Is Blogging Narcissistic?

During my college studies, I was part of a small class of close-knit friends. Every Tuesday, the girls in my group would go for tea and gossip about the boys in our class. Pretty standard. During one of our many bitching sessions (hey, ten points to me for honesty), we were talking about a guy in our class that was really irritating the majority of the girls. He didn’t really bother me as much, but I listened as the girls discussed why they found him so annoying. ‘His hair’, ‘his face’, ‘his shirts’, ‘his habit of giggling like a schoolgirl at something that isn’t remotely funny’ seemed to be his worst offences until one of the girls piped up with:

‘Oh, and he has a blog.’

There was a collective groan. All the girls were shaking their heads as if it had just been revealed that he enjoys kicking orphaned puppies in his spare time. I sat there silently, waiting for someone to explain why this was such a cardinal sin. I didn’t have a blog at the time, but I had frequently considered setting one up. I didn’t understand what the problem was. After a seemingly interminable silence, I asked ‘erm, what’s wrong with that?’

You know when you say something in a group that virtually no one agrees with and literally everyone of them starts talking at the same time, with the express intent of letting you know how dumb your opinion is? Yeah, that was one of those moments. This is basically a quick run-through of their opinions on blogging:

‘It’s so narcissistic. I mean, no one cares what you think.’

‘Someone who blogs clearly has too much time on their hands.’

‘What does someone actually expect to get out of it?’

‘It’s like something an angst-ridden teenager does.’

I hope you guys aren’t getting too mad, but don’t fret, because I’m about to drop some TRUTH. 

I sat and I listened as each girl basically explained why bloggers are the scourge of the planet, and must be destroyed, one post about cats at a time. Of course, I didn’t agree with them and yes, I defended blogging, even before I was set up a blog myself so you guys should basically see my like this now:

Disclaimer: I can’t fly and my cape is in the laundry….

Now that I have my own blog, I’ve been able to form more considered opinions about the whole situation. Yes, you could argue that, as a “blogger”, I’m completely biased. Of course I am. I love everything about the blogosphere, especially the free wine (which I will now drink as a show of solidarity… you’re welcome). I  don’t think that any of us have to defend our choice to blog, but I have often found myself explaining why I chose to start a blog. The girl from college has not been the only person that I have met to refer to blogging, and bloggers by extension, as narcissistic.

So it blogging narcissistic?

Maybe a little. 

I understand that ‘narcissism’ is a very strong word. I also think that society is becoming increasingly self-interested. The population of the world is growing all the time, and I think many people feel that they must compete to get ahead and get noticed. If we all were 100% honest with ourselves, and each other, we would admit that as bloggers, it’s nice to be noticed. It feels good when a post that we have worked on gains attention. So maybe that does make us a little selfish at times, but isn’t everyone a little selfish?

Anyway, if having a blog is even a small bit narcissistic, then what about having a Facebook account, or a Twitter account, or an Instagram account, or a Snapchat account or a Bitch, I’m Totally Amazing, Look at Me account?

So I totally made one of those up….guess which one?

I think that any form of social media is inherently a little narcissistic.

We all like to show off a little, let’s be honest. We all like a little bit of attention. Everyone like some praise from time to time. We choose to share aspects of our lives for a multitude of reasons. If there is something we’re good at, we like to feel validated. A writer will share their fiction, a poet will share their poetry, a photographer will share their best shots, and a joker might share a post about farting. Ahem.

I told my friends that day that I understood why this particular guy would have a blog. He was intelligent, opinionated and very knowledgeable on current affairs. A blog seemed like the perfect outlet for his thoughts. To the girls, however, it was incredibly narcissistic of him to acknowledge as much. How dare someone have confidence in their own abilities!

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being confident in your own abilities or wanting to share aspects of your life, even if some people out there don’t necessarily agree with your choice to do it. What’s wrong with being good at something, and wanting to share that with others? I follow many bloggers who are excellent writers, poets, photographers, artists, teachers, and musicians. I honestly love and appreciate getting a peek into the lives of so many people around the world. I am often awed when scrolling through my reader, because I am reminded of the huge variety of talented people that blog. I also find that bloggers tend to be very welcoming and friendy; this certainly applies to the ones I have connected with. My life is truly enriched by them (you).

