This blog post features a series of photos. They are photos of myself, that I got my (very patient and obliging) boyfriend to take of me, wearing some jeans and shoes I like, in front of some garage doors I thought looked cool.
That’s strange, isn’t it? Seeing it written like that, it’s really, really quite a weird thing to do. I’ve only just started blogging, and I feel like I’m so excited to get stuck in and have so many ideas for content I want to create, yet again and again I find myself coming back to a niggling worry; am I a narcissist for wanting to do this?
Although I’m loving having somewhere to create and talk about whatever I want, it’s strange to write blog posts, and constantly use the word ‘I’. Writing about myself for anyone else to read is not something I’ve done before, and repeatedly saying ‘I think’ and ‘I did’ feels self-absorbed and silly.
However, I’m hardly going to omit the word ‘I’ from my writing – if anything, that feels like it might be more self-absorbed. If I don’t make it clear that these are my experiences, my thoughts and my feelings, what am I saying; that everything I’ve written is fact and truth rather than merely the way I see it? That seems like quite a self-assured stance to take.
I’ve seen lots of blogs take the focus on self away and position themselves in a more benevolent framework, hoping to help and inspire others. While that’s great – it truly is a lovely thing to aim for, and if you can help others then by all means do – it’s a somewhat lofty goal that I definitely can’t apply to my own blog; I doubt anyone is going to be too inspired by the ruffle shirt I just bought or what I had for dinner.
Because posting about all that stuff might be a bit narcissistic, right? Why would anyone even care?!
I guess really, the thing is; they don’t have to care. No one has to watch, read or consume anything that anyone else puts out there on the internet. I read, watch and consume other people’s content, because I enjoy doing so. I like to see what someone bought today and the delicious avo on toast someone ate because I’m really nosy, and because maybe I like their style, and because I like looking at photos of food because yum.
With that in mind it seems like this is only something I think about when it’s me doing the writing and the photo taking. I’ve been following blogs for years and to my memory I’ve never sat there going ‘My GOD. This person is absolutely obsessed with themselves.’ – it’s just something I feel nervous that people might think of me, and perhaps that’s because it’s one of the judgements or stereotypes that exist around people who choose to do this.
I typed ‘are bloggers’ into Google and one of the autocomplete options was ‘are bloggers narcissists’. There are, it transpires, reams and reams of articles on the subject and yes, some of the authors of said articles have bloggers as a whole group down as self-obsessed maniacs who will bring on the demise of society (seriously).
Maybe there are some bloggers who are narcissistic, but there are people who don’t blog that are too! Maybe we’re all a bit narcissistic. We live in our own heads after all, and form our ideas and opinions from our own point of view. Why not have your own platform where you can express yourself and create whatever you want to, that’s surely one of the joys of the internet? Most importantly, there’s a big gap between narcissism and confidence or expression; I hope no one thinks I’m suggesting people shouldn’t love or express themselves, because you absolutely should.
Top – Primark | Jeans – Next | Belt – Primark | Shoes – Zara | Rucksack – Primark
I’m going to bring this to a close now, because I’m aware I’ve really rambled for a while without coming to a conclusion, and I’m also not at all sure I’ve expressed this well, but I wanted to put the words on a page so that I could begin to think about them. I’m sure I’ll return to this topic, at some point – but right now it’s time for family time, Easter fun and lots of food!
What are your thoughts on blogging and narcissism? I’d love to hear from anyone – I’ve just read a load of articles telling me I’m a self-obsessed lunatic for wanting to blog, so all opinions are very welcome!
Photos: Rob Poor