Are the problems in Social Media, in part our Fault?

Are the problems in Social Media, in part our Fault?

As the title says, I want us to delve into us, social media users and the blogging community, the people that love and loathe social media in equal measure. Like many of you that write a blog, its my absolute passion, so I want us to have a look at the possibility that the “problems’ that we moan about in social media and blogging, could actually be our fault. I have realised that I perhaps have been at fault occasionally. Grab your brew people, its cuppa and a chat time. I warn you, its a bit of a long one……..

There has been a lot of discontent in the blogosphere lately. Lots of weird vibes. Iv even seen people say that social media is affecting their mental health, and stopping them blogging, Its crazy! I myself recently felt pressured by social media, something that shocked me, and felt I needed to take a break from it, to analyse and make sense of what I felt.

A couple of things and conversations inspired this post. Firstly, I read an excellent post from Chloe at Lady Writes, about how social media had really brought her mental well being down, and that she felt although things like algorithms cause a lot of problems, the jealousy and competitiveness that is rife in her world (full time “working” bloggers) is actually causing some of them too. I found myself agreeing with it totally, and also questioning whether perhaps, I had unintentionally, been guilty of some of what she spoke about. It made me want to pull apart my own behaviour, and see what I could do differently to support this industry I love, and to basically, be a better person! I wanted to expand on the thoughts that Chloe’s post had made pop in my brain, and delve a little deeper. Im not a full time blogger, I have no desire to be, but I do want what I write to be read. Its why all writers write isn’t it? Im not pretending to understand the pressure that girls like Chloe feel as blogging is their livelihood, and Id NEVER get into any twitter drama’s etc,  but I certainly understand and recognise a lot of what she said.

Like any industry, as soon as there is money involved, things change. Whether we admit it or not, some bloggers with bigger followings DO have a sense of entitlement so, that view of bloggers some people have, can be justified at times. The blogging industry has evolved, and become a platform and tool that people can earn a full time wage on, which I think is great. A lot of people actually set out to make this their career or for the free stuff they are sure will get thrown at them. Im not saying its wrong, not in any sense, but I am saying don’t assume that this is what everyone wants. Personally, I don’t. I write purely because I love to write, and Im happy to finance my own beauty habit! Any little perks are a bonus for me, not the main event.

Blogging is also seen by many as an incredibly “easy” way to earn money, and the impression is that bloggers get sent loads of stuff, swan around to posh events, take a few pics and earn a living. No wonder so many people want a piece of the apparent easy-peasy-profitable-pie! Now, Im not here to get into the realities of writing a blog, but we all know its not all roses and I have full admiration for those earning a living from it! I have read blogs for about 10 years, and I have noticed massive changes as a reader. Im not saying the changes are bad, Im happy to roll with change, but the way people write blogs now is different, and if their content no longer does it for me, I just don’t read anymore. No drama! I don’t take to twitter to subtweet that they are un-relatable, too high end, too #spon #ad #gift or whatever it is Im not digging. I just stop reading. Simple! Its a bit like if a shop or company gives you bad service, you just don’t shop with them anymore. Blogging is the same, you have a choice what you read! Blogging is a business for some. So, like all businesses, you get competitiveness and rivalry.

notebooks, tea, and planning

Think about your own behaviour online for a moment. I personally, always say I am a “lazy scroller”. If Im looking through Instagram, its almost mechanical and detached and unless a photo really inspires me, or they are one of my “online friends”, I keep scrolling. I will “like” along the way, but to engage me the photo has to inspire me. Now, this is where I am going to be brutally honest, and you need to know this was a very temporary glitch in my behaviour. I have once or twice, not “liked” a photo on Instagram before because I was envious of that persons growth or I just couldn’t be bothered. I know. Shock that Kerry isn’t actually a Disney character and has a bad side…. It was a little while ago, when I was having a weird month of letting social media get inside my head, and it shocked me when I realised I had done that. I was for the first time, taking notice of figures etc. I have NEVER been like that. I literally look at my figures once a month when I do my google analytics, yet in that dark month, I was looking at them 3/4 times a week! This then manifested into me becoming aware of strangers accounts that had bigger followings, yet didn’t really seem to put much effort into their pictures. I was frustrated and comparing myself. Horrible traits that in my normal life, I never feel. (This was where I took a social media step back, and had a word with myself, I really didn’t like that I was feeling this way). Oh and I did go back and “like” that photo a week later, guilt made me feel rubbish!

