Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Love Letter to All Bloggers



Dear Blogger,

I am one of many people who care about you…the person you are, the words and images you put out there to offer escapism, joy, inspiration or creative satisfaction. I see so many things that make you unique and special, those quirks and traits that make you stand out and have a special place in this  tricky and complicated world of being an influencer. I'm guessing you hate using that word as me...it sounds so cold, so inhuman, but you are a multifaceted human, one that is rampant of feeling...feelings that have fueled your insecurities of late.

Valentines is upon us. Another ‘special’day of the year we are encouraged to make content in honour of, whether it’s in support of it's heady consumerism- giving eachother tips on how to dress, do our make-up or how to date, or whether it's showing a rebellion towards it, vocalising our anti-Valentines slant, or embracing it in a less obvious way - like sharing the important of self-love.

This blogger that loves you has decided to use this day to to try and encourage you to love yourself, as I’ve noticed you haven’t seemed to be all that fond of you lately, and although it’s a feeling I find all too relatable, it still makes me feel incredibly sad that your facing this inner battle too. Particularly when it’s in your power to do something about it.

Despite an glaringly obvious need to listen to my own advice, in honour of the tradition of sharing feelings of love for others on February14th, I wanted to put my efforts into making sure you really feel it, and to ensure you do all you can to restore some reality too.



Every day I log online to see posts talking about how you feel inferior, ugly, less-than, old, too big, too small, too different, not different enough. I need you to remember, and embrace, your oh so unique value.

If we were to think of social media/blogging industry as someone your sleeping with, seeing, dating or in a committed relationship with, and they were making you feel as bad as you seem to be feeling, we’d tell you to walk away from this toxic relationship. We’d tell you they’re a rat, a player, or no good for you.

Relationships are never going to be perfect - even the overly saccharine romantic movies are frequently reminding us of this .There will be bumps, rocky terrain, doubt, occasions of stress, times of taking the stress out on each-other, and moments where you'll need a bit of a time out. We are often told anything worth having doesn’t come easy, but I don’t completely buy into that statement in all situations, some things shouldn’t be this hard, so keep that in mind when trying to move forward.

Consider this…. If your friend was having issues in their relationship, you’d probably weigh up the value of said relationship, whether it’s something worth salvaging, if it was truly right for them, or had the goods to make your dearest friend happy. If the answer is/was yes you’d encourage them to work on it. You’d ask them to consider to make changes to the relationship, how it functions or how they function within in. You may tell them they need to be stern with the partner to ensure they make necessary changes too, ones that will make the road a little less hard to traverse. If the answer was no, you could see that the pairing was mismatched, detrimental to their mental or physical health, their confidence, and hopeless with no possibility of remedy or improvement, you’d tell them to walk away….and fast.

Surely, it makes complete sense that we should apply this to our relationship with our career/social media, after all we probably spend more time with our laptops and the people we communicate within our working worlds, than we do our sidelined partners.



I’m not saying you have to swiftly and harshly dump your blog (a blog that you may have been with for a long time and brought some happy things into your life), channel, social media, and this industry as a whole, but you may need to make some changes that ensure you can feel happy and confidence within this weird webby world, and not let it fool you into loving yourself or your abilities any less.

Maybe you need more space - create more distance between you and this fantasy realm...consistently or via regular breaks. How many couples function better when they’re not in each other pockets all the time?Absence makes the heart grow fonder....

Maybe you need to change it’s position in your list of priorities. Perhaps it's position at the top has caused this shift in your perception of yourself and/or what's important. Perhaps you're so intent on being the biggest, or the best, you haven’t noticed how well you’re actually doing or really appreciated the amazing stuff you have and continue to achieve. Perhaps you need to change the content you make so it positions you differently in the industry, in a space less vulnerable to certain industry pitfalls or situations that appear to build or bolster you insecurities.



I want you to read over this letter whenever your feel that your mind is clouded by social media noise, and when you get tricked into thinking your negative feelings about yourself are true, fact or rational. Remember you’ve actually just been warped by the stream of edited, faux, or enhanced text and images you see all day, every day, during your work time as well as your few minutes of down- time in which you still choose to scroll or view. The industry may have already persuaded you to put emphasis on the wrong aspect of being a human and existing in today’s world of heightened pressure, with it’s elevated view of numbers, popularity, status, the possession of objects and status symbols.

Think about what your closest or oldest friends would say about you, or that relative that knows you scarily well, including the uglier sides of the complete you. I’m sure they’d say they love you because your kind, funny, wise or thoughtful, hardowrking or charmingly ditzy, it wouldn’t be because of those amazing freebies, your follower count, what campaigns you’ve got.

If you love someone you set them free - one of many cheesey clichse that’s used as a guiding message in romantic novels and movies. But, if being happier and finding that comfortable sanctuary within the blogging world means seeing a bit less of you on social media, on YouTube or on Bloglovin, then I’d rather that. Of course I’ll miss you, crave your presence (in a not stalkery way), but I imagine it would just leave me wanting more…which is never a bad thing. And knowing you were more content in your  headspace ,which has always been prone to overthinking, questioning and wanting more….then that’s a sacrifice this admirer would happily make.

Despite popular belief that blogging is easy, or barely even a job, it can be really tough on ones grasp on reality as well as ones grasp on themselves. It’s so easy to forget what’s great about yourself, when the system has become a relentless and constantly evolving mechanism, increasingly proficient in making us focus on what we don’t have, do, own.

Remember the mere fact that you post makes you a special person - it means your self motivated, you are a sharer, a giver, perhaps you allow people to view vulnerability in order to help others, perhaps you share you incredibly style to help others embrace their own or find some confidence via fashion, perhaps you offer relaxation, humour or wisdom. You have chosen to use your voice to do or say something, or simply share your talent with us… that’s pretty awesome. Yet another things to love about you…

I don’t want to put too much emphasis on looks, because I love you for more than your vessel, but just know that even if you don’t match what you believe to be ideal mould for a successful face or body on social media, in no way does that mean you aren’t beautiful. Straight teeth, wonky teeth, smooth noses or ones with a sharp bump on the bridge, thick brows, thin brows, short hair, long hair, natural coloured hair, neon bright hair, curvy, slim, pale or dark…every possible variant can radiate beauty.

I guarantee the things you list as things you’d like to change are often the things people think make you cute, endearing, loveable, sexy, or serve as a statement (intentional or not) of unwillingness to conform to what people /media are trying to tell you is right/perfect/flawless/cool/ideal. But with anything that makes us insecure, it’s about how you feel about it. But I urge you to be really thorough when asking yourself why you dislike ‘insert feature.’ I only ask because your unique face/body adds its own element to the blogging landscape that would be missed, and by embracing those so called flaws you are also telling others that theirs are beautiful and worth treasuring too. All I’m really saying is, like Colin in Bridget Jones, I love you just as you are. But if you need to make changes to feel better, do it for you not because you feel you need to in order to veer closer to that perfect blogger mould.

I'll bring this rather wordy message of love and affection to a close by saying that I really hope that today and every day moving forward, that you feel loved. But I hope that warm fuzzy feeling isn’t cultivated from a stream of online comments, likes, retweets or PR gifts (as lovely as these things are). I hope that its  because you’ve been able to waft that unpleasant fog of social media idiocy away and have  truly remembered to love yourself. Trust me there’s lots to love. If not I hope you find that love within you soon, as it's important you channel it into you as well as your work and your online devotees.


Forever yours, with love

Sophie
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