Remember when blogging was like having a diary where you update about your thoughts and feelings of everyday life? I don’t think I’m the only one who used to use it like that but if that’s the case then simply disregard all that I’m about to say. I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how this blogging world has changed so drastically. The evolution of blogging, paired with social media, has become so commercialized that it’s exhausting to be a contributing member. It’s exhausting to have this hobby, which is why I took a break from it for so long. The thought of coming back and doing it all again was always lingering in the back of my mind but it wasn’t enough to motivate me to update because quite frankly, I’m tired of putting so much effort into something that I’m not all that keen with.
Writing has always been such an enormous outlet for me.
That’s mostly because I’m the sort of person that has a lot of emotions. Simply put, I feel too much and when a person feels a lot then they should have a way of letting it out. I suppose I could scribble away into a diary but why not share these cringeworthy words with the hopes of never having to suffer in silence because there’s a chance that someone somewhere out there who can also relate. Let’s be real, it’s nice to have a form of validation that our feelings are totally normal. I also tell everyone who will listen that I want to be a writer one day which is a complete pipe dream if I don’t actually write more, and this led to the reason of why I’m sharing this today because I have been thinking a lot about my existence on the internet with blogging, and instagram, and how life is so focused on getting to the next level. I want people to visit my blog because there is something relatable here. I don’t want to have to force myself to write niche related things like a travel guide, or whatever because that would be the only way to gain an audience. I don’t want to be limited to having to focus on finding the right keywords to appear in the searches. I don’t want to be restricted to one particular style that is seemingly popular. It’s draining to constantly talk myself and my life up with the luxury of travel and all of the fabricated life through each edited shots so that I can sell it for a minute of someone’s time. I want to write because I want to, not because I have to.
Another feeling that have been brewing for quite some time is the feeling of being a small fish in a very big pond. So many people have this goal in becoming the next thing. I know this because I used to be in quite a few engagement pods where there were hundreds of people who consider themselves to be content creators, or influencers. Not hating that community at all, because I want to make it clear that I would like nothing more than to be able to have that incredible ability to travel all the time and photograph all the food, and pretty places. (Also recently witnessed what life is like in the first class area because the flight attendant let me take a peek, and mannnn, what a life!) And on top of that life of luxury it would also be nice to also have a large community of humans supporting my daily life. That would be beyond amazing! Lots of people, myself included, wish to have even a fraction of that level of influence which is certainly enough to make everyone with access to the internet work diligently towards that goal but that’s just the thing: everyone is doing it!
I want that life so badly but I don’t have it. I don’t have that level of influence. I have a good amount of folks that have told me that my pictures are great and there’s the occasional “wow, how did you do that?” questions but nothing that would amount to anything that would make me go out and proudly shout to the world that I’m a blogger. If I tell someone that I’m a blogger, it’s almost guaranteed that they would think that it’s just another millennial thing, and I can’t blame them for thinking that because they’re not wrong. There are SO many people out there that share the same dreams that I do. I imagine that we all share that similar desire to get noticed, to get reassured, to feel validated through all the efforts that we put into sharing our lives with strangers. It’s not easy, putting our lives out there like that, going after that dream.
To put in perspective, I have been on instagram (my main platform) since May 21, 2014. I would like to say that my instagram grew with me because it started out as a fitness account and then transformed into this travel storytelling thing. It has only been the past couple of years that I started treating instagram more like a second job. Or more like an internship because I wasn’t getting paid for it. Still, I put a lot of time into strategizing for the gram. There’s a lot of behind the scene stuff that happens when it comes to creating content and I would strongly encourage people to think before they criticize dreamers like myself for being “basic” or being a “typical lazy millennial” to just understand the work that goes into it. I could rant about this for days but the best thing that I have ever read about this topic was the comparison of instagrammers to runners: “Anyone can run but not everyone can be a marathon runner”. Remember that. Anyway, so I have been actively participating in sharing my curated life through carefully edited photos and witty captions for quite some time now and what have I gained from this? Some discounts, and free stuff. Also the knowledge of photo editing, some handy marketing strategy, and a plethora of other beneficial things that I’m sure could help boost the resume somehow, someway. But that was never the point of all this, was it? I’m still wanting that validation.
I have reached the pinnacle of digital exhaustion where I’m really fucking over it because I don’t think there’s ever going to be a point where I feel like it’s enough. Years ago, I would be excited over getting 50 likes on a picture. Now, 600 likes doesn’t seem enough then you add in the comment counts, the number of saves that you have, how many times you have been reblogged or your image has been featured. The numbers grow but so does that desire of wanting to be liked. For the sake of my mental health, I’m so over trying to fit myself into this mold of what a content creator should be. Or do the things that are super tiring because I want to appeal to an audience that are also trying to do the same. We’re all coexisting in this digital realm and sharing our ideas on how to live with others— it’s hard to be unique when you’re constantly inspired to repeat the pattern that works.
The past year has been filled with lots of traveling and I have so many stories to share about that but more importantly, I want to take my place in this blogging world back and make it my own. I don’t want to limit myself to focusing too hard on gaining an audience, but instead, simply enjoy the freedom of writing whatever the fuck I want.
All of which includes the strong desire to talk to people, to show off the pictures that I had spent hours on editing to perfection. I want to get artsy fartsy while also being an absolute weirdo. I still want to be paid to travel and get free stuff because WHAT A DREAM that’d be but this is my hobby and I want to just have fun with it. So, if you’re reading this, whether you came here because I told you to, or somehow stumbled upon it, I hope it’s made you nod your head a few times. And if you’re sweating over the numbers then always remember that you’re not alone bud.