April 25, 2012

Beware The Bloggy Curse

A few weeks ago I gave a little "blogging 101" presentation to a group of business women. It was a lot of fun and they were really nice.

When I asked how many of them had ever started up a blog, it surprised me that only one of them had and she admitted to never updating it.

Near the end I was asked how many readers I had. I admitted that according to my RSS feeds, there are well over four hundred people who subscribe to my blog. Although I tried to tell them that this was nothing in the bloggy world, especially since probably only half of those people actually READ my blog, they still managed to appear impressed, probably so they wouldn't hurt my feelings.

My friend who invited me to do this presentation said, "Wow! Can you imagine having four hundred people read everything about your life?"

Weirdly, that kind of stuck with me. That's what's so funny about blogging. It seems to give the appearance of knowing all about someones life and I think that's where all the silly 'comparing ourselves to others' comes in.

But really, we see what they want us to see, just like I tell you mere snippets of my day. A funny moment here, a crazy story there, a cute picture to send warm fuzzies and sparkly sprinkles your way.

I don't always write about the kid who wet the bed at 1am and I had to clean it up all alone because Hubby was out of town. Or when a child and I go twenty rounds because I was on the phone while they were trying to ask me a question about t-shirts, and I told them to wait a moment and they didn't want to, so they cry and wail at the top of their lungs. Or when I feel so frustrated I am barely holding it together so I run off to the laundry room to hide among the dirty clothes for a moment of peace. Or when the neighbor calls to ask if she can look at something in our basement and I calmly say sure, only to throw the phone down and fly around the house like a crazy person stuffing things here and hiding things there to give the fragile appearance of a decently clean house. Or that I dread dinner time because I don't feel like cooking since I am knee deep in craft projects. Or when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night screaming as though she were having a night terror and it takes me an hour to get her calmed down enough to fall back asleep. And so on and so forth.

So before you look at this picture and think, "Wow! I sure wish our bedtimes were that nice! She is so put together, I wish I was like that!" Let me assure, it was a mere drop in a sea of bad bedtime experiences.

Yes, it was fun and cute and heart warming and all that stuff, but it's certainly not always like that. Sometimes it's growling and crying and over reacting.

In a mom group I'm a member of on Facebook, a cute little mom admitted that she was horribly embarrassed when a new friend stopped by and caught her yelling at one of her kids. Fifteen comments later, all the other moms assured her that she was completely normal, that we all do it and have bad days, that they appreciated her making them feel normal, and how we need to get past this idea of giving off a false public perception.

I loved that.

Sure we don't run around telling people all about the inner struggles of our family, or air all our "dirty laundry" so to speak for all the world to see, as it should be. Some family and martial struggles are meant to stay private and within the walls of your own home. But it would also be a mistake to assume that what others show us is exactly how they are all the time.

So beware the curse of the blog and the often false public perception if gives. What you see is not always what you get. So don't feel bad that you didn't hand paint and distress all your own furniture, or invent the perfect family night.

Hey, I didn't either! We'll start a club.

Just keep plugging away, one day at a time.

NOTE: This blog was written for me. Because I found myself comparing me and what I do to what others were showing about themselves on their blogs.

I needed a mental slap to remind myself not to do that.

11 super cool people speak:

Elizabeth said...

Love this! I can totally identify with hiding all the junk all over the house when someone is going to drop by (or just reconciling myself with the fact that my neighbor probably thinks I'm a slob because my house looks like a bomb went off every time she drops by ;)...and the feeling bad about yelling my kids!

And I love having those cute little heartwarming photos...even if they don't represent accurately every single moment of our lives, they are good reminders of why we go through all the craziness!

p.s. I'd totally join that club! ha.

Amy said...

Mental slap. Good one.

Life sucks. For everyone. And life is awesome. For everyone.
There's a bit of both. Sometimes on the suckier side, sometimes on the awesomer side, but we all have it.

I keep having to remind myself that too. "Their trials are not your trials" and vice-versa.

Amy said...

Mental slap. Good one.

Life sucks. For everyone. And life is awesome. For everyone.
There's a bit of both. Sometimes on the suckier side, sometimes on the awesomer side, but we all have it.

I keep having to remind myself that too. "Their trials are not your trials" and vice-versa.

Royalbird said...

I actually have to go through periods of time where I don't read other people's blogs because I've started feeling bad about myself. But really, 400 followers is quite nice. I have a total of....wait for it....22.

Rosie said...

I so enjoyed this post. I have had my blog for years. I have never had a large readership. I have gone through phases of not writing because I figure what's the point? No one reads it! Awhile back I decided to keep writing because it is a history of my life.

I often struggle because I am not making fun things, teaching anyone how to be the best mom or making any money. I feel like a total flop compared to all the cool things on blogs and pinterest.

I appreciate when people are honest! I also agree that there are things that are not appropriate to be put out there to the world. Sometimes, I am silent on my blog because there is a lot of "stuff" going on.

Thanks for being so open!

Shaylee Ann said...

Serene, you are awesome. Thanks for this reminder. I'm at the point where I struggle not to put a false face on for all the guys. . . . I want to impress them, but then I want to be me. It's hard, but everyone else has their . . . strange . . . sides too. We're all different, yet we're all the same. Great post, and cute picture. And, you are seriously just awesome. :)

Shaylee Ann

balloongal said...

I love this. We all tend to compare our faults with the wonderful things we see on other's blogs. But it reminds me of Elder Holland's talk in the most recent Conference. Instead of comparing ourselves, we should enjoy seeing the good things that other people are sharing. I love to see the fun you share about on your blog. Keep up the good work.

Heather S said...

it seems the more blog followers/readers, the bigger the drama, which means more clicks, which means more $$ for the blogger.
i've said it before- you're blog is perfect. the good, the bad, (reality). but you don't share "EVERYTHING" with us. you use common sense, which appears to be lacking in the blogging world today.

thats quite a load. giddy up daddy! :p i'm guessing daddy('s back) is glad every bedtime isn't like this either!

Sue said...

I never do the comparison thing. I think when you get to my age, you just cease to care.


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Will and Marcie Davis said...

As always girl I freakin love you! You are the best and I'm SO glad you don't portray everything in your life as "perfect" or quite frankly I wouldn't read your blog. :) I love that you are "REAL". You are just like me ......except you are ALOT funnier! :) lol I love your humor and I love that you have and write about the good, the bad and the wonderful! You are the best! Thank you SO much and please just continue to write the same way! I will continue to follow happily! :)

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