I am a follower.
It pains me to say it.
But I am.
Growing up, before the hailstorm of social media, it was a little easier to pave your own path. I think. There were the popular kids at school and you saw them carrying their Coach bags, but when school was over, it was over. You went home it was just about you. No one inundating you with the sales happening at J. Crew or their fancy trips. I still felt it mind you. Having the coolest clothes from American Eagle was on my radar, but it was a lesser pull.
I had a friend who most definitely paved her own path. Wore what she wanted. Didn’t give a care in the world about what people thought (maybe she did but I never saw it). I envied that. Admired it. It wasn’t me.
Today it is all about twitter, snapchat, instagram, blogs, yadda yadda yadda. Instead of just brands trying to sell you something, it’s also people trying to sell something, whether they know it or not.
People are selling their online personas. These cool hip people who have it totally together.
One day I was absentmindedly scrolling through Instagram and someone posted a photo of their bed and all of a sudden I had such an INTENSE desire to redo my whole bedding situation. Five minutes before I would not have given it a second thought, but all of a sudden now it was all I could think about. This person didn’t link to her particular bedspread or even mention the brand, but, like the stalker I am, I searched all the different places I could think of until I found it. Then I bought it.
I am copying people that I respect. People that I aspire to be like and I do it at the expense of myself. Whether it is fashion, or politics, or ideas, I adopt to what I hear and see and accept it as my own.
And it is completely unintentional.
I don’t have an answer for how to solve this. For me it has led to a few changes like deciding to discontinue fashion blogging and unfollowing a lot of people on instagram. It wasn’t that those things are bad its just that they were bad for me.
I have to work harder and pay attention to my opinions (this is a mini PSA for myself). Are they mine or is it something that I have heard some where else before? Do I really like this style or is it just something someone else told me was cool?
Maybe being a follower is ok some times, but sometimes I would also like to be me.
So on point. I feel like this so much! Since we've moved back to Seattle I've felt so insecure about how I dress and who I am. Thank you for the reminder to just be me. To be who I want to be.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorry I obviously just commented from a work account and then deleted it.. What I wanted to say is that I love blog posts like this that make me think hard about something new. Also that picture is breathtaking.
I love everything about this post! Lately I've had a real beef with Instagram, and I couldn't pin point why exactly. You articulated everything I've been feeling! Thank you for writing this post!
This post really resonated with me. I have been struggling lately with contentment, and I really needed this. I think we could all benefit from spending less time comparing our lives to the snippets of lives we see on Instagram and focusing on ourselves instead. Thank you for this.
Ohhhhh this is so me.
I don't think it's too bad to want bedding or the same dress or even the same food as anyone else? I'm not sure. I feel like I should just like what I like even if a million other people like the same things. It's a combination of all the different things you like that make you, you. I try not to stress out about it, but I also try to recognize if I'm feeling/acting covetous.
Anyway, I'm having this internal conflict about Birkenstocks- like, everyone and their mom has them on Instagram and I keep seeing them and I like them because I just keep seeing people wearing them online! So I'm trying to decide whether I actually like them. I think I do. Looks like I'll have to actually try on a pair and find out 😉
I do sort of this same thing, but particularly with home decor. I see a room that someone posts and it looks SO good and all the sudden I'm planning how I can make my room look like that . . . then I realize that room isn't even my style and I like it better in someone else's house. The best way I've discovered to figure out whether or not I really like something is to wait on purchases. If I still love it after a month, great! If I don't, it turns out I was just wanting to follow what other people were doing.
Adventures in Everyday Life
Living in a first world country has its dark underbelly. We're all looking for a fix. I'm still looking.