musings on the blogosphere;

{world’s end. hingham, massachusetts}

it may or may not be evident, but i’ve been having some, well, perturbed feelings about the world of blogging. warning: please note that the point of this is not to call out anyone, but to call attention to a theme i’ve noticed. after reading this post and having a good skype chat with one of my favorite bloggers, i knew i wasn’t alone in noticing this theme.

i sometimes wonder if i’m missing the point of it. and sometimes i wonder if others are missing the point.

let’s start with the former, shall we?

i get frustrated sometimes, er, a lot of  the time lately. blogging, for me, has been the origin of some of my good friendships. it was a place i could share what i’ve written, experienced, and a good place to mark how much things have changed. i’ve been accompanied to concerts in san francisco. stayed with friends in d.c.eaten soy froyo with one of my favorite boston bloggers. eaten vegan brunches with people that make me feel like i’ve known them for ages. and this is all amazing and, if it weren’t for this little spot of mine on the internet, that i treat almost as if it’s my child of sorts, i would not have had the pleasure of any of the above. and i’ve read some amazing blogs; blogs where they let you into your world and don’t expect anything in return (commenters, followers, sponsorships, etc.) and these are the blogs i respect so much and comment on as much as possible, and make efforts to get to know better, because i appreciate the sacrifice they put in their blogs.

and i put a lot of effort into this little space. i spend hours on this space. i pore over different things i can write about, making sure nothing has been written about before, nothing has become too cliche in the 20-something blogging world (and there are lots of those), and nothing comes out that isn’t in my authentic voice. non-fiction is my absolute favorite form. it’s sacrificial, it’s awkward sometimes, and it’s often absurdly personal. and if you take a non-fiction class with me in college you will quickly wonder if i am ever going to run out of bizarre stories to write about (subjects: a man-friend who was “allergic to me”, my eating disorder, and a foray into public indecency, shhhhh).   and i hope that each post on whatever,gatsby can get to that point. maybe not the public indecency part, but i think you get my point.

the crux of my frustration is where the latter point comes in. i read a lot of blogs. a. lot. and have for years. cycling blogs, food blogs, healthy living, fashion, personal, crafting, animal… i’ve read it. and something i’ve noticed is a rampant case of “the samesies”. yes, the samesies. which seems impossible, don’t you think? we’re all these different, delightful little pockets of stories and experiences and memories, so why do we all sound the same?

{boston bloggers event with some of my favorite bloggers. anna. jenna. me. emily}

in some ways i find some of these blogs, like people, to be safe. they tread lightly, hoping to not rock the boat so much. i continue reading, hoping that i might learn something different; i might not have to sift through largely unoriginal material, i might not have to read (or not read) dumps of instagrammed photos without a narrative of any sort, i might not have to see blogs started four months ago with huge sponsorships and millions of followers when they spend multiple posts talking about minutiae (new wrinkles on their faces, what they ate for each meal that weekend, gratuitous pictures of their pugs). i stumble on these blogs because i hope they might have something to teach me, but quality shouldn’t be inferred by clicking on their link after seeing an overdone “ooh, cute!” comment on a favorite blog, but anyways. back at the ranch.

it bums me out sometimes. i don’t agree with it all the time. because i’ve never been a fan of safe things.  and while i know that not everyone wants to get suuuuuuper personal on their blogs, i can’t fathom being able to blog truthfully without exposing when things aren’t always perfect and in a walden filter and always at the most flattering angle and always with a perfect tan after a perfect summer beach day in your new target swimsuit and sunhat and oh-hey-someone-brought-sangria-oh-wow.

because i wonder if these people have been able to foster some great friendships from their blogs, and actual genuine interaction with people. just like in life, what’s the point of talking or living or breathing or writing if nothing that comes out is actually of your own design or intention? and while i can’t control the blogs themselves, i can control two things: whether i follow them and the content i choose to put up here.

{this is arguably my best look. playing a vengeful, dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film}

i hope that whatever, gatsby never gets into the samesies category, which is why i can assure you, dear reader, that never will i ever:

-put up schmoopy couple photos in some sort of field (where are they finding all of these fields?!)
-post self-taken, non-ironic, glamour shots.
-post an “oooh! cute!” comment on your blog.
-posts with only pinterest pictures in them. no words. nothing.
-hold back a bizarro story to the best of my ability.
-gratuitous photos of just me. pouting. with red lipstick on.
-posts with only instagrammed photos (sans words and stories).
-not talk about andrew garfield’s inherent dreaminess (this is a reading check. still here?)

things i will do?
-talk about my love of wearing old spice deodorant (guys, it’s the bomb).
-web cam photos of when i played a vengeful dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film (see above).
-some hopefully interesting posts on durham + charleston (soon!), life, the universe, and everything. in an untimely manner, because that’s authentic.
-get even more personal with you all in the next few months. because what’s the point of censoring myself on my own internet space?
-put up schmoopy photos of me kissing my dogs. naturally.
-more texts from my mother.
-borderline-unflattering photos of myself jumping.
-more poetry. because my love of it rivals that of men’s deodorant, and writing things that would make most people cringe (i.e) like white girl raps.

think of this as your reader’s bill of rights of sorts.

so with that being said, i’m going to go sit in a field somewhere (in a zooey deschanel-style dress, naturally) and talk about my “perfect” weekends. let’s hope someone captures the moment with a dslr and puts it on tumblr or pinterest.


