It’s no surprise that with the rise of the Internet, millennials aspire to create their own space for sharing their thoughts, opinions, and feelings on certain topics of interest to them. Whether it’s through starting a blog, starting an online magazine, or simply posting on social media, many young people who are dissatisfied with merely consuming media have jumped on the self-help bandwagon where everyone shares advice on how to live a better life. How to change yourself. How to change the community. How to change the world. How to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be and defy the status quo. And resist all conventional ideas that you were taught to believe in and never be afraid to go after your wildest dreams.
No wonder people are empowered by this and spend days online fantasizing about a grand lifestyle where you are in charge of your own life and don’t have to earn the approval of certain gatekeepers or appease any type of authority figure at the expense of your spirit.
I, too, have been enamored by this new world that my generation has created. The world in which people can create intricately designed vessels with streams of ideas flowing from the heart and spirit of the most genuine and nuanced self that most people fail to see. The world in which people can share their biggest aspirations and confide in each other in the form of a blog post that engages the reader and reveals the most brutally honest parts of us that we were all taught to hide out of fear and guilt.
But as time went on, I began to feel disillusioned by this so-called new world of dark confessions, naval-gazing essays of delusions of grandeur in the form of self-pity, and overly trite and formulaic lists about being happy (which always includes redundant pieces of advice such as gratitude, waking up early, being healthy, and doing what you love). I’ve been discouraged by how common my goal was with everyone else’s (at least with everyone in the blogging world) and how difficult it is to carve a space for myself when all other spaces are occupied. Though many adhere to the belief that success is abundant, I don’t believe that there’s enough “success” to go around, if all success really means is gaining a massive following, repeating what everyone else has already said, and watering down life to clickbait-y listicles.
Certain people will have more success than others. People who are attractive and take better photos will gain more followers than people who aren’t photogenic and don’t take photos. People who have sites with plenty of white space will have more visitors than people who design their sites with crazy, bold colors.
The problem is, people think they’re so special that they’re the ones who are going to become the next popular blogger, but they’ll soon be forgotten and lose readers who aren’t fooled by their redundant formulas for happiness.
I don’t aim to be a generic self-help, follow-your-dreams type of blogger, nor do I want to be associated with this trend. All I want to do is explore what interests me and write about ideas in a way that’s true to me. People are so caught up with the idea of success and what they can gain from followers, and often lie to them and say they are special and will get out of whatever situation they’re running from. And many bloggers don’t take the time to evaluate themselves or seek out ways to present similar ideas in a manner that no one can replicate. Only people who are genuine creatives will write without expectations of any quantifiable results, and they won’t end up like bloggers who spam followers on social media, pollute their sites with ads, and sell cheaply made and poorly-designed books with formulaic get-rich-quick schemes.
Despite the high amount of competition and a lot of sameness (and clickbait) going around, I can’t not blog because I enjoy it, plain and simple. Blogging helps me understand myself and how I think. I don’t have a noble or lofty goal for it — I simply blog for personal enjoyment, and I’ll continue to blog, regardless of what others are doing and regardless of external measures of success.
Originally published at cicithebluebird.squarespace.com