Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why I Stopped Blogging




Little known fact about me. I was a blogger. In the height of blogging, back in the early 2010’s, I was a blogger from 2011-2016. Writing was my outlet, and my blog was where I put all of my creative energy. It was honestly such a fantastic influence in my life- meeting people, creating content, and challenging myself in new ways. It led me on to work for the Odyssey, which was another amazing endeavor in itself. As I got busier and busier in my personal life, with college and work, my time for blogging became less and less. I pretty much dropped it entirely in late 2016, with a few posts here and there throughout early 2017. Recently I’ve been thinking about my blog space- what it used to mean to me, and what a great influence it was on my creativity. So today I went to that dusty corner of the internet- my blogger account, to take a look around. And what I found was kind of interesting. Looking over my blog stats, I found that out of the hundreds of blog posts I wrote over the years, my most viewed one was “Finding the Light in College”. With over 3300 views, I kind of wondered why this was my top post. But reading through it, I realized why. It was one of my most brutally honest moments in blogging. I was transparent about my truth, my struggles. Because the truth is that being a Christian in college- it can be brutal. I was struggling, and I was honest about it. I wrote about something that so many people can relate to. I think that while blogging was a wonderful outlet for me, during my time as a blogger, I struggled with some of the same things that I’ve been struggling with on social media lately. It’s that same thing that every other millennial struggles with. Being honest. So often social media feels like a place that is only for our highlights reel. Everything is touched up and sugarcoated. We strive for transparency, and sometimes we achieve it a little bit, but it’s hard to be totally honest. And sometimes, it’s just easier to walk away from it all entirely. Because the mindset of views, likes, followers- it can be all consuming. At a point when I was blogging, working as an editor in chief for the Odyssey, also working as a content creator for the Odyssey, running three Instagram accounts, twitter, facebook, three emails, and snapchat- I felt like my entire life was so public. Everything was up for judgement. And during those days, you’d be hard pressed to find me without makeup on. I didn’t step out of the house unless I was dressed to the nines. Hair curled, full face of makeup, probably a skirt and heels. Every photo, every caption, every post- was carefully curated and scrutinized. My phone was glued to my hand. I was in constant contact with my team, fellow bloggers, Instagramers, girls from my fitness community, girls from my bible studies, classmates, coworkers, friends, family- I couldn’t step away from my phone because my phone felt like my full time job. And looking back at that time- my life looked really happy. And I’m not saying that it wasn’t. It’s just that sometimes it all felt a little fake. Like a little bit of a façade. Because all of those things were great, and a lot of them were really true, but it’s also true that I was probably eating ice cream at 2am in my pajamas, while I cried over some college algebra homework that I got a D on. It’s also true that during that time I pulled 20 hour days, drank up to seven cups of coffee a day and slept four hours a night. It’s also true during that time that I was dealing with a lot of insecurities and low self-confidence. But you wouldn’t know that from my latest selfie. My point in all of this- is that I say screw the picture perfect social media. I’m over it. It isn’t real life, it isn’t relatable, and frankly- it looks nothing like my real life. I’ll always cherish my blog space, but I think part of why I walked away from it is simply for the fact that I can’t relate to it anymore, because putting up that kind of image isn’t who I am anymore. I value my privacy, but I also value honesty and telling my truths. And maybe one day soon I’ll figure out how to strike that balance again. But for now I’m happy to live my real life and whether or not that makes it onto social media, it doesn't really matter.
-Em

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