Grab a cup of coffee, I have a feeling this is going to be a long one.
You might have noticed, but I haven’t been feeling “it”. Blogging, Instagram, the whole online presence thing. It started last year, around the turn of the year and shortly after it led to me disappearing of the internet for a good 2,5 months. I didn’t publish any blog posts, I didn’t post on Instagram, … . I even deleted Instagram and Twitter from my phone! Eventually I returned, feeling refreshed and re-centered, but it didn’t take long before I started to feel off again. A strange feeling of discontentment has been lingering inside me since.
I analyzed my feelings over and over again, sometimes leading me to find a spark of inspiration again, but never enough to keep going. I’ve been on and off my blog and social media for over a year now and its showing in my statistics. They have plummeted! People who have been following along for a long time have left and also a lot of the blogger “friends” I had have stopped reaching out.
Rebecca from A Clothes Horse recently published a post that struck a cord. In her post titled “Feeling Like A Dinosaur” She wrote: “it’s easy to feel out-of-touch, fossilized and irrelevant in the fast-paced world of the web.”
I’d like to share how I feel about that today.
A Dinosaur Online
Maybe you didn’t know, but I’ve been blogging for 10 years. And If you count other sites such as MSN Groups and Myspace, I’ve been around for almost 16 years. Sixteen years of – what is now called – “content creation”. I stem from times when Dollz, blinkies, butterfly cursors and extravagant scroll bars were cool. Don’t know what these are? Look it up and immerse yourself in turn of the millenium internet nostalgia.
All jokes aside, I went from creating my own Dollz and learning how to blend images of my fave celebrities into layouts in Photoshop, to fashion blogging and eventually Instagram in a course of 16 years. The last 5 years have been going SO fast and I feel like I just can’t keep up anymore.
There were trends in blogging and early website design, too. The butterfly cursors were replaced by normal cursors and we left our sidebars alone while designing our sites pretty soon too. But blogging was simply blogging and it was one of the few spaces on the internet that we as normal everyday people could use to express ourselves and be part of a community. And then Facebook came. And then Twitter followed. And then Instagram dropped in like a meteorite.
Suddenly I was blogging, facebooking, tweeting and instagramming all the time. Always. And what I posted on my blog surely couldn’t be re-posted on Instagram. And my Facebook posts had to be different from my Tweets. In the span of just a few crucial years, I didn’t only have to take blog photos, I also had to come up with 5 other types of content every day to stay on top of a game I was so good at playing once.
There are hundreds of blogs, videos and podcasts to teach you how to create content in batches and how to tweak content meant for one platform to make it fit another. Believe me, I’ve read tons of those tips but it always felt very unlike “me” to go about blogging like this.
Social media also have their issues. Trends go back-and-forth faster than a tennis ball at Wimbledon. It’s also much easier to compare because you can switch profiles with the snap of a finger or browse explore pages and use hashtags. Pesky algorithms make sure you get hidden from your following if you don’t spend enough time or even money on their app. Lastly, the intake of information on social media is so high, that it all blends into one, big, bland mess of content. I hate it.
Slowly blogging and social media started to feel less personal, and more and more like a business that required constant planning and attention. To me, it was mind-numbing. I never wanted my blog to be a business. I just wanted to share my outfits and have conversation with like-minded people on the internet. But readers were gone as they had moved into the wonderful new worlds on their smartphones. Who has time or interest to sit at their desktop and read blogs anymore?
Down of the Dinosaur
I followed where my readers went and ended up focusing on all the platforms at once. I started losing my following and my online friends in the social media maze that came to be. A crucial mistake and an act I couldn’t keep performing forever. I fell between the cracks of blogging and social media. I wasn’t getting any interaction anymore.
First I stopped facebooking. Then I quit tweeting. And last year I finally gave up on Instagram as well. I just couldn’t keep up anymore. Life online is going so, so fast and the longer I was in the rat race, the less energy I had to continue.
A New Dawn
However much has changed, I have found a few constants throughout the past 16 years: my drive to have the most beautiful web page, my almost compulsive need to photograph just about everything and my love for playing dress up and shooting photos of my favorite outfits. It was a long road to my final conclusion, with many detours and dead ends, but I think I’ve finally worked out that blogging has always been and will always be my number one outlet. It is the only place where I can combine all of the above, with the possibilities to reach out to people who have the same interest and without the complicated issues of social media. I have neglected my online space way too long and It’s about time I kick some life back into The Ginger Diaries blog.
What do you think? I’m ready to go for it!
blouse: & Other Stories • culottes: Zara • bag: Tommy Hilfiger (c/o SKM Mode) • slides: Dorothy Perkins