Back from the Dead

Hi there! I can't believe how insanely long it's been since my last post. In addition to all the other things going on in my life, I think I definitely felt some intense blogger burnout and needed to take a step back from my online life. I'm sure all bloggers have felt lacking in inspiration, creativity, and motivation at some time or another, right?

I've been blogging on and off since 2010 which is really quite some time if you think about it. Since then, blogging has changed and evolved into a very different beast than what it once was. One of the main differences is that blogging has become much more commercial. It makes sense when you consider that people aren't really reading magazines anymore. Instead they are looking on Pinterest or Youtube or Instagram for inspiration from their favorite personalities. I (and I think others in general) used to follow bloggers for inspiration on how to wear certain things or recreate certain looks, but now we are mostly following to see what bloggers are buying. I don't feel like bloggers are really trying to inspire people anymore; moreso, they are just advertising whatever new wares they are paid to sell and creating aspirational lifestyles for you to admire. And that's fine, we do live in a consumerist culture after all. But, I think I'm trying to figure out where I can fit into this. My parents have always believed in a simple subsistence lifestyle, so I felt very deprived of things growing up, which is probably why I feel the need to accumulate so many material things now that I'm an adult. I don't think that I'm a hoarder (hoarders never do!) but simply put, owning things makes me happy! The clutter, though, does not, and I'm vaguely stressed out by the waste created by my materialism. My parents take the time to wash take-out containers so they can be recycled, collect and reuse grey water, and grow a majority of the fruits and vegetables they consume. This dichotomy has me feeling a little guilty, and being a fashion blogger does not help my case at all, as I've used it as justification to purchase so many unnecessary things.

Secondly, when I first started blogging there was no Instagram and social media wasn't so important. Nowadays the Instagram (or YouTube or Snapchat or whatever your medium is) is more important and the blog is secondary, in many cases existing only to supplement the Instagram. Personally, I'm not a big fan of social media, so this is something that I struggle with. At the crux of the matter, I'm just not someone who wants to spend hours every day looking at my phone. I don't have the time to keep up with every single acquaintance's and even stranger's lives on the daily, and Instagram's algorithm changes have made it really difficult for me to see the posts I am actually interested in. As a blogger in today's day and age though, Instagram is a very big part of the game. I've seen the amount of strategizing, work, and effort it takes for bloggers to build up their Instagram accounts and get eyes on each of their posts these days. I think that for me, I've always just kind of wanted to create the content but not so much put the effort into promotion and marketing. And these days I feel like it takes more effort than ever before. As I'm entering a new stage in life with my husband (yup, I'm MARRIED now...more on that in a later post), I'm wondering, is it worth it to continue trying to play this game? What's the juice to me and is it worth the squeeze?



Moreover, I feel like the social media craze has really reached a boiling point. A few months ago I visited the Museum of Ice Cream and for me, besides the good company, it was a completely regrettable waste of time and $30. I ended up not posting a single picture because I felt so dismayed by how the whole ordeal felt like a cheesy, low-budget trap for Instagrammers. It was NOT fun, and the ice cream samples weren't even good (sorry but I like to think of myself as an ice cream connoisseur) and yet...tickets were selling for over $150 on Stubhub! We've reached a point where people will do just about anything for the 'gram. More recently, I was on my honeymoon and couldn't help feeling like there are way too many people dragging their boyfriends/husbands/friends/family members around and spending way too much time trying to get those perfect Instagram shots. Of course, I'm one of them as well, and everyone wants to have nice vacation mementos, but I can't help but feel like we are going to extremes these days trying to pretend like we have these amaaazing and perfect Instagrammable lives and it somewhat detracts from the overall experience of actually just enjoying the moment and living your life.

I know that to some of you, I must sound like a super cynic right now, but I've been feeling like I sometimes have to choose between just living my real life and living life for Instagram. For example, I used to love posting food pictures but I started feeling like trying to stage the perfect shot was taking away from the quality of the actual meal and more grief than it was worth. For the sake of the 'gram, I would try to order things that would look photogenic instead of what I actually wanted to eat. Waiting for everything to arrive in order to try to get that tablescape shot was a pain, because the food was no longer fresh/hot by the time I actually got to eat it (plus dealing with hangry people always sucks). I decided that so many relationships revolve around the sharing of food and I'd rather try to enjoy the company I'm with rather than fiddle around with my phone or camera. So unless I'm with someone who also loves taking pictures of their food, I now usually just snap a quick picture for posterity (I still do like to have a memento of a good meal, it makes me happy!) Also, I've endured way too much melted ice cream in pursuit of the ice cream shot! Wasted ice cream is a real travesty.

I really feel like society's obsession with social media has become something that's a bit unhealthy. In my own life, in fact, I think it has led to some unrealistic expectations. There are some places that I visited because I saw a beautiful photo on Instagram or Pinterest, and real life just did not live up the hype. Sadly, real life just isn't always as beautiful as the professionally photographed, filtered photos you see on Instagram. Conversely, there are plenty of beautiful moments and places that will never make it to the 'gram, and my funnest memories are never the ones where I took 25 different pictures of the same thing trying to get one good shot.

Particularly with young girls, I feel this era of social media obsession can be damaging. I have seen too many measure their self-worth in number of likes and comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect people they see on social media, and it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and unhappiness. I'm a firm believer that comparing yourself to others will only lead to unhappiness (comparison is the thief of joy, truth), so I try my best to stay focused on only myself. But, as a blogger, it's hard not to feel like there are so many others out there who are more creative, better photographers, prettier and skinnier and taller, with much better wardrobes and more money and time to work with. Fact is, I know that there is ALWAYS going to be someone out there who is living a better Instagram life than me, and I don't have a problem accepting that. But creatively, I've just felt so uninspired and unsure of what direction to take things in, how I can make myself stand out in the midst of all of this.

Anyway, sorry this was such a long rant! If anyone actually made it this far, I think I deserve a pat on the back. These are all things that have been on my mind these past few months and the reasons I've been hesitant to delve back into blogging. But recently, I've been getting excited about clothes again (check out the things I'm crushing on for fall here, and it's making me realize that I still enjoy sharing that excitement with all of you on the internet. So I've I started feeling like, I'm going to continue the journey for now! If any of you readers are still out there, thanks for sticking with me!

22 comments

  1. Girl I feel you. I've been through all of those thoughts before as well as I am sure many bloggers have. For myself, I just keep going back to why I started in the first place. Not for the ads or sponsored deals, but as a creative outlet to share my fashion, lifestyle with anyone out there who cared. It's not a numbers game to me anymore and any opportunity that comes my way I see as something positive. Hang in there and yes, keep it up. Remember why you started! And congrats on getting married recently! xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/casual-flair/

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  2. I'm so glad that you've had time to relax. It is way more important to tend to your mental health than to worry about what to post. I can totally relate to the pressure of the changing blogging industry, and I'm so happy that you are doing better now. It is definitely best to wait to blog until you feel the time is right. It's so nice to see you back!

    ~xo Sheree
    PoshClassyMom.com

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  3. I'm so glad to see you are back to blogging. But I think is important to take a break from time to time from social media and really enjoy life with close friends and family. I started to take breaks from social media few weeks ago and I feel much better and renewed. More me time is important. Xx. Gina

    happy week ahead, sweetie! xx. Gina

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  4. Hey Darling,
    How are you?
    Definitely agree with you in so many points, I started blogging 8 years ago and everything changed.
    I feel sometimes sad about this All but I keep going and doing what I love:)
    I hope you think the same:)
    Sometimes I take breaks from Social Media too.
    Happy Sunday
    Kisses Karina

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  5. This is such a great post and I so agree with you about social media coming to a boiling point. It's insane how everyone is obsessed with social media that they forget about their daily lives and people around you. I have slowly learned to balance my personal life and my blogging life. Also, congratulations on getting married and welcome back to the world of blogging! xx shalini

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  6. I've been feeling everything you've been feeling lately! You don't sound like a cynic at all.
    Also I'm glad you're still blogging because I enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos. I think we just have to remember our blogs can just be a place for ourselves, for our creativity and passion. And it's also just fun to look back at old blog posts and see how much we've grown. Still, it's weird to think how much blogging has changed too.

