Is it Time to Stop Calling Blogging a ‘Community’?

Now I haven’t had a good old rant for a while and that’s because I’m not particularly ranty these days. I seem to have mastered the age old practice of not giving shit, and I’m really quite good at it, but sometimes, just sometimes that need to rant just creeps back in, and so here we are.

Before we start I feel I must just point out, this post is not aimed at one single person, nor is it aimed at one particular group of people, this is just my thoughts and observations as a result of the present social media space.

So now that disclaimer’s out the way let’s get onto the juicy stuff!

I’ve been blogging in some form or another for about the past 10 years and during that time, my god has it changed. My love affair with the internet started whilst studying Fashion Promotion at London College of Fashion where we were encouraged to start an ‘online diary’ or blog (or even geosite if you remember that) as digital was the way forward when it came to fashion. I remember discovering Rumi, Bryan Boy, Susie and Sharmadean – this was back when WAH was a fanzine, bet you didn’t know that ey?! – and needless to say things really have progressed since those fledging Yahoo platforms and MySpace codes.

Fast forward to 2017 and all I hear pretty much anytime I log onto social media, specifically twitter, is polarising discussion on the state of the blogging ‘community’. As I say, I’ve been blogging for a while and at this point in my blogging life, I can’t say I feel part of any sort of community, this could be because I work full time so I don’t get so involved with it, it could be because I don’t hang out with bloggers regularly or perhaps it’s that blogging isn’t really anything but a hobby for me, whatever it is I’m definitely on the outskirts, if anywhere near any sort of blogging community and I have to say, I like it that way. That’s not to say I haven’t met some wonderful people through blogging, girls I’d go as far to say I’d absolutely be friends with if time and real life didn’t keep getting in the way, there are some absolute beauts on the internet who I truly support and enjoy following their journeys and that is why blogging can be and is a wonderful thing.

So of course this piece has been ‘triggered’ by THAT cosmo article by THAT blogger which of course I have my own opinions on ( I mean seriously 20 bloggers in 2013 – ok babes *eyeroll*) but that’s not the reason I’m writing this post. I’m writing this post because of all the backlash that came following this piece, as (in true Carrie Bradshaw style) I couldn’t help but wonder, why is there so much pressure on blogging to even be a community?

If there’s not pressure from outsiders questioning why we all hate each other it’s pressure from other bloggers, getting on their high horse and demanding people ‘stop spreading negativity’ which of course I totally get, there’s a difference between raising issues that need to be discussed and just plain talking shit of which never needs to be broadcast on any sort of platform, keep that for the three dimensional people in your lives babes. The pressure I’m referring to is the constant referral to bloggers supporting other bloggers, which in an ideal world is a wonderful thing and something I hasten to add, I do actually see all over the blogosphere. It’s natural that bloggers who share the same aesthetic and taste will no doubt become friends however you wanna define that, and then go on to support each other, and I mean genuinely support each other, it’s something I see everyday and something that really makes me proud of the girls that form really beautiful and fulfilling bonds with each other. Finding and in some cases getting to then work with people that truly understand you and share so many of your tastes is a feeling unlike any other, and blogging and the internet in general truly can do that for so many people.

Just like any industry you’ll meet some people that you’ll become friends with and some that you won’t, that’s just life but don’t get it twisted, bloggers should never be friends just because they’re both bloggers, it doesn’t work like that. But what really gets me is the whole bigger bloggers need to support smaller bloggers and give us exposure, brands need to help smaller bloggers, it’s the entitlement that some bloggers have to exposure and opportunity because in reality, really why should any blogger, whether they’re big or not, feel like they should support anyone? Well because it’s nice isn’t it but babes, they don’t know you. It’s like going to an internship and demanding the Head of PR to give you a leg up just because they can, when in reality they don’t actually owe you anything. And I must stress being a small blogger myself, of course it would be lovely if every big blogger took it upon themselves to promote smaller bloggers but we need to make it clear that they don’t have to, they have n0 obligation to anyone, that’s just how life is, equally if that’s something they did want to do, and I stress something that I do see happening time and time again in the blogging world, that’s wonderful to, but it’s not something that should ever be expected or demanded. Everyone makes their own way in life and yeh some people’s journey may seem easier than yours but that’s life, it’s not then down to them to crusade for the fledging blogger. Blogging isn’t something that takes off because you’re the hardest working or because you just want it to, yes those are elements to it but one thing I’ve learnt from all my years on the internet is ultimately, you can’t control anything, all you can do is keep going, stick to your instincts and hope for the best, anything else is a bonus.

It’s like what happened with the Manchester attack, the amount of shit I saw people get from people who deemed they didn’t react how they thought appropriate, it’s like people forget bloggers are just people, often quite young people who can’t just miraculously know how to deal with every situation as you’d wish them to, or what their followers deem to be the right way. They are just girls like you and me trying to make their way through life and when I think of all the stupid shit I said and thought in my 20s, I think thank god none of that was recorded on the internet (or if it was I’ve deleted it 😂)

Blogging doesn’t come with a set of instructions of how to behave on the internet, at the end of the day we’re all just out here trying to live and if someone doesn’t want to use their platform for anything other than what they are passionate about, what’s the real issue? It’s like parents being pissed off that Miley Cyrus made their kid slutty, there’s so much more to it than one aspect and at some point everyone has to take responsibility for themselves and just let people live. The world and social media specifically seem to have a real issue with tolerance at the moment and it’s something that really gets under my skin. I’ve notably taken a step back from social media and focused on it purely for pleasure and I have to say, I’m so much happier. Once again I champion those out there that do speak up about issues and do promote an alternative message than the typical fashion/lifestyle or beauty stance, but there’s room for all of us on the internet, it’s infinite, and how one person decides to use or not use their platform isn’t actually anyone else’s business.

So is it time to stop trying to make the blogging community happen? If there ever even was one in the first place? Well of course, I think it is. If post 2016 life has shown us anything surely it’s just to live and let live, do your thing, do your best, be nice to people and find your fulfilment off of the internet. I’ve done it and believe me, life is much more fun when you let yourself start living.

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