MA by Research in Art & Design - Thoughts on Social Media, the Blogosphere and Constructed Identities

It was in 2012 when I first discovered the Blogosphere. I remember stumbling across Zoella and Lily Pebbles one day and I was amazed at the fact that these ordinary women were making a living of luxury from writing an online diary posted alongside photos they had taken, or taken of them by someone else. I quickly became hooked and checked in on their blogs daily.

This is not my reality... | Photo by Winterbird

This is not my reality... | Photo by Winterbird

At the time, being my own boss of a tiny slice of the internet and having the creative freedom that running a blog could bring appealed a great deal to me. So in 2013 I started my own blog with the aim of one day leaving my miserable job behind and eventually doing it full-time.

Blogging became a positive outlet for me while I was working in a job that made me so ill, which meant it became a form of therapy too. But on a negative note, it became too easy to compare myself to all the other 'big' bloggers who I aspired to be like. Their lives always looked so well presented, they were always well dressed in the latest fashion trends, and jetted off to sunny holiday destinations. As the years moved on they seemed to become glossier and their photos more professional looking. Some even date photographers - win-win! Everything they did was turned into content to be posted on the internet, which in turn helped them to gain more followers. I quickly realised the reason why these bloggers and social media influencers were doing so well was because they were letting their audience into their lives in a way actual celebs hadn't really done before. These new type of 'celebrity' were more aspirational to us ordinary people because they were just like me and you. 

Photo by Winterbird

It was during my final year of university, while writing my dissertation titled 'Constructing an Identity Using Social Media and Photography', that the blogosphere-bubble I'd been living in for so long finally popped. While researching into the topic I realised the obvious - how highly imagined and constructed these supposedly idolised social media influencer's lives actually are, and that they were famous even though they had no real talent. How times have changed!

Now a different type of obsession with the internet began - to deconstruct it...

I've made it no secret that my thoughts on social media and blogging has changed a lot over the past year, and I will soon be sharing how taking a step back from the internet has affected me positively by living more authentically. 

This post should also give you a good idea of what I'll be researching over the next two years for my Masters degree. I plan on using my blog to share some of my research and thoughts during this time, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything I'll be discussing too!

Credits: Photos of myslef by Winterbird