*Gasp!* How dare she! But bare with me here, there’s more to this argument than you think (and than what I thought too). So a bit of context. Last month, I saw a tweet from a nameless person who suggested that we should reconsider the relationships with our friends and family if they don’t actively support us. Be that with our blog, our writing, our side business, our Etsy shop – whatever. That if they can’t like our work, buy our work, share our work or arse lick our work then what? We show them the door? That’s basically the gist of the tweet and unsurprisingly, it got quiteeeee a lot of reaction.
I rarely do reaction pieces but this one really ignited something in me which made me desperate to talk about it and see what everyone else thought. Some people agreed with the original tweet – which is fine, each to their own – and said that YES DAMN RIGHT OUR MATES SHOULD SUPPORT US. And on the surface, they’re right. We should all be in stable and supportive relationships with friends, family, partners, pets and know that you’re there for one another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disputing that part of the argument.
But it’s not as straight forward as that is it?
And this is where I stand on the question, “are our friends and family obligated to support us?”
Short answer: no.
Long answer: No. I don’t think such a black and white statement can apply here. This blogger was obviously referring to blogging as the thing that our friends and family need to support (otherwise what the heck were they on about?) and I think there’s a few reasons that it’s a dangerous thought process to have.
Firstly: nobody is obligated to do anything. If you spend your life doing things because you feel like you have to do them, then you’re going to plod along and be very disappointed. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there. It took me attending an entire Yoga Retreat to work that one out.
And even within relationships of any kind, what kind of relationship is it if one or both parties just do something because they feel like they have to? We’re treading into dangerous territory here but you get my point.
Secondly: blogging is a relatively new thing for a lot of people. Despite the media and brands becoming more and more accustomed to working with bloggers and highlighting the talent of content creators, the fact of the matter is, not everyone understands it. Especially older generations who might not even use a computer at all!
Just because you have an online life, doesn’t mean everyone else does which goes for friends of the same age as you too. Not every millennial is into this big old blogging and social media thing. And it’d be silly to lump us all under the same umbrella and assume otherwise.
Thirdly: people are busy. People make it sound like others have absolutely nothing better to do than to sit there and read our blogs and share our posts. You’re mad at your mate who’s recently married and has a new born baby for not liking your latest blog post? Hun… seriously. Get a grip.
People have stuff going on. Just because they’re your friends or even your family, doesn’t mean that they should drop everything to come online and make sure they’ve liked and commented on all your content.
Fourthly: I don’t know about anyone else but I wouldn’t want support for the sake of support. I wouldn’t want fake comments and fake shares from friends who have no freaking clue what I’m doing telling people to “go and read Jenny’s online diary forum thing!” If it’s not your thing, that’s cool hun, I don’t mind. Don’t sweat it.
I don’t want people pretending to like my blog, my photos, my writing or anything just because they feel like they have to. I think that’s wrong on so many levels. Am I going to buy from a mate who’s just started working on a pyramid scheme selling weight loss tablets? Fuck no. Are they still my mate? Yep. Who’d have thunk it.
This got a bit heated but I hope you can sort of, vaguely see, where I’m coming from. I’m all for supporting other bloggers and creators that I love and I always have been and I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have met and even made friends with so many talented creators in the time I’ve been blogging.
But in my “real life”, I rarely get any support from anyone and all my support comes from those people I’ve met online, my online friends, my blog readers and those that follow me on Twitter. Do I care? Not really. My Mum and Dad ask me things occasionally. So will certain friends. But I know these are all people that aren’t into the “online” thing and probably, quite honestly, don’t know what I’m talking about anyway.
I adore what I do. I do it every single day and I never get bored but I never ever get down at the fact that I spend most of it without the support of my closest friends and family. I love it. Why should it matter? So I’ll just save my breath and talk about something we both enjoy.