12-Minute Memoir: Blogging & Social Media

3.09.2017


*This is part of a post series where I set my timer for 12 minutes and write about a specific word or phrase. See all the posts here.

Focus on the people who are here, not the people who aren’t.

My mom has said this countless times about parties and events where you invite a lot of people and then only a handful show up. Or maybe a lot of people did show up, but there were one or two “key” people who didn’t.

It’s easy to focus on who isn’t there and forget about all the people who are. I feel like blogging and social media is kind of like that too sometimes. I’ve been blogging and active on social media long enough that after a while I have started to see the same people around, commenting on my blog and other blogs and sharing posts written by other bloggers. The internet is large and yet smaller than you’d think sometimes. Not everyone comments on every blog post or every Instagram post, and comments in general seem to have gone down over the past year or so. It takes time to type a comment, especially something that is more than “Great post!” and especially if you are reading on your phone, which so many people are these days (including me a lot of the time!).

It can be really, really easy to focus on who isn’t commenting or who isn’t reading or “liking” instead of focusing on who is. I know for me, sometimes I see a comment on another blog and think, “Well clearly X is reading and commenting on blogs, so why has she stopped commenting on mine?” Or I see one blogger share another blogger’s post in a weekly link roundup and think, “She sure likes that blogger, but I write about the same types of things. Why doesn’t she like my posts?” Then the spiral begins into wondering what you’re doing wrong, why other people don’t like you or what you possibly might have written to make them upset and unfollow. Are you not funny enough? Are your pictures not pretty enough? Are your posts not interesting enough?

It sounds silly and meaningless, and I guess it is, but still the struggle is real, my friends.

So today, I just want to encourage you while I encourage myself to focus on the people who come, not the people who don’t. Because the truth is, you probably are most definitely overthinking the whole thing anyway. Yes, maybe you did make someone mad, but if you’re a nice person (which I assume you are), you probably didn’t mean to, and you can’t control how other people react. Or maybe you do post about your baby (or your wedding or your clothes or your insert topic here) too much for someone, but that’s what YOU want to post about and what makes you happy.

This is your space, after all. 

Your Instagram, your blog, your Facebook. And it’s not going to look like anyone else’s, just like theirs isn’t going to look like yours because no one will ever see the world from your eyes. And you won't from theirs.

So the next time you find yourself starting to focus on the people who aren’t there, turn instead to the people who are. You might just realize there are more than you think.

18 comments:

  1. Well said. I think we all have those feelings re: blogging sometimes. I know I do... definitely the "Hey! She commented on that blog today and not mine. Does she not read my posts anymore!" So silly, but it's easy to do/feel that way. I like the quote your mom told you though. Good reminder for life in general.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this!! As a serial reader (and maybe not commenter all the time) - this made me realize maybe I should take the extra time to say hey, or that I loved a certain post. I'm here and reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is absolutely perfect! I agree that more often than not we all overthink situations instead of focusing on the reality of it. I love the idea of focusing on those who are there and not those that aren't. Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the healthiest thing I ever did for my own blogging sanity was just to not seek out new followers anymore or worry about monetizing it in any way, and it's made the experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Sure, I still love it when a post of mine gets tons of comments, but I don't beat myself up anymore if a post doesn't get any (or gets only one or two). In the end, I continue to blog because it brings me joy and because it provides a visual scrapbook of my life, and so as long as I keep the whole focus there, I'm much more happy in general.

    And I like that your mom always said that---what a great thing to focus on (and I can especially see how it would really come into play when a girl in middle school or something was especially hoping a certain boy would show up and would be tempted just to mope around all night instead of enjoying the party regardless!).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel like some of the bloggers I read regularly, I read because I feel like I "know" them versus unknown bloggers who may be publishing content that I enjoy more, but I blow past them on BlogLovin because I'm just not as familiar with them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. YES! 1,000 times yes. And so true what Kaity said above - I feel like people get "attached" to bloggers, and get into the habit of only taking the time to comment on "their squad".

