Real Talk: The current state of Blogging and Instagram

The past month or so, I have really been reflecting on what it is I focus my time and energy on. I have been struggling a bit with this whole blog/instagram thing. When I started writing 10 years ago, I did it because it was a creative outlet for me. I was a brand new mom who had left her dream job in the fashion industry to be at home with a new baby. I was feeling very disconnected with my old adult life. When I began writing, I was rejuvenated. This space brought me so much joy; to write, to create and to connect with all of you near and far.

Since then things have changed. The market is saturated. Everyone is competing with one another to post the best, newest, freshest content. At the same time, everyone is posting the same thing, over and over again because they see someone with a huge following and think that is what they should do. So then, it starts to feel very much repetitive and not unique. People started to blog to make money, and they were doing it for reasons I didn’t understand. Everything has turned into a numbers game. Likes, Followers, Engagement, the list goes on and on. Things are not what they used to be.

I have always shared on here because I genuinely LOVE to write. It is therapeutic for me to write out the many ideas that I have swirling in my head. I have always wanted to share the things that bring me joy in hopes that they will bring you joy too! I may share tidbits about my beauty routine, or a laser treatment because it has truly helped my skin. I post about our travels because I personally know how hard and time consuming it is to research where to go, stay, eat, etc. If I can help someone plan their itinerary then I feel like I did something good! When I write about fashion or the things I am wearing it is because it is something I truly stand behind, and think that maybe one of you would want to add that to your closet too. Many women don’t have time to shop, or feel uninspired, or maybe they are in a slump with their wardrobe. I love being able to help people find and wear something that makes them feel like beautiful and confident. Also, there are a million 20 something bloggers/instagram personalities out there; so, I am hoping this 41 year old mom is inspiring her fellow 40 + ladies out there!

Instagram came long after I started my blog (4 years to be exact). I started on Instagram days before giving birth to Vivienne. At that time you had to apply to get an account, and it was not guaranteed you would get one. Once I was “in”, ha! it became another way for me to share with you all, but instantly! There was less of a need for long blog posts; I was able to post just snippets of my life. Great finds while shopping, places we are traveling to, a fun new restaurant, cute kid finds, or just capturing a moment in time with my family.  I really enjoyed this social media tool for the instant gratification. And also it gave me the ability to see more of what I loved from brands and people that I began to follow.

The best part of reading a blog, or scrolling through instagram (in my opinion) is that it should inspire you. The creative community and the people who enjoy posting on instagram are just trying to create something that #1. is special and meaningful to them and that they enjoy. and #2 that is interesting, visually appealing and inspiring to those of you that follow.

Everyone LOVED Instagram, until they didn’t.

There is a lot of chatter about people posting “real life” vs “fake life” on social media. Can anyone paint a pretty picture on instagram? Absolutely. This platform is meant for sharing however you see fit. I appreciate great photography that I see on instagram, even if it isn’t an actual real life scenario.

But, that doesn’t mean that everyone should post that way.

Do whatever you want. I don’t think those should be shamed for having a pretty feed, and the same goes for those that don’t give AF.  YOU DO YOU!

I also think it is unfair to knock down those that are spending a great deal of time creating beautiful imagery. It takes a lot of work to put those photos together. Whether it is real life or not, who really cares? Some bloggers like The Style Bungalow or Blair Eadie or Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam work very VERY hard to make those photos look good. They may shoot a month of outfit posts in one day. They have to scout out shoot locations, hire a makeup artist, pay a photographer and coordinate head to toe outfits + accessories.

Others like myself may do a little bit of professional photography, or we have our family or friends take our photos when we are out and about because we are feeling great in what we are wearing. We share because we think you may want it too, or maybe it’s a great bargain or just a fun piece.

My son took this photo. He caught me tripping, and I was about to fall on my face. This is a real reaction, and this is a real outfit I was wearing to dinner. But it could very well have been a staged photo! But again, does it matter?

Personally; most of what I post is in the moment. What I had on that day, or wearing out that night. I am one of those people who really loves to get dressed everyday. Granted there are days where I am in my workout clothes and I have dirty hair, and most likely zit cream on my face. But most days, I try to do my best to pull myself together. My kids are older and in school all day. I have the alone time to shower, which I know, is truly a gift! Things were much harder when I had little ones at home.

I understand that many people can feel the pressure of trying to post the PERFECT pic on instagram. But, It really shouldn’t be that way. If Instagram stressing you out, and making you unhappy walk away from it. Take a break. My friend and I were chatting for a while about this topic last week and we both agreed that you should always post for you and only you. Those who follow will either enjoy it or not. If they don’t want to follow along that is their choice. Those who stick with you are the ones that truly love what you are putting out there.

When it comes to the content on both my Instagram and blog, this is my life, but just a fraction of it. Many people are comfortable sharing the intimate “real” everyday stuff. I don’t feel the need to. My husband is not ok with our kids being on my social media all the time, and he doesn’t want to be on it either. While I am happy to share snippets, or funny moments the best moments are kept between us.

In a moment of almost shutting this thing down, I decided to think long and hard about why I do this. and why I spend so much time putting content together for both the blog and instagram.  This blog (and now instagram) has always been a journal for me. I have been documenting my life (and style) for the past 10 years. I was a new mom when I started this, and now I am almost 42. I think as Moms we need to know that there are others going through the same things, and enduring the same struggles. I have shared it all along the way; not just the fashion and fluff.

At this present moment, I am just struggling to stay fit (it has gotten much harder in my 40’s), to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and really identify what my personal style looks like in my 40’s. Sharing the fashion and beauty and travel are pretty to look at in an instagram feed, but this space that I have created over the past 10 years is WAY more than that. Those of you that read the blog and don’t just look at my instagram feed should know that 🙂 I hope to inspire, to relate and to touch you in some way or another, because I feel like we are all in this together! So, thank you to those of you who continue to follow along, for your support, kind words, and for sharing this journey with me.

In the end, share what makes you happy. Follow those that bring you joy and that inspire!

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