Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking a lot about this same topic the past few weeks as I took a step back to observe my social media accounts and my blog, while wondering, “what’s the point?” Am I putting forth an image of “keeping it real”, or am I actually being real?
I genuinely hate to admit it, but it’s probably (okay, definitely) the former. Especially when it comes to social media.
Which brings me to my blog. I started it because I genuinely enjoy writing. I post publicly because I know that there are others that relate to or enjoy what I write about.
A few of my posts received significantly more views than others. And seeing those numbers felt so good.
Like most people, I quite enjoy the validation that comes from positive attention. So I took those significant (to me) page views, and use them as fuel to get even more.
I began marketing my blog a bit more. Which in and of itself, isn’t an awful thing to do. However, as the saying goes, “one thing led to another”, and before I knew it, I was caught up in every new “follow” and a certain amount of “likes” on photos. When I didn’t reach certain numbers, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Eventually (and luckily), I came to a simple realization:
I’m putting more time and effort into gaining followers, than I’m putting into what I post on the blog.
When would it stop? Perhaps I would become the next big blogger or actually make an income on my blog; but would it mean anything? Not if my heart wasn’t right. Not if I was doing it out of seeking attention or trying to fill a void.
I lost sight of why I’m blogging in the first place, and in turn, lost my focus on quality in search of quantity. I think I tend to do the same thing with social media. I’m certain I’m not the only one.
Then it hit me hard, right between the eyes.
My quest to gain followers was a SIN.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless–like chasing the wind.
Psalm 119:36-37 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Wow. This really convicted me. I could say that I hope to touch someone’s life with my writing, or that I’m being an example to my daughter by doing what I love. I could tell you I don’t care about what people think about my blog posts, or that the followers are irrelevant to me. I could say those things with a hint of truth: but I’d mostly be saying those things because I know that those are the “right” things to say. At the end of the day, I’m chasing the wind. A quest for followers in selfish gain is worthless in eternity.
I’ve fallen short. I’ve been motivated by envy and self gain. Maybe you have, too.
Your downfall might not be social media/blogging.
Perhaps it’s your job. What motivates you to excel? Who do you do it for? Is it for recognition, money, or a desire to win the race to the top?
It could be your family. Maybe you look at another family and strive to be like what theirs appears to be out of envy. Are you losing focus on what matters while you struggle to keep your perfect facade?
Whatever it might be- I have good news. It’s not too late.
Thanks to a God of grace, we have an opportunity to change our hearts and actions to that which is pleasing to HIM.
What does that mean for me?
I believe that my love for the written word is a gift from my Heavenly Father. A sense of calm overwhelms me when I’m able to put my heart, thoughts, and awkward sense of humor/wit to paper (or you know, virtual paper). I’m an imperfect person; but even in my imperfections, I believe that God can still use me. Therefore, I will not discontinue my blog.
I will, however, stop promoting it. At least for now. It will remain open to the public, since I’ve received some very sweet and encouraging messages from some of my readers.
If you’d like to know when I have a new post, feel free to sign up for email notifications; otherwise, the link will remain in my Instagram and Facebook profiles, so drop by whenever you like.
God isn’t finished with me; He isn’t finished with you either. ❤️