How My Blog Changed My Life: The Perks & Pitfalls Of Social Media

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Little over a week ago, I was invited by the lovely PoojaG to share my experiences of blogging and social media. Unfortunately, due to my recent minor mishap, I am a little bit behind schedule on my blog posts. Alas, not to be outdone, I decided to merge two ideas into one long blog post for all of you lovely people!

Quite recently, I’ve been rather frustrated with social media. It seems that, with the world it is these days, the ongoing mud-slinging between the sides is quite prolific, and everybody is up and involved in everybody else’s business. One cannot simply post a status without simultaneously inviting a handful of opinions, mockery, unsolicited advice or a combination of all three. Growing weary of a handful of individuals who routinely took to sharing their opinions on my minor life updates, I began to wonder if Facebook was really worth it after all. If it doesn’t serve me well, I decided, then it has no purpose in my life.

In a similar way, I began to feel as though Twitter was all about using the right hashtags and having the right opinion, with the wrong one causing all kinds of trouble. Not being someone who bases my popularity on the agreeability of others, I decided that Twitter too had to go. I tweeted a handful of times and with only one post ever being liked or retweeted, I decided that Twitter too had to go.

But all of this deleting apps and disappearing on social media began to take a toll on my mental health. I mean, there were people out there will hundreds of Facebook friends, and there was me with.. uhh, 32 Facebook friends in total. I began to slip into a depression. Nobody cared about me, nobody liked me. Nobody would miss me if I just.. poof! Went.

Enter WordPress. Oh, WordPress. How I love thee.

When I first started blogging, I had no idea where I was going to go with this. What would I do? What would I write about? I had no idea, but I was willing to try. I couldn’t write about the most popular topics and I had no idea where to begin, but I was willing to put myself out there and I was willing to give the world all that I had to offer – me.

One of the first steps to blogging is to have a goal, an ambition of what you want to achieve. When I started my blog, I had three goals in mind: To show that disabled people can do something, to show that anxious and depressed people can live uplifting and positive lives and to show that kinky people are normal people outside of our devious interests. I didn’t know how well it would work, but I was willing to give it a go.

And you know what? It paid off.

I hear from my audience nearly everyday now, I hear from my audience who say that they love what and how I write, and I see some of my followers implementing little tricks that I myself have used on my blog. To be able to log into WordPress and know that something that I, an everyday citizen, wrote which has inspired or encouraged you, another everyday citizen, I cannot tell you how humbling that feeling is. It’s not about popularity or trends or qualifications or anything else. At the end of the day, the people who visit and decide to follow my blog are here because they like what I have to say, and that is so incredibly humbling. It is quite heartwarming to think that someone, somewhere, likes me.

When it comes to Facebook, most of the people we add as friends are people that we have met, even very briefly. Whilst I tend to be a lot more reserved about who I add, I know that there are other young women out there who will add a new friend based on the particularly pleasant conversation they had while queuing in the ladies’ restrooms. That’s fine if that’s what works for them, though for me personally, that’s still just a pleasant encounter, not a new friend.

But on WordPress, that’s different.

On WordPress, I put me out there. On WordPress, I say what I have to say and let my audience agree or disagree. I invite discussion, I encourage sharing opinions and enjoy reading your answers. I’ve even been reblogged once or twice which is incredible honour to receive. I follow and like posts that resonate with me and I’ve made friends with people that I have never even met.

On WordPress, my name is not only known within the local community, my blog (and thus, my name) is reaching people worldwide. It no longer matters whether 60% of my Facebook friend list are no longer my friends, what matters is that somwhere in the world, there are other people who like me.

On WordPress, who i am matters far more than what I look like or that trick that I can do. When you blog, what matters is what you write, how you write, and what you have to share. Your popularity is no longer based on the filters you use. Instead, it’s based on your ability to be interesting and how well you can write a few paragraphs.

Once I started on that journey, it was hard to come off of it again. Once I became Big, Bold & Bright, that depression dissipated. I can still remember the day I created this domain, I entered it into the WordPress’ domain creator and shut my eyes tight.

It’s probabably gone, I thought to myself, unable to look.

After a few seconds, I dared to peek one eye open and there it was on my screen:

Available!

I spent possibly not more than five minutes deliberating my decision. It was another expense, yes, but it was a chance to rebrand myself. It was a chance to change my “hey, so this is me” to “Hi! This is me..” . I didn’t even stop and think to reconsider the cost of the plan or the cost of the domain that I was creating. I’d pull posts over, I was decided, it was time to go big.

“I can’t believe that domain was available!” I said to Matt, I still can’t, I thought it’d be claimed by some dental whitening company or a personal development firm or something. I mean big, bold and bright – isn’t that what we all aspire to be?

But it was available, available for me. This was my big break, my golden opportunity to recreate myself and showcase my knowledge and capabilities. Big, Bold & Bright was available to me, and it was just too good to miss.

Within weeks, I became my own brand, I became Big, Bold & Bright. There was no time for slumping around in my pyjamas and living life lazily anymore. I had an image and a reputation to uphold and a blog name connected to me. If I wanted to make this work, I had to make it work for me.

These days, I don’t really care for Facebook anymore as WordPress is the place for me. Sure, I still use Facebook for Whatsapp and staying social with my followers, but I no longer care to write a dozen words about a random thought I had. If I think an idea is just that awesome, I’ll blog about it instead.

The 3 Social Media Platforms That I Still Use

Now that we’ve talked about the platforms that I don’t get along with, let me share with you the three that I still enjoy. I know that one of these is not like the others, but then somethings in life are an acquired taste 😉

1. Slowly

I LOVE Slowly, the pen pal app. I first signed up to the app in December 2018, during a particularly bad episode of seasonal depression. I was low, lonely and just needed someone to talk to. I sent out a handful of letters, and waited. I admit, at the time I was suicidal, but I told myself that I would just wait and see if anyone replied to me. and sure enough, two people did.

The beauty of Slowly is it puts a technical spin on an old truth: International mail takes time! Slowly prides itself on waiting for your pen pal’s reply to reach you you in a time of online messaging and instant replies. With some letters taking as long as two days. Slowly prides itself on slowing the process down, making the gratification of these new international friendships that much sweeter. There is a chance to collect stamps of landmarks from all over the world too, if you’re really interested!

Today, Slowly is a key part of my life. I have friends from all over the world and I love hearing from them and hearing their stories. If you use the app, feel free to drop me a letter at Slowly ID: XZYQQ3 . It normally takes me about a week to get back to letters, but I will!

2. Fetlife

Not for everyone I do realise, but for those of with more… unusual tastes, this site (and app) is great for connecting with fellow perverts. Enjoy bondage and fly fishing? There are probably dozens of others who enjoy that here, too. If you’re a fellow deviant, you can find me with username: MrsWolfie. PS. You need to be a member to be able to perv on my profile, sorry about that 😉

3. Instagram

The nice thing about the ‘gram is that you can photograph and share absolutely anything and somebody will probably like it. It’s worth knowing your hashtags, but it’s safe to say that #jackrussell and #dogsofinstagram are nearly always on my recents. If you think my boy is beautiful, don’t forget to follow Bigboldandbright !

Alright lovelies, that’s it for today’s thoughts on social media, and thankyou again to PoojaG for inviting me to chip in on this topic. What are your favourite platforms? Why not share them in the comments?

Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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