Ever since I’ve joined the wonderful world that is blogging, both as a spectator and a contributor, I’ve been bombarded with one potent and constant message:
“The blogging community isn’t what it used to be.”, “I miss the old blogging days when everyone was supportive”, “People are only involved for the freebies nowadays.”
Ring any bells?
For the bloggers there from the beginning it must be quite difficult to see something you have cultivated and natured do a complete 180.
However, I don’t think the community has changed, but that the willingness to share has. There was always a level of privacy that seemed to remain in the early days of the Internet. Creators would share a certain amount with their Internet following, however they didn’t live their life on camera.
Since the birth of daily vlogging, Insta Stories and the likes of Zoella, it appears that sharing your life online seemed to be the best way to gain the most followers. And in all honesty, I think it’s solid bloomin’ logic. You know everything about this person, you travel with them through their live during their ups and downs, all the while forgetting that you have in fact, never met.
The fact that you can now make a tasty living being an ‘influencer’ on an assortment of social sites has changed the way we view ours and other people’s lives. It appears that the more followers you have, the more popular and successful you are, thus paving the way for a shit storm of jealousy and nastiness.
Youtube OG, Fleur de Force suffered genuine abuse from her following for not sharing her baby’s name and photo immediately after birth. And even when she did, people had the audacity to critique the name she chose for her child.
Not wanting to share her baby’s name and photo with the Internet mere moments after the trauma of labour was probably not v high on the list of priorities. And then to make comments about the name once it was shared is not bloody on. If you wouldn’t say it to a stranger, why say it at all?
Another example, the humble IG bot. I started my blog just after the whirlwind that was the bot scandal. Buying followers to appear more popular on Instagram to anyone who’s been living under a rock. And damn people got mad about it.
It paints a bad picture for actual organic growth, gives a bad name to the community and all that, which is all completely valid. However, people got so furious that they were calling people out publicly. Some may have been genuinely guilty, but others were innocents accused. And as a result their name and reputation was dragged through the mud, so my advice rather then getting mad.
If someone wants to buy followers, have zero engagement just a large following and trick companies. Well then more fool them and the companies. They will get found out sooner or later. And you are safe in the knowledge that you are better then that, haven’t wasted your money and the opportunities will come soon enough if you work hard.
People have become so determined to make their corner of the Internet popular, that it’s actually easier to tear down someone else’s to get ahead. Why is it so important what this person is doing? What opportunity that person got? They don’t deserve that recognition, but I do.
If you shift your focus from outwards looking to inwards, think how much more time you can put into your own work. The creative ideas you may develop and the benefits that will come from it.
It maybe easier to scroll past someone’s post they’ve worked hard on, rather then support it in case they become more successful than you. And to that I say rubbish. There’s enough room for everyone. And even if people are just in it for the freebies.
That’s between them and whatever company is silly enough to send them something to trial.
I think it’s so important that we relearn the boundaries of how other people’s actions influence our own lives. Before commenting or calling someone out for something you don’t like simply ask yourself these 2 questions; “is this any of my business?” and “will they want my opinion on the matter?” If the answer is no to either, then probably a good idea to delete that quote tweet and go about your day. And as my Granddad has said to me since I was a little girl. “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, just don’t say anything at all”.