Uncool

You know what I love about blogging? It’s making me rich. Not in money – the currency is love, friendship, and community.

Some of you have already rolled your eyes and closed this tab. The rest of you know what I’m talking about.

My life has been enriched since I started blogging. Here, it doesn’t matter who I am. It doesn’t matter what I do, or what kind of a car I drive or how pretty I am. What matters is what I share.

Everyone feels uncool sometimes. Yes, everyone. Think of the most popular girl in high school (was that you?) and I guarantee she was insecure about something. Or maybe a lot of things. Perhaps even a lot of the time.

Ironically, blogging can sometimes make us feel especially uncool. We succumb, at times, and measure our worth in visits, clicks, comments and re-tweets. We follow our Google Friend Connect numbers like they’re our bank accounts – waiting, begging, praying for them to go up. We want people to “like” us, on Facebook, but in general as well.

It’s the curse of the blogger and I’ve seen many post about their blogging insecurities, only to be assured that, yes, their blogs are great. Their writing is great. They are great. Which is great. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of these things by someone other than your mother.

Coincidentally, three of the leaders in my PPD community have recently posted about popularity in blogging. Lauren from My Postpartum Voice wrote about her Klout score. Katherine from Postpartum Progress and Yael from PPD to Joy both wrote about popularity as a result of the Circle of Moms contest for the top 25 mental health blogs. (If you read Yael’s post, you’ll see where the inspiration for this post came from.)

I think Klout is probably bunk, but when people award me Klout points I appreciate it, not because it affects my score, which I care nothing about, but because I take it as a compliment.

I was nominated in that Circle of Moms contest – another compliment – and ended up at number 10. I’m grateful for what it will do to raise awareness about postpartum depression, but I have no illusions about what it means for me – it was a contest that allowed a vote a day, which is hardly a valid measure of the top anything. Some of the ones that came in below me are more established, more authoritative, more lots-of-things blogs.

So no, those things don’t mean I’m cool. I’m not cool. In high school I wasn’t popular but I wasn’t an outcast either. I was just me, and I’m glad of that now.

Now I don’t worry (very much) about being cool. I don’t fuss about what I wear around my more fashionable friends. I don’t look at the moms who seem put together and totally with it and feel inadequate, because I know they have bad days just like the rest of us. My taste in music probably resembles a 16-year-old girl’s more than a 36-year-old mom’s, but I don’t care. It makes me happy.

Instead of worrying about whether I’m cool, I try to relish the relationships I have. What matters to me is that people like you show me that what I share with others matters.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” – Lester Bangs in Almost Famous


 

Comments

  1. Well said my friend. :)

  2. Did you dive into my head and dig these thoughts up?

    I don’t really care about being cool. I’m just here to write and make connections. And it’s been a joy. If I start thinking about stats and popularity, it won’t be fun anymore.

    • You are one of the ones I think is a great example of this. I\’ve never (in my short time blogging) seen anyone be so connected and supportive. How you manage to comment on all that you do I will never know, but you\’ve got a lot of blogging currency, my friend, and we love you for it.

  3. The friendships, connections, relationships that come from blogging are the best. I have stopped looking at my stats and instead am focusing on the people. I feel better this way.

  4. Oh yea, I keep reminding myself of the same. Especially as my niche is particular. I choose quality over quantity any day!
    But because I want to relate to my readers it does affect me if there are no comments/no discussions going on.
    But I so treasure the relationships that have formed, are forming and will be forming through my blogging!!!!!!!
    Thanks of the reminder.

    • MamaRobinJ says:

      I totally get that – sometimes I wonder if my niche is too specific, but I do connect with others beyond the PPD community, which I love. Lots of perspectives.

  5. You know how much I love this, right? I love it to the moon and back, and love you for it. People keep trying to comfort me by telling me I’m cool, and it’s sweet, but I want to say, neh, that’s okay. I’ll just be me.

  6. I think the Klout thing is just fun. It got me free wine. I’ll support it, you know?

    As for the other, it’s validating to see that people are reading, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of blogging, that’s for sure. I’m way more content to interact with people and build friendships than I am to see that they’re reading but not know who they are.

