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.
Very relatable. Even if Trip By Trip is new, I’ve been blogging since 2007. Indeed, 2009, 2010 and maybe 2011 were peak blog years. If memory serves me well, at that point Google decided to give less exposure to WordPress. Maybe there’s a feud there. But I still love the medium. But at 37 I’m probably old school… ;-)
I keep following blogs and I love the interaction. There’s a stronger sense of ownership and control than just using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Hey Timothy – yep! I like owning my own platform as well and it allows me to create the kind of content I want to create, without so much worrying about an algorithm (though that Google algorithm creeps up on me every now and then!).
Blogging is 100% old-school these days! And that’s why I love and hopefully it’ll make a come-back ;)
I´ll stick around for sure. Loved this post. Keep blogging…
Thanks CiPi – I appreciate it! Stay tuned while I find my feet again :)
Some days blogging seem like more of a chore than a fun activity like it used to be.
Yep – that’s it exactly. Once it’s become a business model, a lot of the joy is gone. But hopefully with the right attitude and energy, you can bring it back to life…
This is one of the reasons I stopped trying to build my brand on Instagram.
I entered the blogging world late (2017) and felt an immediate need to use Instagram as my main marketing tool, but it always felt like a chore, and a bit shallow. It just wasn’t me. I love photography, but I’m not into “Insta-worthy” type of pictures, and like you, words are a big part of my reflective and creative process.
I made the decision to stop a few months ago. I still post, but no intense hashtag research, specifically curating my feed, etc. I put that time towards writing instead, and I’ve started looking towards other places that feel like more natural traffic drivers and have less competition (i.e., Quora) and I’m a lot happier for it.
Anyway, I do hope you find your blogging rhythm again! You have a lot of passionate readers out there who still want to hear your thoughts and opinions :)
Hi Anna – that’s really encouraging to hear! And you’re right: I’ve started treating Instagram similarly. I don’t bother with hashtags and spend less time on it so that I can focus on the things that actually bring me joy. Cool that you mention Quora – that’s always been a fun channel to answer questions and engage!
I never really thought about the difference until you pointed it out but you’re right. I used to love reading blogs with actual opinions and insights instead of a million photos and sponsored posts. It was more raw and real.
Its part of the process. The thing about social media is that people post anything to showoff, to get more likes. Even I am trying to build a better world through my Responsible Travel Blog. I hope its not too late. People go to travel and take selfies so that they can show to others. Valuing something with our own eyes has been lost in present era and social media has made it worse. For them, its all about money and business. But look at what they have done to our society.