*Sunglasses photographed in this article were sent to me for the sake of review. This is not a sponsored post.
Vanity is something in my generation that has become a hot topic, because I’m born into the social media age, I remember using YouTube when it first came out and writing on internet forums about how much I loved Lara Croft, I remember the year that Instagram got big and I even remember where I made my account and on who’s iPad it was done on, but as the times change people change around them, what the older generation often looks down on us for, I find myself praising us for a lot (self love is incredible FYI). But three YouTube tutorials on how to french braid my hair and ten sore fingers later, I began asking myself: Can I be bothered with keeping up?
BIG YIKES for a blogger to come out and say that they can’t be bothered with keeping up. My whole industry and website runs on keeping up, but sometimes you just have to accept defeat. I can’t be on board with everything. I can’t buy into every trend and my fingers certainly can’t knot my hair into it either.
I’ve found myself in a quite odd position lately, because I’ve been enjoying blogging more than ever, I’ve been ever so inspired and yet I can’t seem to say anything about trending topics and high street trends at the minute. I’m finding it hard to find the words to agree with what everyone has been wearing, even when I do think you all look lovely, I’ve been struggling to follow trends. Oh how ~special~ of me. But seriously, I’ve been feeling a little bit out of the loop.
It’s a hard pill to swallow when you realise that you’ve suddenly found yourself out of the loop, it’s like walking into a group conversation without any context and all of a sudden you have no idea what’s going on or what everyone is talking about. Do I feel left out? Not really. Not in my day to day life anyway, it’s only when I tune into social media and the likes and realise that I’m seriously losing it. I’m not down with the kids anymore, I don’t know what a lot of slang words mean and my outfit choices have been more practical over fashionable just lately too (hellooo mom jeans).
But with all of that said – I’ve been looking at the broader picture, I’m not getting any younger and I’ll eventually reach an age where saying “finna” and wearing short skirts will be a little bit more questionable and I’ll be like Steven Buscemi in that How do you do fellow kids meme. Sometimes being out of the loop just isn’t really so bad.
When I began blogging four years ago, I read a lot about how being in the blogosphere was going to crush me, that I was going to feel obligated to hop on trends and for a little while I did. It was only when I realised that blogging wasn’t all about reviews and lookbooks when I began to feel a little bit more sane, and I started to not follow trends as much and buy it because I saw it in every blogger flatlay. I think it’s craziness actually that the people being affected the most by bloggers, are bloggers. Because I never felt this way before I began blogging, the thought of trend following just wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind – in fact I wanted to stand out from the crowd and not follow trends.
But on the other side of that coin I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with trend following if it’s something that brings you a lot of joy and you like the things you own thanks to being a follower, and actually, I’m happy to be a trend follower too, because I’ve discovered my all important middle ground. I know what I like and what I don’t like, and I know what I’m going to swipe my debit card on and what I’ll definitely be taking a miss on in the drug store this week.
The thing is, there’s a difference between following trends cause you just like them and then caring about following trends. Know what I mean?
There’s an immense pressure in the blogosphere to constantly show your readers and followers the next big thing, there’s a lot of tell your readers to buy this because it’ll change their lives, and not enough: just write about something because it’s bringing you joy.
Think-pieces are always my most satisfied work, I rarely go back and read my blog posts after I’ve hit publish because it’s the same feeling as hearing your voice played back to you, just utterly painful, but as I’m writing I don’t typically feel a pressure to put something across to you a certain way, I’m writing as my thoughts are pouring into my fingertips rather than having spent a few weeks trying to find the hot product and review the hot product.
Don’t get me wrong though, sometimes a simple review or buy this type post feels really nice on my brain, they’re easy to write especially when you like the product enough to have something to say about it, and also the pressure of reaching my minimum word count is somewhat lifted because I can get away with not quite hitting it, they’re also refreshing in a midst of serious posts that I seem to always go down the path of writing.
I like reading reviews too, I like seeing what someone thought of something in an honest way, I always feel like the bloggers that I read hit the sweet spot of listing out what is both good and bad about a hot trend right now and for that reason, I trust them. If someone says they liked something and it’s been something that I’ve had my eye on for a while, well colour me influenced because I’ll go and buy it.
But the pressure of following these trends just doesn’t exist within me anymore even when I do start to feel a little bit left out when I log in to Instagram and see the same candle and toner in every single flatlay.
I’m also of the opinion that the mainstream media has a huge issue with how bloggers have been the cause of a boom in consumerism over the decade so I have a tendency to bite my tongue on these topics, I feel a little bit guilty when I come out and say things about the blogosphere that are a bit negative, but I have to be true and completely honest. I think that the need to be on trend so obsessively, the reason we all own a beret and a leopard print blouse right now is because we’ve seen quite a lot of people on our Instagram wearing them.
Also, whether you know it or not, bloggers and social influencers are making you follow trends and spend on things, I remember when the Aldi candles got really big because all of those home interior bloggers and Instagrammers were sharing them, saying they were the perfect Jo Malone dupe, everyone wanted one. They were sold out for months. People I regularly hear badmouthing young people and influencers were keen to try them out, and I couldn’t help but feel like something as trivial as a Jo Malone dupe would be overlooked if social media hadn’t played its part.
Turning a blind eye to a lot of trends has helped me as a person and as a blogger though. The stress to write a half-hearted article isn’t beaming in me and my bank has a lot of gratitude to this mindset too. This isn’t a sudden new year new me thing either, I don’t know when exactly I zoned out of trends, all I know is that Instagram has had me feeling a little bit guilty about not indulging in them lately and often left out.
The only way for me to overcome the latter feeling though is to just try my best to care less, because in the grand scheme of things, these are just objects. It’s not like someone threw a grand party, invited everybody I know and “forgot” to post me an invite. Taking a miss on a trend every now and then, not participating inside the loop and walking away from the conversation I had no initial interest in to begin with is only doing good things for me. I feel better and I feel like my blog has benefitted the most.
I feel guilty coming out and being a little bit negative about the blogosphere from time to time, but I also think it’s important to just let everyone know: It’s not obligatory to participate.