Trendy – of, in, or pertaining to the latest trend or style.
I used to want to be trendy. I was all into shopping and buying things, having the latest and nicest stuff and looking the prettiest that I could. I bought into buying things that were advertised to me. I really cared about what other people thought about me and needed their approval in order to know that I was OK. I had facebook and took tons of stupid pictures of myself to post on my facebook page and get comments and likes. I’ve been down the trendy road before more than once in my life, only to realize how shallow and unsatisfying it is.
I feel this way a lot about blogging and how it just seems to be a trendy thing that people do to advertise themselves, get lots of “likes” and comments and feed their ego. It is a blog-eat-blog world and it seems as though people just go around dropping links everywhere in order to advertise their own blog, steal recipe ideas and other ideas from others (even writing styles) and try to fit in to crowds. I feel like the same girl that I was in high school, one of the only ones who didn’t fit into a clique, but wandered the halls at break and couldn’t wait to get home and away from it all. There just seems to be no reality out there anymore. It seems as though everyone would rather pretend to be someone they aren’t and follow a trend than be themselves and bring something unique, real and of value to our world.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t even know that there were so many blogs out there! I started blogging for two main reasons: 1, to use as a way to journal my thoughts, write and remember our days together as a family and 2, to share vegan recipes because when I first started blogging, it didn’t seem as though everyone was a vegan, had a vegan blog or knew much about veganism. I was still learning myself, but I wanted to share my journey living a conscious and compassionate life and having fun along the way in hopes of connecting with others who shared some of my same interests. Now it seems that even being vegan is an extremely trendy thing that people do to be cool or or to lose weight instead of for ethical or spiritual reasons. Somehow even this compassionate lifestyle (ahimsa) has turned into something people only take part of for their own selfish gain.
My blog was always meant to be a place for me to be myself. That is why I can never commit to writing about any one thing, like only recipes and food or crafts for kids/parenting or thoughts and inspirational things. To commit to just one topic would feel dishonest and unreal to me because I can’t pretend (as so many people seem to be able to do) that life is all about one thing, like what I ate on a certain day. I don’t have time to take 1,000 photos of my sandwich in a light box. I don’t even have a light box or a tripod or any of that trendy fancy equipment. I don’t buy table cloths and dishes to style my food perfectly on. I don’t plan on what recipes I am going to make and don’t just make them for my blog in order to get many comments or likes. I just think of something that I or my family might enjoy and go blindly into the kitchen to see what happens. If it turns out alright, I snap a photo on the auto setting of my camera and upload it to my computer and type out the recipe to share with those who may be interested. Often it takes many trials before I perfect a recipe because I don’t just take someones recipe and change it a little to be my own. I actually had to learn the science of substituting whole wheat flour in a recipe and how to use liquid sweeteners in a recipe and still get it to be successful (and I have had many failures).
It doesn’t seem that people care about reality anymore and that saddens me. People would rather see a picture of pancakes that are styled on a fancy plate with fancy backgrounds and syrup pouring on them as the photographer snaps 1,000 shots at different angles, than a picture of real pancakes from a real kitchen on a regular plate that are going to be eaten instead of thrown away because they were only really for food styling and probably sat out for hours. They would rather see a parenting blog with a mom who has her life perfectly in order and her kids all picture-perfect, posing for pictures so that she can use them on her blog later on. They think of beauty as being all made-up and unrealistic as opposed to inner beauty or a real face. They don’t want to have to think very deeply about anything or work very hard to get anything in life. They don’t care about the effects that their lives are having on others or our planet or how powerful their words or actions can be, for better or for worse.
It’s not just food and recipe blogs that seem to follow trends either, it seems it is happening to many blogs. There are blog groups of stay-at-home moms, homeschooling moms, recipe moms, spiritual seekers, yoga, etc. Yep. I thought once when I stumbled upon some of these blogs that I had found something real, only to soon after realize that all of these blogs just link to each other, copy each other, write similar stuff and are basically one big clique. There are people who just seem to go around to other blogs all day long and like or comment on their posts regularly. How they have time to do this while being a stay-at-home-mom who is supposedly always present with her children and keeping a perfect home, I still do not know.
I realize that this may come off as negative or judgmental, but I guess that I am just so sick of phoniness. Not only in others, but myself. When I find myself getting phony, or writing a post just to have written something to impress others, I feel so awful inside because I know I am not being true to myself. That was never what I intended to do, but sometimes I do feel pressured to write or post something or else I am afraid my followers might go where the grass is greener.
