Wednesday, 28 December 2016

What I Think About Large Social Media Followings

In today's society, it seems to me as though everything revolves around social media. How many likes can I get on that selfie? Do I have enough followers to be considered 'cool'? What if my life doesn't look interesting enough to other people? I know what these situations feel like, because these sorts of questions have circled around my head one too many times throughout my teenage years so far.

To be completely honest with you, I have no idea how, or why things have turned out this way. Everywhere you go, there are people who's hands are literally glued to their phones, and the scariest part is that they're totally oblivious as to what's going on around them. Not only is it dangerous, but it's also incredibly careless.

Over the past year, I've gotten a lot better at focusing on what's around me, rather than what's on the device in front of me. Kylie Jenner's selfie may be the most gorgeous thing you have seen all week, but quite frankly, there's more to your life than an app.

Nowadays, a lot of us are fortunate enough to have large social media followings. People are bringing out merchandise, books, and beauty products left, right, and centre, and although I think that's absolutely incredible, and such an insane achievement, it's important that we don't all get so wrapped up around the materialistic things, and the brand deals that we forget about our family, our friends, and our other ambitions in life.

Don't get me wrong, I've always loved blogging, and YouTube. However, it's definitely changed throughout the past few years, and I know I'm not the only person who thinks that either. Sometimes, people come across as 'less real' on social media, and I'm not saying that's how I feel about everyone, but there is a small minority that do just follow the crowd, and pretend to enjoy this whole platform, simply because they think they're going to get freebies, and fun opportunities. I'm sure you have all received at least one of those automated messages on Twitter, or one of those incredibly irritating emails in your time being a part of the community, right?

I've been blogging for quite a long time now (over a year anyway), and I can honestly say that I never started out with the intentions of blogging being my full time job, and I still don't really consider that an option, even for the near future. Never once have I taken up an opportunity, because of the freebies, and never once have I abused a brand's kindness, and thrown everything back in their face. That's just not who I am as a person. I may have under 1,000 followers, but I have over 500, and that's absolutely incredible in my eyes, and it's taken me a long time to get to where I am. There was a point where I didn't even believe I'd gain 5 followers, let alone over 500.

To cut to the chase, I do think that large social media followings have their pros, and cons. Some people use their social media following to show off their makeup skills, and others use them to talk about real concerns, such as sex, body image, mental health, and politics. I take my hat off to both groups of people. Heck, I take my hat off, and bow down to you if you fit into both of those groups! You're doing an amazing job, and you deserve to be recognised, and applauded for that.

For me personally, it's never, and it will never be about the numbers. Every single person that follows me on Instagram, Twitter, or follows, and reads my blog has most probably chosen to take that action for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, I am forever grateful.

Every single day that I spend on this planet, I feel grateful. I feel so incredibly blessed to be as successful as I am, both on the internet, and in my personal life. That's not to say I'm the next Zoella, but I've achieved things personally, and that's what I consider to be a success. My childhood wasn't all plain sailing, and it was pretty brutal at times, if I'm being honest with you. My adolescent years so far haven't been too great either. I've experienced many low points, and sometimes, it has proved immensely difficult to survive until the next morning, and get myself out of bed. I did it though, and boy, am I glad that I did.

I write this blog, and I use my social media platforms for valid reasons. I post scenic pictures on my Instagram to make people smile, and see the beauty in the world around them. I regularly Tweet motivational sayings in order to give someone the strength they need to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I sit here, and write these blog posts, so that I can comfort people's souls, and bring some positivity into their life. I speak about real issues, and I speak about them, because I care. I care about all of you so much, and I want you to know that things are going to be okay. They will always be okay.

The social media following I have accumulated has become a blessing to me. Every single person who follows my journey, and takes the time to read what I have to write is precious to me. Showing you what my go to makeup routine is will probably provide you with a little bit of light-hearted entertainment, but that's not what I use this privilege for.

I use it to show people that they will be okay. I use it to share my personal experiences that I have come out of the other side from. I use it to comfort people, and show support to them, whenever they may need it. I use my social media following wisely, and there's never a day that goes by where I don't feel beyond grateful for what I have.

Use your social media following wisely. Use your voice, and this opportunity you have to speak out about real things. Real things that people are going through all around you. Write a blog post about feeling down, and share it far, and wide. Let people know that you also have bad days. Tell your followers that they are your friends, not your fans, and you will always be just a message away if they need you. Don't allow yourself to get big-headed. If you have gained over 1,000 followers, that's truly incredible. Go you! Just don't forget why you started, and don't forget why you continue to do what you do every day. Even if you are primarily a beauty, and fashion blogger, or YouTuber, you could still consider talking about other topics, and branching out a little. You never know who you may be helping.

Appreciate those around you. Connect with them, whether they're physically with you, or whether they're through a phone screen. Just appreciate them, and show them some love.

It will make the world of difference if you stay humble. Trust me.
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


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