A few weeks ago I was sitting in a cocktail bar in Brooklyn with two new friends. As it always happens, the topic of my work came up, which in turn led to one of my now-famous discussions on why Instagram is just absolutely t h e w o r s t.
My job is difficult to describe. I once wrote an article about the difficulties of being a freelancer who travels, and Business Insider picked up the story which resulted in the most hate comments directed at me in years!
I’ve always tried to share my honest life online. This blog started out of a Twitter account under the same moniker (@travelsofadam) because truthfully, my passion was always to use social media to meet other people with the same interests: whether it was a fellow traveler interested in backpacking around India, an indie music fan going to the same gig, or just another lonely boy looking for love through an app.
But that was years ago and we’re in a totally different world today. Twitter was once a meeting place for liberal revolutionaries (remember the #ArabSpring and other Twitter revolutions?). In fact, so much of social media started out as a safe and friendly place for real connections.
A lot of that has changed today.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good still to be found on social media. But the blogging world has changed a lot, and as the industry has developed, things are just different now.
• • •
I remember the “golden age” of blogging (or at least that’s how I’d like to remember it. Back in high school, I had a LiveJournal account where I’d post random ramblings, silly anecdotes, even my embarrassing poetry and ideas for novels and movies I wished existed.
As blogging grew and grew, and with the advent of WordPress, 2009-2010 was a peak year for blogging. And it’s been downhill ever since!
Still: I’d like to keep some of that alive. It’s why on the homepage of my website, I proudly exclaim that THIS is a blog. I like blogging. I liked blogging.
The act of sharing words and thoughts, openly and honestly with strangers. Bloggers were able to add to the conversation, to start new discussions!
But now: bloggers—the influencers from the early 2000s—are relegated to the bottom of the barrel. Photography and video have taken over. But that doesn’t mean our words are any less valuable.
• • •
I’ve been writing in my journal a lot more this year than previous years. Jotting down notes, writing out my secret adventures. Hardly anyone has ever read my journals; and I’d like to keep it that way.
This blog was always meant to be an extension of my journal stories. A place for me to publicly share part of my life—my thoughts, my ideas, my opinions. over time, it’s changed into more journalistic stories and listicles. I got caught up in the travel blogging game: obsessed with numbers and constantly comparing myself to others.
I’m still in that hole; stuck creating content that’s “PR-friendly” and writing when it’s most profitable. Not necessarily when it means the most to me.
Because my blog is my business, and because I’m living in a ridiculously expensive city, I’ve still got to play the part of an influencer. But as you might’ve noticed across my social media, I’m trying to be more open with my words.
• • •
I think there are a lot of us disgruntled with the state of the world today. Social media frustrates a lot of us. Every time I talk about quitting Instagram, it stirs up a lot of passionate emotions—for and against the idea.
It’s why there are so many people taking holidays specifically to escape the internet. We all need to take a break every now and then!
But rather than totally taking a break (and because I’m still terrified to destroy my brand by deleting my Instagram) I’m just going to shake things up.
I already made a lot of BIG changes this year: new city, newly single, new friends. Shaking up my life has been incredibly good so far. My productivity is up; I’m happier, healthier, and finally feeling ready to take on new projects and goals.
And part of that: finding my passion for blogging again. So, even if blogging is on a downward trend, I’m going to keep writing. More vigorously, more often, more raw, and more honest.
Because I still believe in the power of words, of thoughts, of opinions. And while I’ve got this platform and my own personal voice, I’m going to use it.
What can you expect?
Here are a few of my goals:
- Write more opinions and thoughtful blogs more regularly
- Send out more fun and useful emails (subscribe here!)
- More honest (and FUN) instagramming (i.e., posting whatever the hell I want like this McMuffin)
- And, as always, send out ridiculously silly tweets @travelsofadam
I hope you’ll stick around.