31 July 2013

The Myth of a Blogger's Life: How Blogs Distort Reality

31 July 2013
Blogs across the world show us houses furnished more stylishly than ours, recipes fancier and healthier than ours, and mothers looking perfectly polished and trim, smiling baby in arm, running her own business and managing to cook dinner for her husband and all we're left to do is think, Wow, her life is so perfect. Or the more judgmental, Wow, she must really care about looking perfect. 


We make judgments about how a person's life "must be" based on posts that have been crafted to appeal to a broad audience, but the simple truth is: Blogs are not reality. At least not 100%. And blogs definitely are not diaries. We see a carefully curated fraction of a blogger's life through her blog, not a full view of who she truly is.

Even if a blogger covers tough subjects or the not-so-pretty in life, it's likely still not an accurate representation of how emotional, messy, and chaotic life can be sometimes. Instead of revealing every gory detail, there is a way to reflect on the difficult parts of life in a constructive, eloquent way that focuses on lessons learned. And sometimes, it's just about sharing our story. We are social creatures and simply knowing you're not the only one struggling can be a great comfort.

On the other hand, if a blogger chooses to laugh, to focus on the lovely over the controversial, it is a personal choice she has made for her blog and what she is willing to share. If you want to know how she feels about healthcare reform and gun control, if she volunteers, or how she feels about organized religion in the 21st century, you might be reading the wrong blog and you'll likely have to ask her directly. Some blogs may touch on these topics, but for those that don't, trust there are thoughts, opinions, and special moments that a blogger chooses to keep to herself. 

Don't do yourself a disservice and compare your life to what you see on blogs. Similarly, give bloggers credit for having lives that you don't see.

19 comments:

Alyssa said...

I love this, Ashely! Personally, I try to keep things light and happy on my blog. That's not to say I don't touch on tougher subjects, because I do, but I try to never do it in a way that makes other people reading it uncomfortable or causes them to wonder if I'm unstable. I totally agree that every blog should be rooted in reality, but at the end of the day, it's totally up to the blogger to decide what they do/don't share. Just because I don't mention every single hard day or tough situation, doesn't mean they don't happen, and the ones I DO choose to share are worded carefully! I try to be positive about things on my blog, because that's my "happy space"–and I try to write posts that I'd want to read, instead of complaining about life all the time because that's a drag and no one wants to be around that. Great post!

Julie & Lauren said...

It is a lot of myth, Ashley! Blogs are just a snapshot of our lives and personalities. Love this post. Very truthful. XO

Rachel said...

Great post! I write about the good AND the bad- I like to be honest with my readers and that's why they read my blog. After all, it is OUR own space and we should portray ourselves as we like. So many people over-exaggerate their happiness, wealth, etc. to 'fit in', and that's just silly to me! I always think to myself, "we all have different lifestyles"... aka that blogger who has a huge closet probably makes 3 times as much money as I do, so it makes sense! haha :)

Jessica Marquez said...

What a fabulous post! So open, so honest... and SO true!

Annie said...

Such an important post. Have I mentioned I really like you? And even more so for writing this? As trite as it may sound, it is SO easy to compare yourself and feel like what you're working with isn't up to par. Like lately I've just been wrestling with the fact that no matter what I do to style, have good lighting, yadah yadah, my shots just aren't going to look like they're straight out of a magazine editorial because, like, they're not! I'm just little me, and I'm working with the resources I've got. And I truly think that every time a blogger publishes a post like this one, it helps to elevate that level of authenticity, and to remind us all of the reality of the situation.

Lena said...

Here, here.

Elizabeth // The Now said...

This subject has been on my mind lately too!! Some people really portray this perfect life and always look so beautiful and their houses are always neat and then I get down on myself. So, sometimes I just stop following those people bc it just can't be real. I choose to keep my blog light but there are times when I'll talk about my struggles...it's just my struggles are pretty crazy and I don't want to bum people out too much. haha xo

Dora said...

I loved reading this and it si so true. We have to always have a good perspective on how we perceive reality

Jen said...

This is such a great post! I find myself thinking about this a lot lately, I'm not one to share super personal struggles on my blog but instead try to focus on the positive. I try to keep my life as put together as possible but it's certainly not perfect, just like many others. It is hard sometimes when you see photos on instgram and without even thinking begin to compare it to your own. My house certainly doesn't look like it belong in a magazine but I try had to make it pretty within my reach. Thank for the lovely post Ashley!

xo jen
Pearls & Lace

Emily said...

SO true! And so well written.
Isn’t That Charming.

http://fancynancysfashionsafar said...

Love this post Ashley.

Alison said...

Love this post too Ashley! I have realized that since I have been blogging I am harder on myself because it is hard not to compare yourself to other bloggers that seem to have this 'perfect' life, it is great to know that I am not alone!

Johanna said...

It's a tough subject. I want to let my bloggers in on my life and that it's quite imperfect but I am not willing to bear all so to speak. That said, sometimes I do get caught up in other's blogs and how perfect it all looks. There's a fine line. I guess you need to have a healthy blog list of real people and inspiration.

Samantha Penner said...

I have a feeling some mean person judged you?! Girl, I love your blog and it's your place to decide whether you want to share a little or a lot about your personal life, or if you just want to keep it pretty. I LOVE U!!!

Joelle Duff said...

This is great Ashley. It's hard putting yourself out there, and it is NOT okay to judge someone else based on the life they choose to portray on their blog or social media. I do tackle difficult subjects, but there are times that I choose to stay silent too. It's our personal decision, and it's nobody's place to make an assumption one way or the other. Your blog is great, and don't let anyone let you feel otherwise :)

ashley nicole catherine said...

thanks, Nancy!

Cara-Mia said...

What a great post! I'm guilty of falling into the thinking that everyone else lives such perfect lives.

diane {a spot of whimsy} said...

amen, sister!

onefinea said...

Well put!

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