Be really honest, has anyone else experienced a bit of envy or frustration?  Why do you think people are not always supportive? What do you think is going on? I do think that a lot of those negative feelings are around, and hope its just a weird phase thats hit. Algorithms do play a part, Im sure of it, as does lazy scrollers like me! I even have a blogger friend that I really like that very rarely likes anything I put on Instagram, but ‘Im sure she dosen’t hate me, she just cant be arsed! I do also agree with some of what Chloe said, and maybe in career bloggers,  sometimes people are afraid of what you might become, and by withholding that like or comment, its like their protest at your apparent success/popularity/achievements etc. Its absolute fact that Instagram “Ad’s” get a lot less engagement than normal photos. Why is that? Why are we not supporting people that make a living from this gig? The ole green eyed monster and competitiveness 100% has a part to play.

I think also, there can be a bit of a divide within the community. A bit big blogger, little blogger, which I personally had never felt, but the following is a 100% true story. I was at an event a little while back, and a blogger that I was chatting too had been at a previous event that I was also at. I asked her how she had found the last event, and she said “Oh it was a waste of my time as I was in a different league to the other people attending. Im a full time blogger, they are just hobbyists” I initially felt embarrassed. I then felt like shit. I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe that someone had the idea that she was some how superior because she had a few thousand social media followers. My rubbish feeling very quickly turned to anger, I was angry on behalf of every blooming blogger, whatever their follower size! On top of this attitude, we also have things like only someone with 10k followers on Instagram can have a swipe up facility, only someone on YouTube with over 1k followers can monetise. All little things that create divide, so its never great when people within the community itself feels they are somehow elitist!

Another thing that is rife is the “whats in it for me” attitude. The social climber and the people that only show support if they think they can get something back from it. (do you remember the Are You A Trophy Friend post? We spoke a bit about that there) A twitter thread from the queen that is Vix Meldrew was started recently, and from the responses, it was very apparent that a lot of people have seen this attitude, and feel it is rife. Comment pods, follow trains, follow begs, follow/unfollow, all contribute and encourage this problem. Its like sincerity has been dimmed.

When I found myself briefly being ole green eyes in my attitude, I stopped it. Simple as that. It shocked me. I try to be a supportive person, (and I think I am most of the time), Iv always commented on posts I love, I always use someones affiliate link if Im buying what they review etc. I am a huge advocate of women supporting women, yet here I was being a complete dick! I needed to understand why, to make sure I understood where it came from, so I could change my behaviour. I realised that I had let myself get caught up in it all. But why? If my main priority is just to have an outlet to write, and I don’t want to earn a full time living from it, why did it matter? I do use some affiliate links on my site, and Im not saying that the odd brand collaboration isnt for me. I like to do occassional ones and trust me, if some of my favourite make up and skincare brands were popping into my inbox Id be on it like a car bonnet, but its not my priority. Remembering why I started my blog put my attitude firmly back in its place. I have a much more relaxed attitude to it all now, Im back being mellow Kerry thank gawd! I wasn’t keen on that old cow that raised her head for a week……

So, here we have it. I would really love to hear your views on this. I think it is apparent that some of the problems within social media is not only down to shitty algorithms, its down to shitty attitudes and behaviour. We, the very people that could make it all much nicer, are in part, responsible for making it at times, not so nice. Tell me your thoughts. Have you ever experienced any rubbish attitudes? Have you ever been guilty of any of the above? How do you feel about ads, sponsored posts, gifted items etc in the blogs you read? Have you ever felt envious of someone? As ever, I want us to discuss openly as Im really interested in how you feel about all this. Can you see how you/we could make changes to help?

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22 Comments

  1. April 25, 2018 / 9:00 am

    I love your honesty here! I am certainly guilty of occasionally peaking at other bloggers’ follow numbers but I hope mainly out of curiosity. I would never purposefully try to limit their success how ever much I might like to be as successful myself (and here I mean popular…no blogging career for me). I have noticed how many many more looks I get on my post than likes. But I put it down to my needing to improve a bit! 😉 thanks for your thoughts, I really enjoyed reading them 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 9:31 am

      Ohh Im always honest haha. It was a huge shock to me when I realised that I had done that, and that was why I needed to unravel what I was feeling. I hated that I had let it get into my head like that. I felt so guilty! (I did go back and give the photo a like) I think social media is a fabulous thing, but also a little dangerous if thought about too much. Again, thats me, I tend to overthink everything Still, as I always say, its always a lesson, never a regret. Thank you for popping across. Im really looking forward to hopefully hearing others view points. xxx

