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Behind the blogging mask

We’re all aware of the fact that social media doesn’t always necessarily give us an accurate portrayal into someone’s life. We’ve all been that person to swoon and lust after someone else’s Instagram only to be reminded by some wise Pinterest quote that we’re only seeing their highlight reel – not their every day. It doesn’t matter how many lavish holidays people post about, how many Michelin Star restaurants they’ve eaten in or how many spa breaks they have, chances are, we’re not going to see them post about the time they did their laundry or the cat was sick on their jumper. 

I want to stay on the subject of “what we don’t see” because that’s what I wanted to talk about today. Because quite frankly… I’m feeling like a bit of a fraud. Don’t get me wrong, I will never be one of these bloggers who gets jetted off on luxury press trips, who has 4 holidays a month and numerous lunch dates with friends. I never go shopping because well, I hate it. I eat McDonald’s and I like reading more than going outside. I’m open about my mental health struggles and the fact that it’s caused me to lose a lot of independence and a lot of friends. In that sense, I try and keep it real as much as physically possible. I want to be someone other people can relate to and think, “sh*t, that sounds like me!”. I don’t want people to look at my perfectly curated Instagram feed (which it is not) and feel sad that they’ll never “have that”.

However, I have been known to post about my blogging achievements on Twitter quite a lot. Which is totally fine and something I’d always encourage people to do. In this industry, you’ve got to be your own biggest fan sometimes. My blog is my biggest and most proudest achievement. Never in a million years did I think I would reach an actual audience just by rambling on the internet. Or have brands like Boohoo send me something. Or actually make money because a company wants me to promote them. So if you’re proud of something, go and shout it from the rooftops is what I say!

And lately, I’ve been hitting a lot of milestones. I’ve passed 7,100 blog followers. I’ve had my best ever months for page views. I’ve also had some of my best months for income since becoming self-employed with my blog over 2 years ago. Which is all brilliant and I’m proud to be able to share those things with you. But… here’s where we get to the actual point of this awfully long and rambly post... I’m still riddled with anxiety. I’m still hauled up in my bedroom some days. I’m still terrified of being by myself. I’m still terrified of the world around me. I’m still, to put it plainly, pretty damn unhappy sometimes. I’m still comparing myself to other people (and other bloggers) on a daily basis. And I still have crippling self-doubt, low self-esteem and no self-confidence. 

I may look and sound happy and chipper on Twitter when I’m cheering myself on about hitting another goal, about being super motivated and inspired with my blog and about all the dollar I’ve got rolling in (HA) but the sad reality is, I’m not always. I’m happy about achieving those goals, obviously because I’ve worked hard for them but in general, in life, I couldn’t be much different from what you see on social media and on my blog. And as I say, I like to keep it real, so that’s why I’m writing this post.

I’m writing this post for anyone who feels like they’re putting on a mask on social media because babes, we all are. Even the people who are trying to keep it real and show as much of their “normal, boring, mundane life” as possible still don’t show everything. We don’t show the hours spent crying over an argument, when we get out of the shower and rip ourselves apart in the mirror or when we’re too anxious to eat even though on social media we say we’re “so excited!!!” about wherever we’re going.

There’s no right or wrong way to “do” social media. If you want to share your deepest, darkest secrets then you absolutely can and if you want to rose-tint your life, that’s cool too. Bloggers are under so much pressure to be real but you’ve also got to have something to give, show off your talents, be inspirational, a role model, an “influencer”. How about, just for a change, we just be us? Whatever that might mean to you. 

I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do you feel like you hide behind a mask on social media? Do you think there’s a lot of pressure on bloggers?

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

78 Comments

  1. […] had hit 1,000 posts. So I have ONE THOUSAND posts to choose from. I really liked my post titled Behind the Blogging Mask and I think it’s one of my favourites simply because it 100% came from the heart and I […]

  2. Sarah Sullivan says:

    I think we all hide behind some sort of mask, to have the confidence to be completely you online when everyone is a stranger that can be impressed is weird, I know personally that im putting on a mask, im such a nerdy person but i am scared of how much of that i can show off before people get fed up.

    1. I bet you’ll be surprised. Different is good – nobody wants to read the same things over and over again.

  3. I try not to hide behind a mask, but it is hard not to at points.

  4. One of my faves of yours Jenny! I think all of us hide a little. I know I do it all the time, sometimes I write about the bad times but I will mostly emphasise the good parts in life. Regarding my holiday for example, I just wrote a blog post that sounds like I had the best time, we I did! But, there were a lot of struggles that I didn’t write about. Like you said, there isn’t a wrong or right way to do social media, it is totally up to you want you want to write about and share! Also, massive well done for all your blogging achievements! xx

  5. missviclb says:

    I feel like I’m quite real on social media because I don’t really know how to be anything else. But I also feel like not being me would make it easier to gain engagement, which is the sad thing.

