Does Blogging & Social Media Make Me Unhappy?
a person who regularly writes material for a blog.
I’ve now been running Cake Vs Scales for 7 years and sometimes I just can’t take in how fast the time as gone. I have moments of immense joy in my work, but if I’m honest, I’m most proud of the fact I’ve never given up because frankly, it has been extremely tempting. I’ll never deny that the prospect of a Social Media Free Life, hasn’t crossed my mind more than once.
When I first started, it was all very innocent, I’d share grainy pictures with posts littered full of spelling mistakes. I would publish disjointed stories about my life or whatever was bringing me joy that week, I’d write endless horrible (by my own admission) diet recipes and I wouldn’t think twice about using a random photo from Google. FYI – Don’t do that!
Then it all changed, my ambitions grew and gradually companies started working with me, at the time, I had no idea I was the cheapest form of marketing because I was on cloud 9. All of a sudden, I was useful. Gradually people started to follow me on Bloglovin’ and I dipped my toe into social media, every new follower felt like a friend. I was on a constant high, for someone who was at the time very lonely and had never felt popular, having 100 followers made me feel like someone. You might laugh, but it did.
I guess this is part of the problem, over the years we’ve been conditioned to value ourselves on “Likes” and it’s always quantity, not quality. You might not think it’s a problem, but has your mood ever dipped because something you posted wasn’t popular? Mine has. Have you ever felt a bit hurt when someone you considered an online friend unfollowed you? Me too. Ever avoided posting something because it might not be that interesting or gain engagement? Okay, yes, again, me too.
I didn’t start blogging to be internet famous, I don’t want people to think “I want to be just like her” and I won’t go out for the sake of looking cool on my Instagram story. Behind the scenes I’m an exhausted people pleaser; who sometimes works herself into an unglamorous mess, who forgets to do things, who burns dinner and exists on caffeine and carbs. I write blogs in my dressing gown, surrounded by scrap paper, notes, empty cups and plates, with music blasting.
I’m crying whilst writing this because I know that I should be grateful, but sometimes I’m just so emotionally drained by the rat race and I’m the only one to blame for how I feel. What you need to know is that blogging can be excellent for social skills, mental health, and creativity. It can also be hugely detrimental to self-esteem, a healthy balanced work life and personal values.
There were times when I didn’t know if people liked me, or if they wanted to use me to be featured on the blog and promote themselves. Or they hung out with me in the hope, I’ll take them as a plus one to an event or provide some excess free samples. Nowadays when something starts to feel inauthentic to me, I’ll step away and mute. Sure, I might not go to an “Oh so exciting” meet up or similar, but my mental health comes first. I’m learning to focus on the joy of missing out.
Should you ever feel that social media, blogging or friendships are not bringing you joy? I ask that you step back, consider the situation and don’t be afraid to embrace the joy of missing out. We don’t all need to be the same you know?
As for me? I might tidy these scraps of paper, press publish on “the next big thing” and pray to the Instagram Gods that more than 10 people like my next picture…
P.s – Thanks for reading, whoever you might be, you make it worthwhile and I appreciate you. At the end of the day, if no one read, I’d just write love letters to my husband and cat. They don’t use social media.