16 thoughts on “musings on the blogosphere;

  1. You, my dear, are fan-freaking-tastic (sp?)! And thank you so very much for the gratuitous shout-out! I feel like I’ve known YOU for ages, and how grateful I am for that. xo

  2. But really, I agree. More than the fluff, though, I notice that so many bloggers all seem to like the same things and talk about the same things (i.e. whole foods and books and pretty things and just being quirky in general). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is a trend in the blogosphere… But that may just be because all we writer-types are similar in those aspects…

  3. While we’re on the topic, can someone please explain sponsorship? Of a freaking blog? Not much enrages me more about blogs that reading ‘So, I’ve decided the time has finally come to open my blog to sponsorship.’ What in the actual … ?!!

    Here’s to being real. (And never, ever writing in the comments ‘Thanks for sharing!’)

  4. Ungh. I just wrote a comment and WordPress deleted it. I think what I wrote was something along the lines of nothing enrages me more than reading on someone’s blog ‘So, I’ve decided the time has finally come for me to open my blog up to sponsorship.’ What in the actual … ? Sponsoring a blog? Sponsoring someone to write (usually pretty badly) about their lives, or to be more accurate, post Pinterest pictures? It makes me want to bang my head on a table.

  5. oooh, cute pictures!!!

    but really, let’s get serious. amen to this. amen to all of it. i feel like we should have a discussion on this subject, because it’s been getting on my nerves lately. i don’t understand why people blog for the sole purpose of getting famous. it just doesn’t make sense. it’s not real. it’s almost like they’re ruining something sacred. don’t taint this place. don’t ruin this system. take your “perfect lives” and go away.

  6. For me, I think the general bottom-line of this post would apply not just to the blogosphere but to life generally. It’s similar reasons why a person wouldn’t buy trashy magazines or watch certain TV Shows or listen to certain bands or be friends with certain people. And to that I say hairy muff! Surrounding yourself with ‘real’ and not merely image-building creative products is the whole battle.

    Texts from your Mum are AWESOME.

  7. I LOVE YOU. I’m feeling a little of this slump too; I just feel that there’s an attitude that some people have towards blogging that is dampening my love of it. I decided just not to read the blogs that make me sad anymore. There will always be bloggers that blog for the joy of it, even if it takes a little longer to find them.

    But, YO. Old spice. Wut?

  8. Girl. I love this. It’s all so true. Sometimes I feel I fall into the unoriginal trap, and there is no worse feeling. For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long last week, I took a weekday off from the blog… I was uninspired and didn’t want to throw something up from Pinterest for the hell of it. And while I hate having off days like that, I was proud that I didn’t just post for the sake of posting. I admire you so much because of how true you are on here and for all of the sweet, hilarity-induced musings you share. For that + those, I thank you 🙂 🙂

  9. YES. Even better than I imagined. This reads almost identical to my mile-long essay still saved in my drafts. You are amazing and I agree with all of it. Let’s bring back the genuine blogging. xoxo

    P.s. Old Spice! People think I’m so weird for buying it. It’s the best!

  10. This is not cute. Nor laden with pinterest-worthy photos or full of life is perfect, aren’t my accessories/nails/shoes/dishes/diys adoreable-ness. As it should be. This is the first of your posts I have ever read. It will not be the last.

  11. I’ve been wanting to comment on this for days! Really, really loved it. I think the thing that is most important when I’m reading a blog is to know whether that person is doing it for themselves or for something else. And it is far too easy to tell when someone is looking for money or fame or validation.

    But. The nice thing about blogging is that we can be selective about what we take in, and ignore the stuff we don’t like. Selfish blogs are annoying, but let’s face it…the real reason it bothers us is because we feel more deserving than the people who are getting money and fame. If we can get comfy in our own spaces, we can let those people flounce around and not really get anywhere. Meanwhile, a blogger true to her heart is on a much more important journey.

  12. I love this post and I often think about the flaws of the blogosphere. The competition makes me sick. I do enjoy gaining followers, but I need to take a step back and remember that this isnt for the ad space, monetary reason,s or anything. It should be to make friends and share your original voice!
    And I love that 1st picture. Are you from Hingham? I have a friend that lives there.

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