  6. I’m having a really difficult time right now and putting on my blog face all the time, but it’s so exhausting x

  7. I am a lover of social media and “influencers”, heck I want to be one too and I think as someone who has what I guess you can say a not-so happy life it’s hard to see sometimes that other people are off to Greece or New York Fashion Week while I am stuck at home feeling sad and alone but at the same time you have to remember that no one’s life is perfect even though it may look it. Everyone has their off days where they struggle with something like self-love like we do.

    1. Yep absolutely. Those people jetting off on holidays all the time might have stuff going on that’s making them incredibly unhappy too.

  8. what an INCREDIBLE post, very inspiring. I think it’s so brave of you to talk about how there is so much pressure to seem like life is perfect and that you aren’t struggling to just get through the day. I known i still struggle, exhausted from trying to become a “successful” blogger. I think a lot of people will find comfort in this post. i do want you to know thought that, i think you’re doing an incredible job at this whole blogging thing. truly I am so inspired by you and by your blog. I know everyone grows at their own rate, but i’ll be shocked if i have half the success you do. just remember even on the days when you’re doubting yourself, there are people believing in you and are inspired by you xx lots of love

    mich // simplymich.com

    1. Thank you so much what a lovely comment!

  9. This is SUCH a good post Jenny. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with posting positive-only tweets or talking about achievements, and I’m always proud of other bloggers when they’re smashing it! But I do spend time worrying that I’m falling behind. It’s never as simple as it seems on social media and it’s so important to remember that. Thank you for posting this!
    Beth x

    1. Definitely. People do seem to make it out to be all simple and roses but it’s really not.

  10. I definitely feel like I hide behind a mask on social media. On places like Twitter and Instagram, I always feel like I have to be positive and not share too much of the other side of things as people just view it as being negative or putting a downer on their timeline. I think it’s important to show that side though, as not everyone is positive 24/7 and life’s hard! This was so nice to read, it’s good to know someone else feels the same! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. I personally can’t stand it when people are positive 24/7!

  11. Totally get you on this. I’ve been feeling the ‘imposter syndrome’ thing for a while and I know it’s cuz we try and write about the really good things. Even close family friends have said for example, oh your always buying new things so you can’t be struggling for money! So not true, the things I share are normally gifted items. Hey ho, I guess that’s the impression people might get but it’s not true and I try to keep it real on my Instagram stories. Great blog post as always hun!

    1. Oh god! Yeah it can give a hugely distorted view to loved ones, especially those not into social media / blogging!

  12. This is such an honest and reassuring post, and I feel this too! I often have friends tell me that I “have my life together” or “have got it all sorted when it comes to blogging”, and I always feel like such a fraud. Every so often I go to rant to Twitter and reel myself back because I don’t want to be “too negative”, but that only reinforces my mask. I try and keep things honest, and I believe that I do. However, there definitely still is a mask when it comes to social media!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

    1. It’s difficult when people believe the persona we put on too!

  13. You have been so damn good lately at posting really genuine blog posts. This post really inspired me to compare myself less with others that I see on social media. Pretending to be perfect all the time is exhausting! Seriously.

    Laura / https://laustworld.blogspot.com/

    1. Thanks so much!

  14. What a brave post – I love it! I find myself just acting like everything is great on social media, even when I’m sitting here doing nothing with no friends, because that’s the side I want people to see – and I know I’m guilty of it. Like you said, we all are. I guess sometimes so many things feel out of control that having the choice to present whatever side of you that you want is just one way of us trying to feel like we’ve totally got this (Not!). A very inspirational post – and I hope you don’t stop posting your achievements because you’ve worked hard to obtain them and deserve to make the most of them!

    1. Thanks so much and I’m very much like you – I often pretend things are great when really I’m sitting in bed crying haha!

  15. Liz Brannan says:

    I loved reading this jenny! Social media can be the devil most times and you forget about the person behind the tweets or blog posts that have a life, that do struggle with things daily. I don’t think that makes you a fraud (although I get what you mean) I just feel most people don’t want to document the bad days which is why we don’t see or hear about it which makes it a taboo. Such an interesting subject to talk about, I really loved the post! Liz xx

    1. Thank you 🙂 I agree!

  16. Yeah I agree with most of your points. It does seem pretty conflicting. I haven’t yet felt comfortable about my milestones because I am constantly comparing my success to everyone else’s. It’s hard to define what is real but easier to censor things that you don’t want the world to see. I guess loosely speaking we can call that branding. But it can quickly become impersonable and that’s a pretty hard balance to strike! Thank you for the post! I enjoyed reading it!

    1. That’s a good point about the branding thing!

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