This isn’t about anything I’ve made but more a personal observational piece. I’m a guardian reader and recently they’ve had a whole series of pieces about the different ‘generations’, in particular about generation y.
I am a member of ‘Generation Y’ (people born between 1980 and early 2000’s)and two things from different pieces stuck out:
a) we are oversharers – we’ve grown up culivating an online presence, we choosing to share things, we want people to respond to them so to keep people interested these things need to be increasingly interesting/novel
b) we are scared about the future and don’t see how we can have the things previous generations have taken for granted
Some of these things really resonated with me and made me think about my attitude to certain things and whether or not it’s typical of ‘my generation’.
In general I’m not so much of a sharer, my best friend regularly says that she only knows when stuff is going wrong because I stop talking about anything. However I started this blog to take a little pride in what I was making, to record and review the time I spent putting into things. This was at a time in my life, whereby I needed to remind self of the things I take pleasure in.
Yet despite starting the blog in order to share more about my hobby it still took me three months before I admitted what I was doing when asked by my boyfriend, while typing a post. Nor do I actually tell anyone I know in real life about this blog.
I was so thrilled when I got my first view. I don’t actually check too often (~ once between posts) but its always a good moment when I see that someone, somewhere has seen something from me and decided to check it out. At the moment my blog is still mostly written for me.
However then I joined instagram, and oh my gosh am I addicted. The instantness of it, means that everytime I look I see something new. The lives other people live look so glamorous (well in a crafty way, my version of glamorous apparently involves a separate craft room with dedicated storage, all day to sew and cute kids who apparently don’t get in the way).
And it’s easy for my pictures to been seen and liked by people. So very easy, and it feels so good when people do. This means that I find myself setting up shots especially for instagram. I find myself being disappointed when after they’ve been up for half an hour, they don’t have any likes. And suddenly I’m acting exactly like a typical member of ‘gen y’ (well according to the media at least).
While I’m picking and choosing shots and hashtags, that I think will get me the most likes I’m also being constantly updated with the lives of others. Personally the people I follow are pretty much all women, most with children, some with fulltime jobs, others with their own buisnesses and some stay at home mothers. And every day I watch their lives, I admire the things they find the time to make and envy the ease with which they appear to handle everything. And yes I know I that despite anyones/everyones intentions, Instagram and the corresponding blogs are a curated version of someones life. And while some people share the bad as well as the good that’s still the bad bits they took the time to think about, to write, to edit.
The problem I’m facing at the moment is that my circumstances mean my anxiety is sky high at the moment. And actually that’s okay if I can manage it, which after the last two years of various therapies and meds, I can. But part of managing it, is not creating things to be anxious about, and keeping myself grounded to reality. This is where my personal interaction with the social media side of making has gone wrong.
It’s the balance between being proud of something and wanting to share it but not caring if strangers don’t like it on instagram. It’s remembering that everything someone shares so publicly, they’ve made a decision about whether or not represents the image they are sharing.
And I can do this, its not easy but I can keep reminding myself, that maybe I should be sharing more with those close to me and care less about strangers. I can be ok with writing blog posts that no one reads as long I am proud of whats in them.
The thing I can’t change is that despite my decent degree, depsite the PhD in a subject I still love, I can’t imagine a future where I could possibly afford to own a house, have a child, have a whole room for sewing and not have to work full time. It just seems so far out of reach. And this bit I don’t know how to change.