen on Instagram.
But when I come across blogs that are 100% promoting products without any real content, the inner writer within me sheds a little tear.
It ends up not being about the writing at all. People call themselves ‘bloggers’ when really they are ‘promoters’.
I’m definitely not saying I’ve not been caught up in the whirlwind myself. I do occasionally promote brands, but only brands I actually believe in and use myself out of choice. I’m at a point with my Insta following where I’m like do I continue to try and build, or do I stop and say that’s enough? I don’t need more followers to feel that my articles are worth reading.
Plus, I know this might sound totally out there, but a small voice inside of me tells me I’m wasting my time.
That in ten years I will look back and feel frustrated at how long I spent ploughing my time in Instagram and obsessing over post likes.
And not just because those hours could be much better spent, but because people will have already moved on to the next big platform.
There was Myspace, then Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and now Instagram. I know lots of my friends don’t really use Facebook a great deal now. I don’t upload albums anymore, I rarely post much. The only reason I’m still on there is because I’ve got about a decade’s worth of pictures saved within my profile. Won’t people eventually get bored of Instagram too? I mean, it’s managed by the same people.
I know all the social media gurus and digital marketing managers will read this and think, no you’re wrong, everything is so Insta right now – and tell me I have to grow an audience of over 100k to do well. But I just don’t know if I want to be on that bandwagon.
It’s not just about the time it takes to upload pictures with a million relevant hastags, but also the time you spend thinking about what pictures to post. And possibly the saddest thing of all, when you miss/ruin/ignore wonderful moments because you’re too busy filming for your Instagram stories.
I’d much rather log in to Google analytics and see tons of people are reading my articles. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for me, the writing.
My love of writing. My love of sharing my stories and experiences in the hope that others can relate to what I’m going through.
You know what better than having your picture liked by 400 people on Instagram? One person taking the time to message me and say how much they liked XYZ article and how relatable it was.
I can be having the shittiest of days, and then out of nowhere I get a lovely message from someone saying they enjoyed my blog post and I’m like YES, thank you, stranger, you’ve just MASSIVELY improved my day (as well as my confidence).
Oh how I’d love to COMPLETELY switch off from social media and delete it all. But I can’t, partially because if I’m really honest with myself, I’m a little bit addicted (like many others) and also because I do still need an online presence to help promote my blog/writing business. I’ve thought about paying for someone to manage my social media, but yeah, that’s not going to be cheap and any content that’s posted won’t really be ‘me.’
So as you can see, I’m a little stuck. I’m caught in world I don’t really fit into, but I know, for now I need to be a part of.