I sat across the table from my friend dumbfounded.
“Don’t you think blogging is narcissistic?”, she asked me.
I held onto my latte, bit my lip, and thought good and hard about the question.
She is a writer who is thinking of starting her first blog. Of course, she is asking the same question I initially had when I started my blog.
So let me pose the question to you:
Is blogging narcissistic?
We live in a crazy age. We have access to more social media outlets than ever before. All are created to help us connect with other people and express ourselves. We have can vent out emotions in an instant. Or we can upload countless photos of our family in just a few minutes. It’s pretty amazing!
I often find myself in an ethical dilemma. How often has my heart shrank as I tweeted for the tenth time in a day. I can recount many times when I was itching to see how many people “liked” the photo I posted. Am I alone? I hope not…
I struggle with this. How much of my life do I capture and document? Do I take a picture of every delicious meal I eat? Many times, my husband gently touches my camera and says, “save this memory in your heart”. How much do I display, and how much do I quietly cherish? Do I need to upload every picture to instagram and use one of those cool filters? I mean, I love those filters. They make mundane things look really great.
In no time, a well-intentioned writer can become consumed with statistics, followers, and their presence in the social media world. It is an easy trap to fall into. We long to share these lovely memories with family members that are distant, or try and log them for the future. Then it turns into a whole different beast. Blogging can become consuming.
I have often fallen into this trap. I really don’t want to be narcissistic. I want to glorify God by being a humble person who thinks of others more than myself.
Sometimes I feel the social media world paints an unrealistic picture of other people’s lives. I typically see an airbrushed or filtered version of life that is totally unrealistic. We often share our times of joy with others and conceal or hide our times of struggle, loss, or failure. I want to be more careful about what I post here. I hope that as I grow in my faith and confidence in Christ I can be more real about my life- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Why should I try and present an unrealistic version of my life?
I believe all humans are by nature narcissists. We think of ourselves first, usually. It is against the grain to put others’ first. Social media does not help this inherent issue we all struggle with at all. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid narcissism in social media. Rather, I think being aware of the issue is the best approach. I need to remind myself of why I started blogging. I love to write. I love to bring important issues to surface. Many blogs I visit provide information or help for me. I love reading inspirational stories. I love reading real life issues that are happening. I love reading about other women’s faith journey’s.
Social media is not all bad, though. There are powerful and beautiful things that come out of open media. Alerts of disasters are instantaneous. Relief efforts are easier to communicate and organize. People are able to share their stories of inspiration and hope. I am able to chat with my family in another state or share new photos with them in an instant.
What is the solution, then? Well, I don’t think the solution is black and white. I think it is a complicated heart issue. I don’t believe in jumping ship from blogging and social media, because it is a part of our world and will be moving forward. We need to learn how to manage this new technology just like we need to manage our finances. It is a heart issue. I need to self-examine my heart and ask myself if blogging is becoming an idol. Am I devoting too much time in social media and too little time to other important areas of my life? Am I seeking to feel “good” about myself via social media or blogging? And last, am I encouraging or building other people up by the content I post or making them feel bad, discouraged, or envious.
As a Christian, I also need to ask myself other tough questions. Am I ultimately seeking glory for myself or for God? Do I want to contribute to the discontentment many face by posting unrealistic or enviable life circumstances, or do I want to bring healing to others by being transparent and real. What is my intention when I post content? That is so much more complicated to think about, and when I step back and realize that being a steward of this blog is such an important task, it is a little intimidating!
I cringe as I think of some of the challenges blogging brings. In a few days I will be displaying a cute coat and pair of leggings I received from a clothing company to review. I hate taking pictures of myself, and feel so narcissistic doing so. I have to balance that. I need to be humble and thankful for the opportunity to share a new company with my readers. Somehow my post should convey those emotions. I don’t think it is wrong to post stories about momentous family occasions, celebrations, or taking paid posts. I just need to be careful what I say and how I say it, and I need to seek to glorify God in my posts. I need to be mindful and aware of other people and if what I am saying is building them up.
How I manage my social media and blog does matter. I have come to realize this more and more lately. I don’t want to add to the narcissism in our society, and I also don’t want to just throw in the towel. I want to find the right balance and keep writing here, because I love to write.
I realize this is a really tough issue that might be controversial. I am not pointing fingers and saying any of you out there are narcissistic by taking “selfie’s” or blogging in general. It is simply something I struggle with and ponder about as I recognize more of our world is turning to social media as an outlet of expression. I want to continue to question the ethics and responsiblilty I face as a representative of Christ and as a blogger. I hope I haven’t offended anyone!
What thoughts do you have on this issue? Please share them with me! I really want other opinions!