    (Did that make sense?)

    • It got you free wine? Maybe I shouldn\’t dismiss Klout so quickly… ;)

      And yes, that totally makes sense. I feel the same – by stats I know a lot of people read but don\’t comment. Which is fine, but I\’d love to know who they are.

  7. Congratulations my friend! Number 10 is HUGE!!
    I truly don’t care about my numbers, that’s why I don’t have Google Friend Connect on my blog. I go to Klout because I like to give the little K’s out and I don’t know about any of the other stuff regarding numbers. I blog because I love it, not because I want to be popular.
    I think if that’s the reason someone is blogging they won’t last long.

    • MamaRobinJ says:

      I would rather get rid of GFC but some people like to subscribe that way and I kept getting asked, so I put it up there. (I think it looks kind of gaudy.) I don’t pay attention to the numbers though.

  8. I love this post. I have so many bloggy/Twitter/Facebook friends that I would never have had if I weren’t a blogger. I’m proud of that!

  9. When I first started actively blogging about 2 months ago, I was obsessed w/ numbers and readers. Until I realized I need quality, not quantity–just like in my real life. It’s not a numbers game. My blog may be small, but I want it to have loyal friends. My circle of friends in my real world may be small, but I’ve got some awesome friendships.

  10. I love love love reading you. I’m terrible at commenting… but I love reading you.
    I love blogging too. I love the fact that I have a few people that comment all the time. People that actually WANT to hear what I have to say. And whether it’s me having a BAD day or a GREAT day, they are there to help me through it. People I’ve never met before, and probably never will in some cases, but they make me feel wonderful with their words, because they understand. So? I have to agree with you on this ENTIRE post. :)
    {{hugs}}

  11. Never heard of Klout! I am so totally NOT cool! But I am pretty doggone awesome! :) So are you!

  12. I don’t really understand Klout, ergo I don’t care about it. I like to see my hits per day grow, but that’s about it.

    The thing I love about blogging is the feedback I get. It’s wonderful to make a post about something that matters to me, or to try and share something that amuses me, and get such awesome responses from my readers!

  13. I don’t really get the whole klout thing either but I am guilty of checking out the site and giving away a few +ks or whatever.

    To people that have giveaways (work with companies), it seems pretty important.

    For the record and for what it’s worth, I think you’re pretty cool. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll always have klout in my book. :)

  14. The people are what make blogging most interesting to me. The friendships are a huge bonus.

  15. I have to be honest and say that I have no idea how most of the popularity metrics work. Not. A. Clue.
    But I don’t really have the time I need to figure out how they do, so…I’m just gonna have to be cool with being uncool! :)

  16. I love this! So well stated…and I think the way a lot of us feel. Nobody is “cool” all of the time in any context, but finding place where we do feel cool and accepted is like gold.

    • MamaRobinJ says:

      Thanks, Sherri! You are so right – a lot of us feel this way, and I think we should be perfectly fine acknowledging it.

  17. A-freaking-men.

    I’ve struggled with insecurities for years and still do, often questioning my self-worth and value to others. I’ve been burned, ignored, mistreated, emotionally beaten, and all around left to walk alone. It’s been a constant struggle.

    With blogging I do have my days where I feel like the loser outcast. In the end I’d rather have 5 loyal readers who love and appreciate me than 500 glancers who couldn’t care less about me. I am looking for friendship in this community of bloggers even if odds are we will never meet in person. As long as I have someone I can talk to, share stories with, and celebrate life I’m happy.

  18. I also have the musical taste of a 16 year old girl. ;)

  19. You are cool. You are one of the first sites I visited after finding that contest and inspired me to start my own. I appreciate your honesty, your kindness and your ability to make people feel comfortable through your writing. Though I didn’t have PPD, I have other mental health issues that allow me to relate in a deep and meaningful way. Thank you for being you!

  20. I absolutely agree with everything you said. Blogging is something that’s been incredibly enriching and rewarding for me as well, and when I fall into that “popularity contest” mode, I need to remember just how enriching and rewarding it is outside followers and stats.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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