Creativity Pip-Life

:: The Like Cycle & Daydreamy Wanderlust

Image via Matt and Lentil’s Grown & Gathered Flower Exhange – a totally beautiful idea where you can trade your own talents or things for beautiful blooms. How great is that?!

 

Hello…

I’ve been thinking a lot over the weekend about a lot of different things. Here are two of them…

Thing One: The Like Cycle

Wow. You know, social media has many of us wanting to pin our hopes on much-followed ‘online superstars’. Our new heroes.  Yay!

The idea that follower/like numbers equals success feeds alarmingly into this equation. Not only are we sidling up to the much-followed more readily (because they have the numbers), the much-followed are reaping the benefits, being offered opportunities like book deals, speaking ops and ambassadorships. The legitimacy book deals, speaking ops etc offer leads us to take the much-followed even more seriously, even treating them as experts.

Around and around it all goes.

This ‘like-cycle’ is problematic. It ignores the fact that Instagram or Facebook followers/likes can be bought at the drop of a hat, that all may not be what it seems. It confuses us too, with some thinking – “Everyone else likes them, so maybe I should like them too?!” Big mistake. (Huge!)

As we scroll our social feeds, we see the things the much-followed-opportunity-offered-types are doing. We notice they seem to be behaving/living in ways we admire or aspire to. Before you know it, we get drawn in by all those pretty pictures. (Turn back now!)

We might find ourselves trying to fit their prescriptive/ill-informed advice or platitudes or jargon into our own lives, parroting or sharing or emulating the things they do and leaving ourselves behind. We might get stuck on their ‘numbers’ as a measure of knowledge or ‘success’, assume they are an expert in their field and deduce that we should listen up (when really we should take a step back).

I think it’s high time we all took a more clever, critical view of those crowned in this online ‘cult of personality’. Numbers do not maketh the expert. Being well-known does not mean you know well.

Let’s not blindly or passively give online personalities the power to disappoint us or mislead us. Let’s make our own smart decisions based on research and facts and intuition and our own cleverness. Let’s not share/like stuff from the people everybody else likes because everybody else is liking it. (Gah!)

Let’s be canny explorers of our own lives and likes and loves instead.

(Sorry. That’s quite prescriptive. Know that I’m not an expert and you can thumb your nose at me and work this out for yourself. I’m good with that!)

Thing Two: Daydreamy Wanderlust

We spend a lot of time wishing we were somewhere else, don’t we? I really think it’s true.

I remember reading a particular picture book to my kids when they were weeny. It was a Sarah Garland one and in it the mum sat in the kitchen and stared a travel poster or brochure with a cup of tea in hand. I think it might have been raining outside, even? I don’t have the book* anymore, so I can’t tell you the holiday destination depicted, but I can tell you that the pages totally expressed how much that mama wanted to have some time out in a sunny location. There was something in her gaze.

The thing is, I catch myself doing this too.

As I am living in our (rented) building in Fitzroy but I’m always thinking about the house we will move to next. I can feel the open rooms, the brighter light, the backyard full of trees, the quiet, the garage door. It’s so funny, because I have no idea what our next home will be like and yet I can feel it when I close my eyes or daydream (as I do the dishes or head to get the mail!) I feel it like the kitchen mama feels her holiday.

I’m sure it’s not just me and the illustrated mum. Lots of advertising and goal setting revolves around where you really want to be or where you’d like to go.

I think that’s ace, for sure, for some, but maybe not for me. It puts me in danger of continually defaulting to the daydream of somewhere else. It’s great to have adventures to look forward to, but I’m going to try to dream more about making the most of where I am.

 

 

That’s it really. Just wanted to tell you that stuff. Maybe it was weird, but I like weird stuff.

x Pip

* (Maybe the book was Doing The Washing? I am not sure.)

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    March 25, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    Interesting stuff, Pip. Couldn’t agree more with you.

    I tried to run a workshop on Blogging here in Ballarat, but apparently I wasn’t “big” enough or well known enough to be an attraction. A lot of my target market confessed to having instead signed up for a much more expensive course run by a famous blogger with lots of famous guests. I might have been blogging for a lot of years and might have qualifications in teaching adults, but that means nothing because I’m not “big enough” in the blogging world.

    • Reply
      Deb Baker
      March 26, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      Hi Dorothy – that’s so interesting what you’ve written here. I was thinking about running a workshop for bloggers in my local area but was worried that I wasn’t big enough therefore wouldn’t have much to offer. And would anyone turn up and want to hear what I had to say. Did you end up going ahead with it or did you pull the pin after receiving that feedback. It’s so depressing isn’t it that we feel we have to compete all the time with the ‘bigger’ names, when we have so much to offer.

  • Reply
    Jacquie
    March 17, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    So much yes for this post, Pip. I, too, think people (myself included!) fall so easily into the trap of blindly following/liking social media peeps and paying too much attention to the numbers. I think it’s super important to take a step back and remember to be yourself and to be genuine.

    I’m also find myself daydreaming about what life is going to be like if this happens, or when this happens. And there’s not much point, y’know? Like you said, it’s all about living in the moment and making the best of what we’ve got.

