Back in 2014 when I picked my laptop up for the first time and started blogging – I used to love the sense of belonging that you instantly felt when you clicked post / tweet / publish …
…however these days instead I end up with a strong sense of invisibility, just another voice in the crowd.
I guess in the grand scheme of things I no longer feel as though what I have to say is important.
So what has changed? Why did I feel as though my opinion on the latest Nars lipstick was so valid 5 years ago and now feel as though my musings on life, love and everything in-between are no longer of worth in the blogosphere.
I keep coming back to this sense of invisibility that I feel constantly.
I used to love the interaction you got on social media, yet now I feel as though I am shouting into a deep void. Since I hit 3000 followers on Twitter in July last year, I have gained just 30 followers and these days my Tweets on average get just a single reaction.
I used to love sitting down on an evening and taking part in the Twitter chats, finding likeminded souls to support and new blogs to read. I used to love the instant reaction you would get from your little army of followers when you shouted out about a win or needed help with your next exciting project.
I used to feel excited about getting up on a Saturday morning and sitting with my laptop – responding to emails, scheduling social posts and writing new posts.
But I no longer find joy in any of these things.
I’ve found that I no longer interact as much on social media because you’re opinion is often immediately taken the wrong way and rather than responding to you for a bit of adult conversation, instead they take to ‘throwing shade’ in the shadows of your timeline. I don’t interact with as many people because what’s the point when they don’t interact with you in return – I hate to be that person, but now in my mid-thirties I am over chasing one-sided friendships.
I’ve found that I am no longer excited at the prospect my Saturday morning blogging sessions – I’ve lost that sense of belonging and have started to question what the point of it all is. As I mentioned above, I can no longer see a reason to publish my musings when in the grand scheme of things they no longer feel important.
I hold back because I fear that invisibility.
I hold back because I fear offending someone, or someone belittling my thoughts and feelings … as I sit hear typing this I can almost hear people think ‘oh woe is me, poor little white girl and her first world problems’.
I feel like blogging has become a real-life Mean Girls, where in order to feel included you have to become a plastic copy of the alpha and if you dare to be different you are cast aside as an outsider and handed your cloak of invisibility. It’s become cliquey and the drive towards making the industry more inclusive has actually made it more exclusive to your Jane Doe’s & Joe Bloggs’.
I guess deep down, as writers we’re all seeking some kind of validation – but does that need to come from others? Can we rise above the feeling of invisibility by self-validating what we do?
Everything I love(d) about what I do all stems from some kind of validation – receiving comments from people who had benefited from my musings, people retweeting my comments because they liked or related to them in some way and ‘likes’ on my latest Instagram.
But what if the only validation I need is the gratitude from myself that I took the time to pen this piece or how impressed I am with myself for taking the time to make that picture a truer representation of how I am feeling right now?
Maybe I just need to tell myself that it is OK to have this feeling of invisibility right now and reassure myself that it will pass?
Getting validation from others is a big part of confirming that we are on the right track, but maybe sometimes we need to get that validation from ourselves too.