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  7. Hey beautiful,
    So happy you're back into our community. I honestly couldn't agree more, this bloging community has changed so much. It's such a competitive and saturated environment and a big key to success is being original. I've been blogging for almost 3 years and there are definitely days I feel like giving up. But then I remember that I love what I do. You look gorgeous and so stylish. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo, Vanessa

    http://thefashionstatement.net

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  8. I feel so bad about myself when I see something on social media which pushes me to go see it in real life and I'm let down. I think it's sad what it says about our culture: we prefer fake over the real.

    xoxo,
    Emma
    http://petitemaisonoffashion.blogspot.com/ ♥

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  9. I did a similar blog post to this a few months ago so I feel you. And you’re not alone. If you don’t love using social media as much do more blog posts! I enjoyed reading that and I’m sure all your followers do as well. Everyone gets burnt out and you know that’s okay! I think my best moments are always the ones not photographed and that’s totally groovy with me.

    xxo
    Jacqueline
    www.brunchinista.com

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  10. It's definitely no secret that blogger's are lacking motivation and inspiration with the increased commercialization of social media platform. I completely agree with you, in fact I haven't written a blog post in MONTHS until last week, so we're in the same boat haha :)
    I feels difficult to express our own style now that sponsors for clothes etc. are so easily within reach - a lot of people lose themselves in this.
    I personally am not a big social media person too, and I feel like if not for my instagram already so established, I'd live a pretty happy life off Instagram since I've already rid Facebook 3 years ago haha!

    Also what you were saying about the Ice Cream Music is SO disappointing! I seen a lot of bloggers shoot there but to hear it was really mediocre and basically a trap for bloggers really does show how shallow instagram is.
    Agree on using blog > Instagram during times of no inspiration, it feels way more personal!

    Wanderlustts
    www.wanderlustts.com

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  11. I appreciate when people speak their truth because let's face it, so few do on social media. Insta is becoming a series of ads - instead of inspiration. I totally get the burnout and when I need a break I just skip a blog post for the week or post less on Insta. I do push myself to keep going because I refuse to give up all the time and effort I've already put in. Plus I refuse to be a quitter. It is so easy to get lost in the shuffle so my advice is to keep your authentic voice and just do whatever feels right. Good luck!

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  12. Tania! I feel like I've known you for so long just through Instagram or was it through Lookbook? I don't even know where to begin with this post because you've touched on basically everything that I've thought about for the past year.

    In general, I think we as millennials are in a time where everyone just wants that instant fame because it seems almost "effortless" to be an Instagrammer or blogger. Everything is definitely for the gram. Because of that, we see a rise in this stupid so-called museums. I went to the Museum of Ice Cream and didn't post a single photo. Like you mentioned, the ice-cream was awful and there was certainly no artistic element to the museum besides it being "cute" except, that one wall with the black ice-cream. (But that's only because the person pointed out that the artist wanted to make ice-cream as dark and cynical as possible.) The Getty Museum is actually free and you don't see much people posting about that.

    I think my comment is becoming an essay, but I'll be DMing you about this whole social media thing! LOL.

    xoxo,
    Maggie S.
    ❤Clothestomidnight.com

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  13. I totally agreed with you that blogging life has changed dramatically and not in a good way, everything is commercialized. I know only few bloggers that keep blogging only because they have true passion for fashion & style. I am glad that you took a break, I have been trying to figure out myself and still not sure if I should continue to blog.

    So jealous that you got to visit Ice Cream Museum because I wanted to visit but they are always overbooked.

    http://www.queenhorsfall.com/

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  14. So well said! I have been feeling the same - there shouldn't be a compromise just to maintain the Instagram life... but there always is.

    You write beautifully and your styling & photos are gorgeous - so I'm glad you're back.

    I think taking a break from the social world is a great idea, and I might be doing this myself sometime soon!

    Thanks for sharing!

    J. x

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  15. I get the feeling that I'm having burnouts so often now and its even more exhausting to keep up when you're growing a little human inside of you. I definitely think blogging has changed so incredibly and the best thing we can do is to try and stick to what we like doing. I'm starting to despise social media more and more and looking for other ways to share my vision and content!

    And an ice cream museum? Sounds like somewhere that you'll only find instagrammers haha

    Helen xx
    https://helenchik.com

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  16. 'Back from the dead', what a title for a blog post!! I can't believe you have been blogging since 2010. Girl that's true dedication and constancy. I have only been doing it for less than 2 years, and I already feel the burnout. It's so hard to keep up to produce good quality contents, and managing all the social media accounts are so time consuming. I feel like I totally need a break from this.

    xx, Jessie
    http://4evajessie.com/inspo-diner-en-blanc/

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  17. I totally know how you feel and I'm sure most if not all bloggers feel this way at some point or another. I to believe in a more simple lifestyle and being plugged into your phone all day is definitely not healthy.
    But I do love the creative side of it and I adore fashion so that's what keeps me going.
    Thanks for being honest and sharing such a thoughtful post.
    Xo
    Natalia k

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  18. I know that everyone (I'd imagine) reading this post can relate to it on some level. I feel like Instagram and the consumerism that comes with blogging now, quite honestly, is a stark contrast from the way I live my life and the things that I believe in BUT I really do enjoy the creativity of it and the art aspect of photography and editing. Again, I feel like I have to be mindful that when I get a 'you are perfect' or anything to that extent I have an obligation to be very honest and upfront about how it's all fake. By that I mean that I spend hours on editing and removing unwanted items from a scene. The before photos are pretty but if any other person goes to the same location and takes a photo, like you were saying, unless they spend a significant amount of time with editing, it's likely to not look the same. It's definitely tough sometimes because ads do makes this a business and I think for me at least, this year it's all been about trying to find how I can create inspiration within those ads. I'm the same as you when it comes to social media. I don't particularly enjoy it. I really only ever am on it when I am required to. I absolutely loved this post and how transparent you are. Welcome back!

    Manda | http://EvocativelyChosen.com

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  19. You're not ranting at all! I have actually been blogging since 2009 on and off, though I don't like to admit that since I didn't start taking it seriously until the last couple of years. Sometimes it can get so overwhelming, always trying to get the perfect shot and I often lose sight of things that actually matter in real life. A break is definitely necessary sometimes!

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  20. Hi sweetie,
    So glad you are back!
    It is always great to take breaks to renew and get things into a clearer perspective and make sure that everything we are doing stays meaningful, thank you for opening up and sharing with us!
    wishing you the very best to you and your husband
    xoxo

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  21. Oh, sometimes I feel the same and that is so frustrating. I've spent so much money/time/energy to the social media and I hardly can see if I have something in return. I like to share my thoughts and things that I love with others, but now everything seems useless, because of the new algorithms and rules.
    So I really don't know what to do...

    http://lanaluu.com

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  22. I totally understand you! And I agree with you, but the only way you are going to make it through is to change a perspective of looking to things. I do think that there are bloggers who are there to inspire you and not to advertise. I loove The Fashion Cuisine, she is a style blogger with very creative and inspiring posts. I think you shouldn't bother with the rest of the world and just do what you really want to do and what inspires you.

    I create content to inspire others and MYSELF and I think that's most important one. I write and shoot about things that I can't find at the other places. And you should start following people that are inspire you in a right way and to unfollow everyone who are taking you down.

    Sorry for the long comment. I hope it will help. I love your work and you should keep rocking!

    Sending lots of love,
    Ana

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