Blogging can be a stressful venture. You’re constantly trying to create original, creative content that makes a splash in the virtual information ocean. On top of that, your always wanting more people to “subscribe” whether to your e-mail newsletter, your blog content, or your YouTube channel (shameless plug here)
Early on in our blogging (though I still feel a year into it that we are very much newbies) every new e-mail subscription brought a tiny thrill of excitement. Whether it was because our message was resonating with people, or because they just loved receiving e-mail was of no significance to me.
On the flip side, every un-subscription notice came as a slight jab. What didn’t they like? Did we say something offensive? Would we change our content to get people to like us more, or stick to what we believed even if nobody agreed?
There is nothing like virtual judgement to turn you paranoid.
I have a friend and neighbour who has gotten me into some fantastic blogs recently (Frugalwoods and Blonde on a Budget to name names). Every time I talk with her I’m inspired to expand my intellectual horizons by listening to Harvard Business Review or getting the latest Gretchen Reuben book, both of which I have yet to do.
Aside from her having a larger grasp on current affairs (does having young kids exempt me from staying abreast of world issues?), we both share an affinity for gluten-free baked goods and minimalism (she was actually excited when I told her I met Joshua Becker, the minimalist version of a celebrity).
The funny thing is, when I asked her what she thought of a post I received via email from one of our favourite bloggers, she responded that she didn’t subscribe to any email lists. She preferred to just visit the sites every week or two and catch up on the posts that way.
I’ll admit it, that’s how I used to visit websites too, until I started blogging. I wanted people to subscribe to us, so I started subscribing to them — adopting some sort of subscription karma, perhaps?
The surprising truth is that I don’t read the posts half as often as I used to before I started subscribing. Something about taking the time to actually go to the website, rather than being told “its time to read this post!” made it more appealing and made me more invested in the content.
Even though my friend doesn’t show loyalty or enjoyment of sites by subscribing, she still visited them consistently and even told other people about content they might find helpful or interesting.
Isn’t that a better way grow ideas?
What if, instead of writing this post while I am alone for thousands of people (this is fiction, I can elaborate) to read it, I wrote like I was writing a letter to a dear friend.
What if we put passion into everything we did as though only one person would receive it.
One person who would be impacted enough to voluntarily share it with someone they care about.
Sure, we can all “share” and “retweet” with the best of them, but do we really care about the things we are sharing? Did we even actually read half of them?
I want to get out of the internet and touch the real world. I want the things we share to be things that can actually have an impact on someone’s life, not just on their home page.
So, if you’re receiving this in your inbox right now, thank-you. But more than getting an email and clicking “delete” moments after (or before) reading it, take the time to think about if there is anything that you read that would change what you do once you step away from your computer.
If ideas, content, and movements stay confined to the glowing pixels in front of us, they’re as useless as every funny cat meme out there.
And if you just un-subscribed, I’ll believe it is because you want to show how much you really care.