Trends.

My blog has always been about my interests,  most people’s blogs are this way and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It seems that to have a “normal” blog nowadays is a bit of faux pas and we should all be churning out marketable content, otherwise our blogs just aren’t worthy of reading.

Says who?

Seriously, I cannot understand why bloggers have to be snubbed or ridiculed just because they talk about their personal stories.  Talking about my personal stories is the main reason I got into blogging around ten years ago.  I follow blogs whose content feels relatable to me, or who have something interesting to say on a personal level, not just because they are writing about the latest trends.

I have just gone through the top 100 trends on Google trends and I kid you not, I sat and yawned most of the way through it.  There are plenty of football (soccer) teams cropping up on there, I have a healthy interest in that sport, but not enough to dedicate blog posts to it.  There were a couple of political topics and one about Facebook publishing, but the rest were just celebrity based.

FML, I can think of nothing worse than having to follow so-called celebrities just to find some content for my blog.  I have had it said that my blog is boring, not really arsed about the opinions of that person because they were hardly trailblazing their way to the dizzy heights of uber-blogger.  The thing is, I don’t blog to gain awards, or make money, or even appear trendy; I blog because it is a release for me, it is a way of sharing things with people who have an interest in my  life – I am talking friends and family here, not fans.  I am aware my content is not to everyone’s taste and there will be days where my blog gets no views.  I actually never check that, mainly because I forget.

Lately, I have been sharing music, mostly because I am going through something huge and it keeps my mind busy.  On a personal level, I am doing the best that I can to keep my shit together; the sharing of music is a release for me and a way at keeping my hand in from a blogging point of view.  It means I have to show up and think about something other than this huge thing that is threatening my piece of mind.

But curiosity got the better of me and whilst I had some quiet time earlier, I checked out Google trends.   It is disheartening to see that blogging has been reduced to worshipping at the altar of celebrity.  You know, many people do not religiously follow the latest celeb news, many like me don’t actually care.  I am assuming the content on Google trends changes regularly and I am going to keep an eye on it, just to satisfy my now piqued curiosity.

Being so obsessed by celebs makes me feel twelve again.  I can’t help but feel that by promoting so-called celebrities to such a prominent place in our society we have forgotten how to have conversations about things that really matter.  It is a sad fact that someone famous being pregnant is a more talked about topic than poverty, world peace, ending suffering for animals, domestic abuse, child abuse, women’s health issues, men’s health issues and many, many more topics that affect us all globally.

I can’t help but feel that a lot of problems could be solved if we, as a society, ditched our obsession with celebville and concentrated more on the problems in our lives, both locally and in the wider community.  It is a sad fact that so many people would rather use celebville as a form of escapism – and whilst I can understand why people do this, I don’t understand how people can become so obsessed by such trivia to the exclusion of everything else.

Trends I would love to see are trends that address real issues such as poverty, stopping the abuse of humans and animals, and many other topics that are worthy.  Bloggers, users on twitter and Facebook, or any other social media platform, should not feel that they are Boring Betty’s just because  they don’t talk about celebs and other such trivia – because let’s face it, that is all it is.  We should never feel like we have to share content just because it is trending and those “gurus” who have declared themselves experts in how to be liked need to quit with their smug attitude over their popularity and start giving a shit about real concerns, not just what is happening in la-la land.

Social Media Breaks.

Social Media breaks, yep, we’ve all heard of them, some of us may have had them, some of us may be thinking of taking one and some of us may be thinking people are crazy for taking them.

Last week I had one.  It was unintentional and I didn’t even realise I had done it until last Friday.  Last Tuesday I went up to Edinburgh with my husband for a mini break for my birthday.  On arrival, I got my phone out and did the obligatory check-in via Facebook.  By the time we had unpacked, had something to eat and chatted to relatives to let them know we had arrived safely it was quite late, so I had a shower and went to bed.  I think I slept for less than half-an-hour.  An excruciating pain in my gum woke me up and I was awake until around 4 a.m.

It was my birthday and I felt awful.  I had notifications on my phone – people messaging me to wish me a happy birthday, by text and on facebook, as well as family members ringing me.  The plans I had for the day were shelved.  We went to The Wyrd Shop and I bought a couple of items and then after wandering around the Royal Mile for a while we headed back to the hotel.  I was in too much pain to do anything else.  I dozed on and off for the rest of the day, thanks to pain meds, muscle relaxants, clove oil and bonjela.  Sounds excessive?  My toothache was very bad.

The next day we were due to see a show – the reason we had gone to Edinburgh – and I considered cancelling, once again I had been awake during the night in excruciating pain.  I didn’t cancel and went to see the show – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – and had a really good time.  But because I was dosed up to the hilt on pain meds and muscle relaxants I didn’t really want to do much else.  I managed to sleep that night – probably all the medication – and woke up on the Friday morning feeling slightly better.  I checked my phone and it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken a single picture of our time in Edinburgh.  Normally I take snaps of days out and holidays and post them to social media, but I hadn’t done that this time.

As I drove the 100 miles home I pondered the social media break I had just had.  It hadn’t been intentional; normally I spend a little time each day on social media and if I feel that my time is becoming overrun by Facebook I limit myself to first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  I have recently started to use social media for my business, so it makes no sense to me to have a break from social media.  That said, I am not having a pop at people who choose to do this – each to their own.

Having a break from social media seems to be en vogue, it seems every other person I know is taking a break.  I’m not sure if I would take a planned break, I am a very nosy person at heart and I would be terrified I missed out on something (I am joking btw).  Some of the reasons I have seen as to why someone is taking a break from social media show how we are now focused on sharing our entire lives with our “friends”.  I am not overly fussed by people who share their every waking moment on social media, it’s their life, their social media platform, their choice.   Neither am I that bothered by people who make a huge song and dance about going on a social media break, that’s their perogative.

Social media breaks seem to have become the norm now, just as joining up to the different platforms was a few years back.  It almost feels like a rite of passage and I sometimes wonder if people feel obligated to take them because their friends and co-workers have.  Social media breaks are touted as must-do things when you embark on soul-love  and self-care journeys.  I’m not sure I agree with this line of thinking, self-care is a very personal thing and you must do what is right for you; if spending all day at home catching up with your family and friends on Facebook relaxes you, then who am I to argue with you?

If you want to take a break from social media then go right ahead, but please don’t feel you have to because it’s a trendy thing to do.  Make sure you’re doing it for you, not just because people expect it of you.