As for my own blog? Well, girl from college, in the unlikely event you’re reading this: I like my blog. It is a hot mess, there’s errors, I have no niche, but it’s mine. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME…sorry…

I make no apologies for blogging, and neither should anyone. So the next time someone asks you why you blog, you tell them the truth: because you’re amazing and the world deserves to know that. Too much? How about: because you’re good at something and you don’t mind other people knowing that. Yes, you are good. Great, even. Believe that and believe that it’s okay to believe that. Yes, I know what I said. Even if you feel like you’re not the best writer, the best photographer, the best anything, you’re expressing yourself, and that’s always a good thing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

What are your experiences with people whom you have shared your blog with? Do you agree with me or want to punch my face? Sound off in the comments! 

 

39 thoughts on “Is Blogging Narcissistic?

  1. carlygolightly says:

    I love, love, love blogging, but yeah, I have to addmit part of it is the attention. I love seeing that little icon turn orange, I love hearing what people think about what I have written. That said, I don’t just blog for the feedback, I love the community and interacting with other bloggers. But I guess we all have a reason for a blog and not a diary, right, even those who “blog just for me” must have a reason they have a public blog and dont just keep it to themselves if it really is just for themselves. Whatever, whether or not we are all just a bunch of narcisists I love this place.

    • janeybgood says:

      I feel the same, even after two years, that feeling just never gets old! Everyone is always really kind too, and supportive, which feels great. I think I appreciate people’s attention spans the most, because blogging is so different to Facebook..it requires far much more attention, so if someone actually takes time to read something I’ve written, then that feels good. I enjoy scrolling through blogs in return.
      You’re right- someone with a public blog wants something out of it. And that’s fine!
      Thanks for reading!

  2. dweezer19 says:

    I think some of it depends on the type of blogging you are doing. I mean, seriously, some blogs out there are glorified FaceBook pages. Look at me in my Summer dress 15 different ways. BUT. The respect I have for blogging is that it takes i telligence to figure out how to put it together, it lends itself to criticism as well as praise and it culls out most of the non thinking crowd. I have dozens of, well, let’s call them signed up clickers on my FaceBook account; but unless I am posting a “look where I am and what I’m drinking now” pixture, they are completely disinterested. Not even a fly by night fake like for a poem with photo. And I know you can easily hit like in the Reader for WP but I have made some very dear friends(hello friend!) in the blogosphere. Genunine people who like to share ideas, lend an ear and offer a few words of wncouragement or comfort when it is needed. I am happy to do the same. Right now I am going through a kind of hell at work with a group of young women who don’t even know what a blog IS. One makes her entertainment out of going to FB and scrolling someone’s Timeline just to see the “weird and stupid” things they enjoy. “lLook at this stupid woman eho is i to mermaids”. Haha! Now I have to take back my tail before she finds out. 😱
    You get the drift?
    I love your blog. I love people who make me laugh and think and smile. It isn’t about putting ourselves “out there” as much as it is being “out there” for someone else. I think they are cohesive ideas….hugs!

    • janeybgood says:

      You’re right, there are some poor quality blogs out there, although I know some would say the same about mine. It’s just not everyone’s cup of tea but I like the diversity. I will admit that I have become a little resentful of the crowd with Instagrams who claim to be bloggers. To me, blogging is so much more than that. I could even work a lot harder than I do, so I have so much respect for the people who churn out high quality posts all the time and still manage to network properly.
      I actually left my personal facebook account. I just couldn’t take it any more. People are very judgemental, which is why about three people in my life know about my blog. I just couldn’t stand people who meet me day to day reading my blog, because I know comments would be passed. I know it’s my issue and that I shouldn’t care, but I do a little.
      And thank you! That means a lot. I love yours. It gives me a great feeling of escapism.
      Your last point is so so true. I think we all learn from each other really!

  3. Kristin says:

    totally agreed! and while getting positive reinforcement may be a perk, for me, it’s more importantly about getting stuff out of my head, the process of creating something and then finding out that others relate and appreciate (aka YES, i’m not that weird!) I love it out here 😀

    • janeybgood says:

      I agree Kristin! It’s a very cathartic and therapeutic experience. It’s lovely to connect with other people over something you both appreciate. Thanks for your comment🙂

  4. Ashley says:

    I don’t mind any attention I get for blogging, but for me it’s more about a connection. I would rather have a small following of people who I felt really connected to than a large group of people who drop by now and then.

