On immediacy, getting the ‘gram and morphing into a product of your feed.
Lately I’ve taken a real step back from social media, whether that’s Twitter or Instagram or even Pinterest. Of course that’s partly because I’ve been overwhelmed with real life and other such matters that require me to Not Be Attached To My MacBook, but it’s also been a conscious decision too. Social media seems intent on ensuring millennial burnout, doesn’t it? In an age where we’ve – or I certainly have – grown up fumbling around and navigating the realms of the online sphere, we’re spearheading the way forward. Our parents before us never had countless platforms from which to broadcast their every moment or even a highlights reel. My Dad often leafs through a ‘highlights’ photo album that he keeps beside his bed and even then the photographs are from treasured moments, candid, with his friends and family, shot on a film camera which almost certainly wasn’t practically glued to his hand. It got me thinking about the sanctity of photo taking and savouring a moment, capturing it to be treasured forever.
Our parents before us never had countless platforms from which to broadcast.
As a blogger, the way I look at photographs is much different that I as a past journalism student or a media student or, God forbid, just a person before that. I’m a huge advocate, as you know, for blogging however I want to and yet when I’m out and about, why yes I do feel some sort of pressure to ‘get that shot’ if I see cacti in formation or to correct my posture and flick my hair ‘just so’ against a colourful backdrop. I have pages and pages (several thumb scrolls worth) of Instagram fodder on my phone, that is, seemingly pointless and impersonal photographs of artfully placed coffee cups and ‘oh I didn’t spend an hour painstakingly scattering this products on a white table’ flat lays. I adore sharing outfits but am I dedicated enough to joining the masses to shoot at the weekly popular spot? I don’t think I am. I struggle to take a train on my own at the moment, for God’s sake. Sometimes I open my Gallery to show my boyfriend a photo of something else and I think: ‘What on Earth am I doing?’ as I thumb haphazardly through these photos that, actually, don’t serve a purpose at all. It’s just social media clutter. Mind clutter.
I’ve blogged for almost 8 years now. E-i-g-h-t. I’d hazard a guess that 8 years ago, a large majority of you gals reading this post didn’t even know what a blog was. I remember the days of only having Milly, Claire and Lauren on Twitter to chat to because the idea of cross-pollinating social media and a bona fide blog was almost unheard of. I’m genuinely old school. And I suppose my thoughts on Instagram and the immediacy of the overall social media and influencer world stem from some general thoughts I’ve had about the imprint I’d like to leave on this globe. I can certainly see myself blogging for another 8 years – I can’t wait to someday bring news of a Baby Daisy! – but I can’t see myself forcibly sharing content that I don’t genuinely back. So I’m stepping back.
The idea of cross-pollinating social media and a bona fide blog was unheard of.
In a world where anybody can become an influencer if you have a smartphone and Wi-Fi and where anybody can become an expert or be this and that, I somehow lost my footing and my ultimate wish of becoming a writer was also lost. I trained as a fashion journalist only for a #ad and 20-word caption to takeover as the most commonly read source of news. It’s important, I think, to put my time where my heart is again and if that’s not on the popular platform, then so be it. It’s exhausting to keep up with the rat race: truth be told, I don’t fit the 2017 blogger/influencer mould and I don’t think I want to.
Here’s to online focus not online sprawling, and here’s to sharing my life as I want to live it.