This week's Honest To Blog is probably going to be a scattered one. I've had this topic in mind for over a month already and I just can't seem to find the words to communicate what I'm thinking when I sit down to type it. Anyway, this one is about sharing your life online and the thin line between being proud (but in a sincere way) and being "braggy" and boastful. We all share these sides of our lives for different reasons. There isn't a questionnaire that deems you acceptable for the internet (though sometimes I think that'd be really helpful!). But as a blogger, do you ever feel like you're "showing off" sometimes?
I do. And it makes me very uncomfortable. It's never my intention, of course. But sometimes I'll share something and then go back and read/see it a little while later and cringe, so I delete it. Obviously everything on the internet is forever (Seriously. Be mindful before you post things!) but sometimes things I say/do just irk me and I feel like I need to retract the entire situation. I'll give you an example...
Around Christmas I received several pairs of Jeffrey Campbell shoes... I was elated! My blog tagline says it right there... "ugly shoes" and I love 'em! We all have our collections! Anyway, I shared a picture on Instagram of the shoes I got for Christmas with the tagline saying something like "Looks like Santa is a shoe man!" It received several "likes" and no negative comments luckily, but not even 10 minutes after posting it I instantly felt a pang of shame at boasting about something so trivial and silly. I deleted it from every platform that IG posts to. I felt so strange, and so naive honestly! It could be just that I'm ultra sensitive sometimes or that I'm manic, but still. The current economic climate doesn't exactly lend itself to hoards of expensive, totally unnecessary and inappropriate shoes. How could I honestly sit there and post that so openly?! I've said it once and I'll say it again, I'm a huge fan of sales. I buy mostly everything on discount and I try to be a smart shopper, but my habits probably still come off as "excessive" to some. While we can never really know what life is like for other bloggers (this is a topic for another day!), we all try to piece the puzzle together to figure it out. (C'mon. I know I'm not the only one who speculates!) That's getting off on a tangent but still, I all of a sudden felt like I was sharing my shoe haul for the wrong reason. I think that's my one concern with "haul videos" that became popular on YouTube some years ago. So many people in your audience may genuinely be interested in what you picked out and added to your personal wardrobe, but how do you stay on the right side of the line between sharing and boasting? I suppose outfit posts could fall into the same category as well. Granted I don't wear high end, designer duds so I don't feel like my wardrobe is out of reach for the majority of my readers, but I still second-guess myself when I post them. I've been asked countless times to share haul videos or a video/blog post of my Jeffrey collection and I'd be more than happy to, but I'm so afraid I'd come off as insincere or like I'm just bragging. As I said earlier, that's never my intention with my blog. I'm this shy Nashvillian who spends more than her fair share of time in a UTC sweatshirt and leggings (and furry houseboots. Are you rethinking following me for my fashion posts yet?!) I love finding more gals who "get" the JC hype and don't mind my often repetitive outfits.
I've also received my fair share of (both sincere and straight up accusatory) questions like "How do you afford all of that? Do you feel like you're a compulsive shopper? How does Mike feel about all of your shopping?" That' is still another topic for another day, but it helps put it into perspective for me as a blogger. A lot of my dresses in my closet are less than $10 and picked straight off the rack at Ross. I am so not ashamed to admit that. I have a slightly extravagant looking closet only because I'm cheap cheap cheap and I keep things for years! It doesn't feel weird for me to look over and see that hanging in my office but I understand that it can be so far fetched for others. They may not know my shopping habits or how I love wear and tear on items. They just see lots of "stuff" and may think I acquired it overnight. Is it our duty as bloggers to reign in the consumerism or "I can wear something new everyday" attitude of a lot of blogs, or is it normal and does it provide a sense of escapism for readers? Ah, escapism! I use that to describe my love affair for a lot of blogs... Not just ones who wear designer details top to bottom (that's really not my style anyway), but also for mom blogs, gals who blog about their world travel, etc. Things that aren't exactly pertinent to my life right now, but I still aspire to. It absolutely does provide me with an escape from my day. But with that being said, I have a hard time discerning my personal feelings toward my blog being seen as an escape for some. What I mean by that is I don't feel like I have/do anything that is outside the realm of possible for any other girl. Guys, I am as basic/normal as they come. Okay, big hair, really ugly shoes and some tattoos too (tagline!), but I'm no superhero haha I just want to share bits and pieces of my life without coming off as some uppity shoe hoarder! haha And yes, these are things that I actively think about. Though I suppose if you're more reserved/conservative with your "look" then you may like to see someone who is a little more out there. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I just think about blogging too much (but if I didn't, Honest to Blog wouldn't exist!). Instead of over-analyzing everything I do (along with the actions of others), maybe I should just write and go with it. I've definitely always fancied myself as someone who isn't too terribly wrapped up in what others think, but I absolutely hate the feeling of being misunderstood. Someone might read something on my blog and take it the wrong way and I hate that feeling of failure while trying to convey something (much like this blog post!)
I've read blogs in the past that are nothing but "c/o" outfits and partnership schpiels and honestly, those weren't the blogs for me. I did feel a sense of entitlement coming from the blog author and I decided to just purge them from my reader. Life seems like one big competition and the blog world is no exception. I just strive to be sincere in everything I do and I hope y'all understand where I'm coming from. I definitely do some things that warrant me a side eye and maybe even an audible scoff, but I promise my intentions always come from the best of places. I guess this is just a thought that has been plaguing my mind since around the holidays and even more so now that we've moved into a new house. I want to show y'all absolutely everything we've picked out for it and how I've organized all of those ugly shoes, but I don't want to be perceived as a giant ego. It's so easy to interpret things in a way they weren't meant but hopefully y'all kind of get where I'm coming from and I don't sound like a total crazy lady!
Anyway, this is a much longer than intended post but I'm glad I was able to get (most of) it off of my chest. I definitely didn't deliver it in a way that I had hoped for but I'm at a loss for how to make sentences on most Sunday mornings! Work wears me out! Alright... what are your thoughts? How do you draw the line between being proud and being boastful? What do you do, as a blogger, to stay on the right side? Or how do you feel, as a reader, when you see bloggers post things like I mentioned? All discussion is welcome!
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