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really loved this post and needed it too. I love your mom's saying. A few weeks ago we invited a bunch of people from Nick's work over for a last-minute potluck. We invited maybe 20 people. 10 said they were coming but only 6 showed up. For a while I was obsessing over why those other people didn't come, but the party turned out to be so much fun with the people who came. And when I first started blogging, I was obsessed with who was commenting on my blog. While I LOVE receiving comments, now I know that they aren't everything. Getting a text from a friend that my post helped them, or a sincere blogger telling me that they enjoyed my post means so much more than a bunch of comments saying "great job!" Also, I only read blog posts on my laptop so that I can comment. I can't comment on blog posts from my phone. Just can't. Am I a grandma?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your mom gives some great advice. I have ABSOLUTELY felt the same way when I see someone who comments on my posts commented on another blogger's site that day but didn't comment on mine. Then I remember that sometimes I read through a post, but I either don't have anything to say about it or I've run out of time and can't comment at the moment. Plus, none of us are obliged to comment or share or read- lol. We do it because we like the content and/or blogger.
    All that to say, I totally know how you feel :) And I really like your mom's advice!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have felt the exact same way over and over and over. Everything you said resonates with me. Sometimes it feels like blogging and social media is such a rat race. I think someone above mentioned it, but I've stopped trying to actively grow my blog. I just try to keep my head down and mind my own business, and it has helped tremendously. I'm so grateful for the people who keep showing up to read what I write, and I try to stay focused on that. Basically I love everything you said, and I completely agree.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So well said. This is awesome, and such good advice! I also have found it better to focus more on what Michelle mentions ^ of minding my own business and not worrying about how many people I am or am not reaching. And there will be times when I am shocked and out of the blue, someone I haven't spoken to in YEARS will share a blog post of mine on facebook or will comment "I just love reading your posts!" Those times remind me that you really never know how your blog posts will impact people, and who they'll actually reach, so just don't worry about it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your mom sounds like a smart lady! She is right!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such good advice from your mom. I try to remember that too, because I'm really good at taking my blessings for granted. Seriously, I practice at it ALL the time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. True story, I read all of your posts. However, for the past year, I have hardly commented on any of the blogs that I read because I read on my phone and my phone is linked to my personal email and it is a pain to logout and sign in with my blog email.

    Last month, I actually added "desktop computer" time to my schedule a couple times per week to force myself to write more, and as a result of more computer time, I have started commenting more. The problem is that now I am worried people are going to think I only started commenting again so that they would read my blog.

    So yeah, the struggle is real. I am guilty of WAY overthinking everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you know you can add multiple e-mails to your phone? I have mine all linked and it does make it easier for replying to comments. But I do agree in general, commenting on a phone is harder.

      Delete
  14. I like your Mom! That is some really good advice. I also think that advice is a really good reminder to put phones down and focus on those in front of you

    ReplyDelete
  15. First off, I LOVE this idea of the 12 minute memoir. I became terrible at reading blogs shortly before you started this series, so I've missed all of the fun. How do you come up with the phrase or topic?

    This is some really solid advice! I have been so terrible at commenting on blogs, but I vow to get better at that. I think sometimes I just feel like I don't have much to contribute to the conversation, but I need to get over that. I'm also realizing that all of my overthinking has been so incredibly toxic to myself and has really kept me from being grateful and present. Thank you for the reminders!

    ReplyDelete
  16. love the advice from your mom. so smart and true. i definitely need to remind myself of that sometimes. it's easy to get caught up in what isn't instead of what is.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm still here! I'm just so bad at commenting. But I still lurk around your blog like a creeper not leaving you any comments. And I still love reading your blog because it's like chatting with a friend.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment! I will respond via email and also occasionally in the post thread if you are asking a question that other readers might be interested in.

・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS