Sometimes I really wonder about my online existence. I wonder about the internet in general. Sometimes I have these rage fits at the internet. I mean it's like come on already. Instagram stop pretending that the world is just white backgrounds with succulents and lipstick. Facebook stop emitting all your political rage to me. Bloggers stop pretending like your life is perfect. Gomiers stop saying horrible things about people you've never even met. There are times I am quite convinced that the internet is just the absolute worst.
The past year I've tried to detach myself from the rat race of internet fame and success. There are a few reasons for this. One is that I didn't think always trying to "keep up" with the internet was making me very happy. Another is that I couldn't keep devoting the emotional energy required to be constantly getting to the top in the internet world. I needed to focus my energy on my family while we had a stupid hard sucky time. For a long time my main blog goal was to grow grow grow! I had to grow my blog, grow my following, more likes, more fans, etc, etc, etc. It was really exhausting. (I remember one time about a year after starting this blog a friend asked me what would happen if I didn't blog that day. I couldn't even fathom just not blogging for a day. "People are expecting a post! They'd stop reading! I'd lose pageviews!" I said. Well, I'm here to say I have not blogged on days and I have lost pageviews and the internet is still alive and well. And so am I.) I am glad I had that period of time to really focus on growth because it has allowed my blog to develop a pretty awesome community of like minded people- but I guess I'm not too interested in continuing to play that crazy follower/number game. There is a part of me that realizes I am kind of being left behind in the blogging race. Bloggers who I started with, who grew at the same rate I did, who were always my same blog size or smaller have lapped me many times by now. My Instagram following (@thelifeofbon) stays pretty much consistent because I can't quite get myself to succumb to the "Instagram aesthetic". I Instagram what makes me happy- babies and books and diet coke and silly things students write on their papers. Clothes and macaroons and brick walls might get me likes but they don't make me that happy. Sorry, Insta.
(Also sidenote, I just kind of started on snapchat and I have already found it a much happier online place for people like me. I am there making fun of the amount of diet coke that lines my bathtub at @thelifeofbon)
I think it's really easy for people who have a lot of online activity to base their worth on likes, pageviews, comments, etc. I know I did for a long time, and I still sometimes do- although I'm actively trying to stop myself from this. It feels good to kind of be out of that frenzy. I know that I may not receive as many sponsorship opportunities as I have in the past, and I know I may not be able to make as large an income from my blog. I also know not as many people are reading my blog as once were. But it's exciting to think about my blog transitioning back to more what it was when I very first started. Stupid stories about trips to Wal-mart. Heart to hearts about marriage and family. Making fun of myself because I can't decorate crap. I'm excited to have my blog give me energy again. To look forward to writing blog posts again.
But that wasn't why I started writing this post at all, to tell you all that blogger mumbo jumbo. I started writing this post to tell you all that yes, sometimes I really hate the internet. But since telling you all a little of the struggles my family has been going through, I have really felt support from the internet world and from this blogging community and I kind of realized how awesome the internet is. And how grateful I am to be a part of it all. It blows my mind that "internet strangers" will tell me that they're praying for my family, that they're thinking of me. You send me kind emails and words of support. AND I'VE NEVER EVEN MET YOU. You say nice things about my daughter's red hair and you tell me what books you like to read and you say encouraging things to me when I am feeling overwhelmed. I feel like the past few months on this blog I have really been shown the best the internet has to offer. And that's pretty freaking awesome.
I have questioned many times my decision to be so public about our lives. But tonight when I was walking to my car and the snow was slowly falling down, I couldn't stop thinking about how grateful I am to have this huge online community of support and encouragement. It gives me strength and encouragement and gosh I just feel so grateful for all of you.
So thank you.