  • Reply
    Maxabella
    March 12, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    You nail it for me every time, Pip. Which makes you one very important lady to ‘like’ in my book. x

  • Reply
    edenland
    March 11, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    I love this post, I love your eyes, how you call yourself a dork in your profile and the way you’re holding the dog in that photo. Basically, I love you Pip WHO’S THE WEIRDO NOW?

    xxxx

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      March 12, 2015 at 6:37 AM

      I can be the weirdo on Mon, Wed, Fri and you can be the weirdo on the other days. Do you think that would work? LOVE TO YOU! xx

  • Reply
    Christine @ Adventure, Baby!
    March 11, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    I love this post, Pip. I’m a long-time reader, first time commenter here. It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers because of the focus put on them by brands/blogger agencies, and other bloggers too. I feel like my numbers are all too low and it makes me question some of my dreams, like writing a book. It feels like setting myself up for failure because I think my followers aren’t high enough to make it a success. It’s hard to break out of this and just do it anyway. Thanks for the great post.

  • Reply
    Tamsin Howse
    March 11, 2015 at 7:19 AM

    I came for the post about blogging, and I was moved by the part about daydreaming. I am always thinking of the next thing. I am constantly grieving for the life I don’t have. But my life is amazing, and by doing this I’m only hurting myself. It’s a tough habit to break!

    PS: loved the Pretty Woman reference.

  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    March 11, 2015 at 12:31 AM

    Yes, just yes.

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 10, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    If that was weird then it’s my kind of weird.

    There’s a crowd out there running hither and thither at the beck and call of self appointed experts who either don’t know how much they don’t know, or have the self-confidence not to care. The commercial opportunities offered to those ‘experts’ often have little to do with the depth of their knowledge base and everything to do with the breadth of their fan base. You have to wonder if there are marketing execs choosing to leverage what they perceive as the most gullible readerships.

  • Reply
    CJ
    March 10, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Wise words, you are very right. Most of the blogs I follow are small ones, with genuine voices, real people, no gloss. They are interesting and original. As one of your other commenters has said, I sometimes look at the huge blogs and wonder why people are following them. A really interesting post Pip.

  • Reply
    Anne
    March 10, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    I recently followed some links to some bloggers with thousands of followers and couldn’t work out why all these people were following them. I was beginning to think there must be something wrong with me but having read this, now I know I was right to trust my own judgement.

  • Reply
    Tarnya
    March 10, 2015 at 6:37 AM

    “Being well-known does not mean you know well” Perfect, Pip! Except for YOU – as you are well-know AND you seem to know well 🙂

    Re the daydreamy wanderlust: I never daydream about being somewhere else. I save and scheme and plan and research and go! until I AM somewhere else. LOL.

  • Reply
    Robyna
    March 9, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    It does start to feel like we are drawing on a smaller and smaller self-selection of information. And considering the length, depth and width of the internet, that’s a very sad thing. Thank you for always bringing something new and fresh to the discussion.

    • Reply
      Lis
      March 10, 2015 at 8:44 PM

      Wow. Perfectly said!

  • Reply
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    March 9, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Yes on the like cycle – I get that, totally get that! But there doesn’t seem to be much to do about it. A tiny drop in a very big ocean.
    But the second thing, I think it is a balance between being in the now and enjoying the wanderlust. I love to read more about different destinations and research holiday possibilities even though the actual possibility is a while off yet.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 9, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    i just spent the weekend at kyneton for the lost trades fair and it was so amazing and real to me! no instagram, no facebook, no false likers just amazing old school artisans. I saw blacksmiths, wood carvers, casters, wool spinners and more!! I had totally country lust after this and it made me wish for simpler things. As a maker in the design-ey world it is so hard to always keep on top of the next big thing or whats on trend. You forget that you make because you love it. I felt really proud to be a glass blower and to love it for the trade. So now I guess I have to be cautious not to get caught up in the daydream and appreciate the now.

  • Reply
    Deb Baker
    March 9, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    What a wonderfully weird post. I’ve spent the past few years being that lady in the poster wistfully wishing I was somewhere else. And that that somewhere else must be better than where I am now. This year I’ve made a commitment to myself to look for the good in the little moments that make up my life .. The minutiae of life is really what living is all about. And also I don’t follow those kinds of blogs anymore. I don’t really believe any of it anymore. And more so I’m no longer trying to emulate those kinds of blogs. I’ve decided it’s time to keep things real.

  • Reply
    Naomi
    March 9, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    Pip I loved the line about ‘being canny in exploring your own life’ so true. It’s funny how quantity versus quality has translated to life online, where in some ways the focus seems to be how many followers/likes a thing can get instead of the quality of the thing. It’s that whole crowd mentality…if they like it what am I missing out on even if turns out to be my much we think it’s something because others are flocking to it. Really enjoyed this post, got me thinking x

  • Reply
    Carly
    March 9, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    I like this piece, especially this sentence: “Being well-known does not mean you know well.”

    There is an influx of wellness bloggers. And I worry about all the followers – and the trend to adopt a new lifestyle because of what someone on the internet says. Tell me, how can a former fashion magazine journalist suddenly be an expert in the benefits of quitting sugar?

    I am always so mindful of being a blogger in the health sphere – I never want to claim that I know it all, or the treatments I use will help every patient.

    Thank you for writing this post.

  • Reply
    Reannon @shewhorambles
    March 9, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Spot on with this Pip! I like weird stuff like this.

    These last few weeks I have found myself being quite repelled by the perfection, the fancy, the head honchos of online life. Those things are not for me & the more I seen them the more it was making me question my own life & choices & wondering if I have it all wrong. I don’t have it wrong, I was just lookin the wrong places.

    And I wrote about how I feel like I’m planted in the wrong place. I too can see a whole different house & communi & way of life for us but I’m not sure where it is. I just know it’s ” out there” somewhere that is not here

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