One of the damning components of the Internet is experiencing secondhand, unlimited access to how “the other half lives.” (Not to mention, feeling nostalgia for things you never got to experience for yourself.) You may be sitting in a shoebox of an apartment eating ramen for the third time this week, but that’s irrelevant when you’re planning your dream home on Pinterest–which will inevitably lead to adding things to your Restoration Hardware cart, sighing heavily into your glass of vodka as you leave the site without purchasing anything.
To aggravate the situation, push-button publishing has turned a creative outlet once guarded through skill and perseverance into a literal free for all. If you have something to say, you no longer have to go through an editor or publisher, but are able to release any grammatically incorrect and tedious, offensive ideas onto the Internet for all to see (and mock). This explains the slew of people who attempt to perpetuate their forced, Internet-inspired false idea of self into a personal brand and blog.
In my admittedly imprudent opinion, lifestyle blogging helps fill the void of domesticity that so many young women are leaving, either out of necessity (cough, failing economy, cough) or by choice (if you’re well-educated and can maintain a decent career path, why not do so?). There is always a certain sense of guilt attributed to the X chromosome, and exposing and exploiting your futile attempts at catharsis on the World Wide Web seems to be a growing trend. That monogrammed towel rack may make you feel accomplished because you painted inside the lines, but it also helps alleviate the nagging feeling that you’re not living up to your full potential as a member of the fairer sex.
Blogging can be a lucrative business, but it is also an incredibly hard niche to break into. I have a great deal of respect for the larger bloggers who support themselves through this particular platform. You either had to jump on the bandwagon very early or be very good at what you do. Either way, you must show a keen sense of professionalism and ingenuity in both the digital and social space. While their Instagrams and blog posts may cause an overwhelming sense of “Oh dear God, what am I doing with my life?” remember that this is their job. They have to keep up an elevated image on all social platforms that complement their personal brand because it’s not only expected, but it’s also required.
Rather than staring into the Nietzschean abyss that is Instagram, cut yourself a break and realize that creating a “lifestyle” isn’t a day job. You have one, and you’re questionably good at it.
The following are some common concepts and images that riddle the Internet. We face this reality daily, and to put it bluntly, we’re tired and don’t have the time to follow through.
Creating a lavish breakfast in bed tray complete with all your (and your significant other’s) favorite foods, artisan brewed coffee, carafes of freshly pressed juices, and flowers for an aesthetic touch.
What’s really going to happen: At some point during the work week, you forget to eat breakfast and then grab an egg white omelet at the bodega across the street before they switch to the lunch menu. You call it “brunch” in a half-hearted attempt to make it more glamorous than it is.
Crafting Mexican-themed drinks for you and a gaggle of friends, complete with all the accouterments and geographically relevant glassware.
What’s really going to happen: Everyone will bail because they don’t feel like getting completely tanked on a Thursday night, and the excuse of, “It’s been a long week.” You end up doing tequila shots by yourself and wake up on your couch clutching a half-eaten, half-frozen Trader Joe’s burrito.
Going on a juice cleanse.
What’s really going to happen: After screaming at an intern and crying in front of your boss, you realize your blood sugar threshold and work environment can never meet again. You settle for the Special K and straight liquor diet, and pat yourself on the back for losing two pounds and staying employed.
Exquisitely decadent and charmingly decorated desserts.
What’s really going to happen: After looking at how much butter you need for a single serving and the calorie count slapped on the final product, you realize just one equals roughly four glasses of wine. You choose the latter and have a better night than you intended.
Creating garnishes for that dinner party you planned on having.
What’s really going to happen: After sculpting just one flower out of carrot shavings, a great wave of apathy sweeps over you and a you send a group text asking if everyone just wants to do bottomless brunch that weekend instead. Everyone agrees, mostly relieved they no longer have to bring a side dish or dessert.