    • janeybgood says:

      That’s true Ashley. I do think that having people who genuinely read and enjoy your blog is more important than those who stop by and click ‘like’ on your posts without actually reading them. Thanks for your insight!

  5. Jessie Reyna says:

    Love this! The very first gif is incredibly accurate and I nearly died. I was always skeptical about blogging because I feel like it’s always been the butt of every joke, or used as an undertone for a joke. For instance I watched a movie where a journalist couldn’t get a job and at her internship, her boss said, “Sorry. You can always start a blog?” I think it’s been perceived that if you keep failing, just start a blog. However, I love blogging because of all the wonderful people I meet. I sometimes think if I’m thrown into a room full of my blogging friends whom I’ve never met, it would be like we have been friends for years🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen blogging take a lot of flak. I suppose there are some people out there who become somewhat successful at it and maybe let it get to their heads a little, although the majority of people I’ve met are very humble and self-deprecating, which I love!
      I would really love to meet fellow bloggers! It would be such an experience. I’m sure we’d all have lots to talk about😀 Like, those pesky WordPress themes, eh?!

  6. Josh Wrenn says:

    Any creation can truly be seen as narcissistic. I think some of the posts I make are worse than others, but at the same time, I see some as genuinely worthwhile to be shared and occasionally helpful to people. Plus some people like to know what is going on and I don’t want to have to pick up a phone.

    • janeybgood says:

      Yeah, I think 99% of what I post is utter crap, but I like to have fun with it. I am proud of some of it though! I agree with you, some people really are interested and engaged! Literally three people in my “real” life know about my blog, so I don’t have the luxury of keeping everyone up to date here, dammit!

  7. Paul says:

    Blogging is a bit narcissistic, but at least we’re honest about it! Rather than other forms of social media where people post pictures and try to act like they aren’t doing it for “likes”.

    • janeybgood says:

      Yeah, I agree. I’m not ashamed to admit my (slight) narcissism haha. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it here, because people do actually spend time working on what they post. Thanks for stopping by🙂

  8. Ann GrubbsnCritters says:

    No one should make any apologies about blogging. My take is, if you don’t like a blog, don’t read it. Posting selfies (esp. A few every hour) is more narcissistic than blogging – with blogging, you actually write something and exercise a different part of the brain. A bit narcissistic maybe, but I suppose people do it mostly for themselves than for other people. I’ve known people who deleted their selfies because they don’t get 100 likes. Bit sad.

    • janeybgood says:

      I agree! I think blogs are something you have more of a choice in reading too. You would really visit a blog by choice or if you had searched for something that links to a blog post. My Facebook news feed was flooded with selfies. That’s crazy that anyone would expect 100 likes! That just seems totally narcissistic to me! I actually deactivated my personal facebook and haven’t been on in it months. I don’t miss it at all.

  9. Apricots and Cream says:

    I totally agree I love blogging.
    I see it as a way to show off my not that great writing and photography skills. Really though what’s the difference between having a blog and giving saaay a piano concert? Aren’t both a way of showing off your hobby or passion a little?
    Ok I just realized this is basically what you just wrote in your post. Well said, Janey, well said. I (tried and failed, thus) couldn’t have said it any better.🙂
    Oh, and I told 2 friends about my blog and they both laughed out loud…. Naturally I broke off all contact, moved to a different city and haven’t told anyone since.

    • janeybgood says:

      Haha, well I’m glad to see you agree with what I’ve said! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to share your opinion. I think the problem arises when someone assumes that everyone needs to hear their opinion.
      It’s hard to tell people about your blog, isn’t it? I recently told my best friend and she has been lovely about it. It wasn’t easy though. Only a handful of people know about mine (even less-3) but I don’t think I could tell anyone else! The horror!

  10. SKANLYN says:

    Of course blogging is narcissistic! And your friends’ opinions are spot-on. I am, of course, too self obsessed to let any of that deter me (though my own laziness is pretty effective at that).

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