Connecting with people who share our viewpoints, can support us through challenges and cheer us on — well, that’s the reason we all blog, right? And that’s certainly what events like Fitbloggin’ are all about.
But there’s a a fine line between community and clique, and recently it seems more and more bloggers are finding themselves left out and feeling vulnerable. Take a look at some of the comments made during a recent Fitblog Chat on Twitter:
wearingmascara: I’ve felt this since day 1 of blogging 2-years ago. It’s hard to not get sucked in and feel left out. Almost like high school.
yourinnerskinny: I feel left out because of the fact I’m a guy in a girls world
leavingfatville: As a newbie, I’m so far behind everyone. I feel like trying to break in is akin to eavesdropping/butting in on private convos.
MissyRayn: I don’t feel I fit in a lot because my blog isn’t a food blog or isn’t a huge blog. But just being willing to read things helps.
Nobody got into blogging as a way to shut anyone out — so I’m not playing the blame game…I’m simply asking that we all take a step back and make sure we’re not contributing to the problem.
Here’s one thing I’ve noticed recently, and I fear it may be contributing to the growing sense of isolation for some bloggers…
There’s been a lot of describing what we’re not:
- I’m not (enter age/lifestage here)
- I’m not (enter dietary choice here)
- I don’t (enter exercise regimen here)
- I don’t (do giveaways/accept freebies/wear purple/have long hair/etc.)
instead of what we are. I get it — one of the best ways to identify yourself and your blogging style is to describe what sets you apart from the crowd. But the second you focus on what you aren’t, even when you aren’t trying to be judgmental, you isolate people that are those things.
It’s hard to feel like you can connect with someone who is different than you when they’ve laid down a definitive bullet point list of specific lifestyle choices they have eschewed. And it’s easy to wonder if you, yourself, are wrong for being any of those things.
I’m not asking you to give up even a small part of your personality. I’m not telling you to censor yourself or you viewpoints. I’m simply asking that you take a step back and remember that you are blogging for two big reasons: yourself and your community. In defining yourself, don’t shut out your community.
Here’s my challenge — come up with a mission statement for your blog. Focus on what you are rather than what you’re not:
- I blog because
- I am proud of
- I choose to
- I feel good when
And if you ever feel yourself focusing on the things you’re not — go back and rewrite your mission statement.
Finally, take the advice from some of the big brains doled out during that same Fitblog Chat on Twitter:
LowFatKat: I think being open to reading, considering thoughts from others who aren’t your “blends” is super-important
VoiceinRecovery: You all have a voice. We don’t have to always agree. There is much to learn from respectful dialogues where we disagree
RonisWeigh: I hate when people feel left out. blogging is about finding your voice not trying to fit in with others. Do your own thing!
workoutmommy: There will always be cliques. Just hold your head high and find your tribe. (and screw those who don’t like you, lol!)
Nicci_NiftyEats: I try to not be in a clique and love all bloggies equally!
AndSoIRan: I don’t do cliques, I think it’s silly and we should all support each other and learn from each other
If you’re feeling left out, here’s one tweet that really stuck with me…if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em:
burp_excuzme: The blog world is like high school. There’ll always be labels and cliques. But there is always a group to fit in.
And if you want to connect with bloggers from all across the healthy living world, check out our weekly Twitter chat. Everyone that comes does so to engage and communicate — no cliques allowed!