We live in a world where everything is edited.
Selfies have filters on and blemishes removed before the real world gets to see them.
Instagram is full of people showing the exciting things, and missing out anything ordinary or god-forbid mundane. Everyone seems to have these glossy lives on the internet, and I think we often forget that this is just a slice of someones life.
We all do it – on my Instagram, just as an example, I post a photo a day and have done so since new years day 2014 – however the day before yesterday, as an example, my photo-of-the-day was of a cup of tea and my laptop screen, showing my latest blog post (Sun, Snow and Skiing), with a nice filter and looking all cosy.
What it didn’t show was that I spent a huge amount of Sunday asking myself some important questions about things, then trying to distract myself from worrying about these questions, and only then did I manage to write my post. The reason I wrote and posted it (I don’t normally post on a sunday) was as a distraction from the less shiny things going on at the moment.
I am not afraid to tell you this. Because we all have days that feel a bit shit. We all have days where we question absolutely everything and think about all the things we want in our lives and that we have no idea how to get there. We are only human, and we can’t be as shiny and positive as our internet lives portray us to be all the time. Most probably, we will wake up the next day, as I did yesterday, and feel infinitely better – but that doesn’t detract having a crappy day the day before.
I try to be positive online, but I am also honest – and whether that is wise or not, is a matter of opinion, but I put this to you – surely it is better to be honest and real, and tell your readers what is going on so that they can relate, sympathise or even help, than cover everything in “Amaro” filter and pretend everything is hunky dory all the time.
I think the relationship between blogger and reader is very special – and one which, though still quite new to me, I am growing to really cherish. Some bloggers make a choice to maintain a really positive outlook, which is great. Others allow a lot more of their reality and personal life in, which is also great. It is a choice, and both are equally valid approaches to this malleable world we call ‘blogging’.
|Logo screenshot from www.hannahgale.co.uk|
One blogger I have come across only recently (and I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning her here, but she has inspired this post) is Hannah Gale. I haven’t met her, we haven’t even spoken online, but I read her blog. She is so wonderfully, refreshingly honest in her posts, and this has led to some comments this week about her being “negative” on her blog. I have read her posts – she doesn’t sit there and moan, but she does mention the less shiny parts of reality, which is both incredibly brave and really refreshing.
As I said, I don’t know her, but through her blog, I feel that I know a little bit about her – she seems incredibly genuine, and, because I have read her posts; the positive posts, the hilarious posts and the posts where she is brutally honest about feeling crappy, or getting worked up over little things (which we all do, but I think a lot of us find it very hard to admit, and even harder to post into a public arena!) she just seems real.
I think that a reader wants to learn about the inner lives of a blogger – look at people like Zoella – millions of people watch vlogs about what her and Alfie Deyes (Pointless Blog) get up to every day for an insight to their lives – even if they are just going to the shops. The reason, I think, they are so popular, is because you see so much of them – both positive and negative. We have seen them on holiday and at launch parties etc but also, Zoe has spoken, in tears, on camera about her anxiety, and it only made her seem human. (Hats off to her – Incredibly brave thing to do!)
I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very long-winded way is this; isn’t it better to be real and relatable, than filtered, edited and seemingly awesome but inaccessible to the person reading?
And, even more importantly, no matter what your opinions about the blogger’s content; I can’t help thinking that negativity about it, particularly if it has taken bravery and guts to put it out there in the first place – is never necessary.