      • April 26, 2018 / 9:24 am

        I agree about social media. I think you’ll get some interesting responses 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you so much, your post was a great post that really made me think xx

  2. April 25, 2018 / 10:11 am

    The only numbers I’ve really peeked at is my blogger friends numbers just to be happy about how much they grow. I have never been hardcore into social media so keeping up with numbers and stats just isnt for me.. plus, i gave up on my blog once it grew large enough for me to actually be sent a freebie because it just didn’t feel right to me, I don’t like being in the spotlight. I can’t say I’ve ever felt envious of anyone, but if I was in my teens now, where social media is everywhere I probably would have been. When I was in my teens we barely even had facebook to use so there was nothing to be envious about.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Oh thats an interesting view. Did it make you fee uncomfortable getting sent things Lise? Im not sure if I used the right word with envious, it was more a feeling of frustration. It was weird! It was never my “friends” accounts, it was strangers that I follow. Im so glad that the weird week has passed, I felt like I was losing myself haha! Thanks for reading xxx

      • April 26, 2018 / 5:27 am

        It did, yes! At first I thought it was nice because hey, it was something I wouldn’t have to spend money on.. but then I thought like.. why am I being sent this though? All I do is share my thoughts on something, I’m not trying to build a brand or make money off of it.. So it felt wrong to me.

        Ah, I understand! It must have been difficult to realize that on your own, but I’m glad it has passed and you can be yourself again xx

        • kerrylifeandloves
          Author
          April 26, 2018 / 7:14 am

          I totally get what you mean. Im the same as you, no desire for this to become my job, but I do see the little perks we occasionally get as a nice add on. I don’t do many, very rarely in fact, but if one comes through that I genuinely like the look of, I do it. I always think, would I put this on my blog if it wasn’t gifted? If the answer is no, then I turn it down. Thank you so much for your input Lise, its so interesting getting everyones view xxxx

  3. April 25, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Another brilliant post Kerry, has really made me think. Your line about you not being a disney character made me giggle. I totally get what you’re saying here, it happened to me one or twice where I realised how toxic social media could be. I am definitely guilty of being a lazy scroller on instagram sometimes. As much as we like to blame the algorithim we need to remember that most of us aren’t going to engage with every post on instagram. I truly hate the ‘elitist’ side of blogging, not sure why people who have a few thousand followers on social media think that that gives them the right to be rude to smaller bloggers. Hate that attitude, it’s so wrong because everyone startes in the same place!xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 1:08 pm

      Ahh thank you Grace. I think this post I worried about more than any other, as I didnt want it to be negative. I adore the blogging industry and didnt want it to come across bashing! Thank you for your honesty, I think if we can see where we fall down sometimes, we can change it cant we. Thankfully, I havent come across that elitist attitude before or since, but it was a shock I tell you. Gawd knows what the look on my face was……haha. thank you for reading, and agin, for your honesty xxx

      • April 25, 2018 / 4:26 pm

        I totally get you, I get like that sometimes and feeling like I am ranting a bit! Exactly, just have to try and recognise our disruptive behaviour. It’s very odd but luckily it is very rare! Bless you, I’d have been the exact same xxx

  4. April 25, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    A really, really interesting post! I’m glad you spoke about this because it’s something that I’ve noticed. I’m very much – just do me. If I want to post a load of selfies I will, if I want to show my body I will, and if I spend a week not feeling great then I won’t.
    But I’ve had back-handed compliments. And when I posted myself in a bikini after my holiday, a girl mentioned how all bodies are the same and my blog is just vanity.
    There’s unnecessary hate. Like you said, people should move on. If I don’t like someone’s work, I’m not going to complain and pick them a part.
    Jealousy is such a natural trait, and online you are just bombarded with people trying to show off and flaunt their lifestyles. But I also think it delves from insecurity. And it’s hard not letting that immediate reaction influence your decisions.
    I have made money from my blog but I’ve also turned stuff down. I wouldn’t want to be a full time blogger either. I have no interest in the politics or feeling that a blogger is better because they have x amount of subscribers. xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      Im sorry to had that rubbish comment Laura, thats horrible and as you say, unnecessary. I was worried about posting this as I was stressed it would come across negative, and its certainly not meant that way. I am a peace and harmony kinda gal, but it alarmed me how letting myself get caught up in it all, changed my behaviour for a brief time. It was horrible! Im glad that you have the confidence and strength to just do your thing, it is after all, your labour of love, no one else’s xx Thank you so much for your input, a great view point xxx

  5. April 25, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    I’m not envious of anyone who earns money from their blog, since I don’t have that as a goal (that being said, if someone wants to do a collaboration I would do it but only if it would fit the content of my blog), and today many for-profit blogs can be ok to read. I’m not happy about sponsored posts but it seems like nowadays people have learned how to write them so that it’s not that obvious that the post is sponsored (not like in the old days “ooooh this lipstick from x brand totally changed my liiife!!” like in a TV ad) and in many cases the post can still be interesting to read.

