I’ve had a post about the blogging industry and the big swathe of jealousy and self-comparison that comes with it bubbling inside me for some time but was never quite sure how to articulate it.
But today, well today I’m going to give it my best shot.
I’ve read a lot of really thought-provoking posts recently about this kind of thing. There was Victoria’s post about not feeling guilty or anxious about unfollowing Instagram accounts that don’t make you feel great, and then there was Katie Oldham’s last-ever blog post which painted the entire industry in a dark and sinister light.
And I’d love to be able to say I completely disagree with her, but the sad reality is that there were words, sentences and entire paragraphs that stung painfully true.
Because blogging is a business.
It’s no longer just a place for the average girl to write about her fave foundation and Primark heels, it’s a place for the average girl to make some money whilst writing about her fave foundation and Primark heels.
And because of that, it blurs the line between personal life and professional life in a way which the majority of us have never seen before.
I guess you could call it the modern-day version of reality television or even Hollywood.
You don’t know which celebs have called the paps themselves to get them to shoot photos of them exercising in Hyde Park ready to go straight up on the Mail Online’s sidebar of shame. The same way you don’t know which bloggers have relentlessly hounded a PR for the paid campaign you’re jealously glaring at over on Instagram.
We don’t know what’s real, what’s manipulated, what’s edited. We don’t ever really know the truth.
And, I could spend an entire lifetime beating myself up about the campaigns and trips and opportunities I didn’t get and how unfair it is because HEY LOOK I HAVE BETTER ENGAGEMENT THAN HER AND I’VE GAINED ALL MY FOLLOWERS AUTHENTICALLY but when it comes down to it, WHY DOES IT EVEN MATTER?
I read a really great quote recently. And I’m probably remembering it slightly wrong but it said something along the lines of ‘there is enough in this world to cater to everyone’s need, but there isn’t enough to cater to everyone’s greed’.
And that’s the very core of it. Accepting that I have enough, more than enough, to cater to my need.
I want more because I see other people having more and I think that I should have it too, but I don’t actually need it.
I have a home. A boyfriend who loves me. Great friends. My health. Happiness. Enough food to go without hunger. Holidays. Clothes. A working car. Takeout coffees. Cats. Endless cushions and blankets and shoes.
There’s a fine line between greed and ambition, and I think it’s that very line that drives so many of us insane on a daily basis.
It’s nice to dream big and to reward ourselves for working hard, but maybe our issue isn’t so much that we can see what everyone’s up to 24 hours of the day thanks to social media, maybe it’s this unquenchable thirst that’s been ingrained in us millennials to always want more, more, more.
We’re often so caught up in moving forward, in growing as a person, that we forget to reflect back on the journey we’ve already made. To forget to see how great, how amazing, the things we already have are.
We don’t stop to admire the view before attempting to climb the next mountain because LOOK LOOK LOOK this mountain is a bit higher.
I’ve spent many an hour losing myself to the likes of websites like Social Blade and Similar Web, chuckling to myself in a high pitched hyena-like way as I uncover yet another blogger who follows and unfollows in the hundreds or even thousands, but in what way does that enrich my life?
We’re obsessed with calling people out. Of finding out people’s dirty little secrets. As though somehow that makes us better. We’re all sat waiting for the day an Instagram bot website leaks all its data about who its users are and we can watch the mighty fall whilst we’re lounging on the sofa munching popcorn, watching it all unravel.
Because we’re desperate for things to feel fair? Or because we think it’ll somehow make us feel better?
I’m going to round-up this post referring back to something I said at the beginning. Blogging is a business, and the reality is that business isn’t fair.
There will always be people who play a little dirty, people who poach clients or play by rules that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with.
But, that is business.
And we can learn to either accept it and treat it the way you would any industry.
(Like, could you imagine a plumber whimpering in his pyjamas with a face full of pizza because he really, really wanted to work on that bathroom re-design but another plumber got offered the job instead and it’s not fair because he KNOWS he’s better at tiling?)
Or, we can go drive ourselves absolutely freakin’ insane and be completely miserable every time we pick up our phones.
I’m going to try and give the first a go. Because y’know what? I think I owe it to myself, to my sanity, and to this blog.
And on that note, I’m off to enjoy the things and the people I already have in my life, because they’re more than enough. Peace out, boo thangs.
Photos by Debs at Bang On Style.