It is so stupid when I think about it, but the blogging world is so competitive. I never used to even know that I had followers, but now you can know how many you have and check your stats every day to see how many views and comments that you have. There also never used to be the beloved “like” button when I first started blogging. It is a real ego-driver.
So, that is what I’ve been thinking about lately. I always struggle inside to decide whether or not to keep my blog public. Instead of worrying so much about all of these silly ego things, I am just going to try and do as I have always done and just be myself. If there are people out there who like what I write or the recipes that I create, then I am all the more grateful. I will write what I want to and when I feel I need to instead of just writing what I think someone might want to hear or when I feel guilty for not posting something in a while because if I don’t maintain my blog than someone might lose interest.
I am not trendy, or into trends and being “liked” to find my security, but I am real and into being honest and real with myself and others. Is there anybody else out there????
An afterthought: I do think that it is great to connect with others, read blogs, comment and share certain interests, I am just wondering how much of it is real and heartfelt and how much it might cause a person to become exclusive of others who do not share all the same interests. Is it OK anymore to be an individual and maintain a sense of self even if you are a part of a group (ie; vegetarian, vegan, homeschooler, Christian, Buddhist, etc.)? Does anyone still think for themselves or is it all about following trends??
I read this verse last night “the message” It hit me, and I wonder if it will do the same for you. Self-help is no help at all. Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Stay true to yourself my friend.
Thanks for sharing Steph! I appreciate it. 🙂
I love your honesty! I used to hate people like ‘Martha Stewart’ who always seemed to have it all together. It made me feel inadequate as a working Mom with 3 kids and a home and garden to keep. I just couldn’t be as perfect as she was. Then, one day I realized that no one is perfect! All I could do was be the best that I could be and be satisfied with what I had and with who I am. I appreciate that you are not trying to be someone who you are not. I like when you admit that things don’t always work out perfectly. So, keep on writing and being who you are and I will keep on reading your posts. 🙂
Then one day squeaky clean perfect Martha cheated on the stock market and went to jail lol.
I’d much rather read your blog than some phony one. I take great inspiration from the healthful recipes you propigate, and I love you and your family. It’s nice to know that you guys are real, and that you have the same issues and problems as any other family. I wouldn’t want it any other way. ❤
Thank you Amanda! I am glad to hear that! 🙂
Well I love your non-trendy blog and what you do! You are a peaceful, gentle inspiration in a blog-world filled with so many self-serving people. I say keep it up because I will definitely still be reading 🙂 Peace – Lydia
Thank you Lydia!
Tiffany, I hope you don’t mind me responding to your thoughtful blog post. I certainly empathize with much of what you’ve written and I struggle with some of the same issues, but I couldn’t help but recognize some of myself in your words, too. It set me back, honestly, and I needed to think about it for a while before commenting. I, too, had NO idea there were so many blogs out there, let alone vegan blogs! When I started, my vague idea was to share with other people a way of cooking and eating that captivated me and changed my life. Along the way I met other bloggers (like you) and connected with people who were looking for good recipes, friendship and advice. Pretty nifty for something that started as a hobby! I now consider my blogging more of a part-time job and get a lot of satisfaction from the relationships that have grown out of it. Visiting my small circle of blogs each day is like stopping by to chat with friends. Their support in return gives me inspiration to keep blogging and spurs me on to offer my best. I can’t believe how many wonderful, caring people I’ve met as a result of keeping a “simple” online journal of food and thoughts. I also get a kick out of crafting the food I make (which, by the way, we always eat – it’s never just for show) and taking photographs (in natural light using the auto setting on my camera). They’ll never be magazine-perfect, and maybe it’s the artist in me, but it’s a challenge to get just the right shot. I admire you for your honesty, your creativity in the kitchen and for the huge love and affection you have for your family. We all blog for different reasons and bring different things to the blogosphere. The great thing is, there’s room for all of us.
It is true that we all blog for different reasons and it is great to have something that you can do for a hobby and something that you enjoy. I guess the main difference between me and other vegan/food bloggers is that I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. Life is different when you are a mom and do not have time to practice food photography, blog and be at the computer connecting all the time with so many people. There isn’t really a lot of time to think of yourself and spend time on hobbies. I myself am also more of an introvert and homebody and am pretty shy too, but that is just who I am. I am more drawn to deep spirituality and food for thought, even though I believe in real, nourishing foods for mental, physical and spiritual health. Sometimes it feels good to write a post like this and see if there are others out there who are drawn to the same. It seems hard to make real meaningful connections with anyone these days. That is I guess what I am trying to say in this post.