    I think it’s interesting what you write about ads on Instagram because I don’t see them as something to engage with but I only see Instagram ads as something evil that they forced on me, and I always click “remove” and “not relevant” unless it’s photography equipment or something Ireland related or Italy related, or other things that seem relevant to my interests and to what I post about generally. I never wanted ads on Instagram to begin. As for my clicks, it’s very unlikely it will help but somehow I want to believe that Instagram will learn after a while what kind of ads are ok for me to have there.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      Now, wouldnt that be a thing, Instagram showing us what we WANT to see! Haha. The ads I was thinking of, although I was probably not that clear, are those that people we follow do. So paid collaborations etc. Do you find those annoying? I have no issue at all people earning money from their blog, good on them, and I agree, people are so much better how they write them now. No shopping channel sales pitch for us thank you…lol I think social media can make people get so wrapped up in it, and when I briefly did, it was a shock to me as I never saw myself ever caring enough about it. Im so glad it was a temporary glitch! Thank you for reading, and your input. I love hearing everyones view on these things xxx

      • April 25, 2018 / 10:55 pm

        Oh, you meant sponsored posts from people I follow! I totally didn’t get that. Well, I’m probably an evil person but yes, I think they’re annoying! But I think it would depend on how they’re made. I will always “like” a pretty well composed photo! No matter if it’s sponsored or not. But when a post has that “sell sell sell” attitude and looks too much like an ad, it annoys me. Because I’ve chosen to use Instagram to see nice photos, not to be sold stuff. If I want to buy something, I visit a web shop! Or search for it on DuckDuckGo.

        I know I’m very old fashioned when it comes to the internet and social media. I still use it as something social and not for business, although I’m somewhere on the border with the whiskey blog accounts.

        Of course I wish my friends all the best when they want to earn money online, but I want to chose myself when to see that sponsored stuff! (Like if I visit their blog)

        • kerrylifeandloves
          Author
          April 26, 2018 / 7:11 am

          I dont think I was very clear so no wonder it didnt come across what I meant haha. I actually share a similar view to you, so Im old fashioned too. I want to just see pretty pictures, I dont even really want story long captions! I suppose I just want a visual pleasing thing, not have to think about it too much. I dont mind ads from my friends accounts, I hate all the spam ones that seem to be rife at the moment. My feed is cluttered with rubbish that Im really not interested in! We will be old fashioned together xxxx

  6. April 26, 2018 / 11:43 pm

    Oh, I do love your honesty! I have worked really hard the past three years blogging. I enjoy the challenge mostly. I like to learn new things all the time. Instagram is my worst platform! I’m a really slow grower there compared to some, but I just can’t be arsed with worrying about it! I love stories but hate the grid if I’m honest. I do often wonder “how’d she do that?” though and set about my new learning. I do get the green eye every now and then too! But that just fuels my determination
    Laurie xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 27, 2018 / 8:14 am

      Im too blooming honest sometimes! Ohhhh Laurie you are my soul sista! Im the exact same. I enjoy the challenge, I love to understand and learn, I love Instastories but Instagram grid frustrates me. I have mellowed with it though. I honestly think unless your willing to spend a lot of time on Instagram, its a hard nut to crack. Im not willing to give up my time to that degree. I now accept it is what it is and who knows, Instagram could just disappear one day!

  7. April 28, 2018 / 7:41 am

    Totally agree with the big blogger little blogger thing. And being a full tile blogger doesn’t make you special- I love blogging but also love my career which I don’t want to give up. You shouldn’t feel not good enough if you just do it for a hobby! Really interesting and informative post xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 29, 2018 / 11:25 am

      Ahhhh thank you, Im so glad you could relate to some of it. Its crazy how some people act isnt it. Im the same as you, I do a job I love, have a book to write so this is a beautiful hobby for me. Thanks for reading xxx

I love reading your comments x

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