I've always been late for the social media train because I could never quite decide if I wanted to board or not. I was always one of those people who was leery of sharing too much with people I didn't really know and the idea of exposing myself on all these platforms seemed...excessive and redundant. I was proud to be the only one who wasn't on Facebook until I caved in 2008 - 4 years after its inception. I started my Instagram account a year and a half ago and Twitter...last week. Here's a screenshot of my first tweet:
Of course, as fate would have it, I've cultivated a genuine interest in blogging and have decided to actively pursue it primarily as a creative outlet whilst being open to any other opportunities that might present themselves, and as it turns out, having a following is something of importance. I would scoff at the idea of 'followers' and now I'm pretty much constantly staring down my paltry Instagram following (currently 259...wait, 258) willing it to multiply.
One of the reasons why it took me so long to actually commit to pursuing blogging is because...well, it's such a vulnerable thing. And I hate feeling vulnerable! The idea of putting time and effort into creating something that you hope will connect with someone somewhere is slightly intimidating. What's even more intimidating is the thought of putting time and effort into creating something that you hope will connect with someone somewhere which goes completely unnoticed. It's the need for validation that I find most unsettling because, let's just honest, its the numbers that quantify tangible success of a blog - the number of views, the number of shares, the number Instagram followers. We blog because we think that we have something to offer. Because we think we have something special that will set us apart from everyone else and whatever that special something is that we think we have, will earn us a loyal audience. No one starts a blog content with the idea that it might never be read. We want viewership, we want engagement and all the potential opportunities that come with it. Ultimately, we want to have something to show for all the time and effort that we pour into our blogs - preferably quintuple digits.
I've definitely felt disheartened by a) the task of having to grow my social media following from scratch and b) the thought that the success of my blog depends so much on having a large social media following. Having said that I believe that quality and authenticity will always trump quantity. Which is why my primary focus is to keep putting out content that is authentic and that I can be proud of. It's hard not to compare my little pea-sized blog to all the giant beanstalks but I keep reminding myself that the giant beanstalks were all once pea-sized too.
As I move along on this journey of exploration and expression...I hope my content will only get better and better and will connect with someone, somewhere. Now all the someones that this connected with, go follow me on Instragram and Twitter @aluestory! I need them numbers!! :D