Hello everyone! Good afternoon! : )
For today's post, I just want to share my thoughts about what I think about influence equating to responsibility. I've been thinking a lot about this topic for so long and I feel that now is the right time to share it. Long introduction though, lol.
When I started blogging, I just wanted to share. Share my photographs / videos, have an online documentation of my Japan Life, and post everything kawaii I see here in Japan. Those were my blogging goals (and still are). As I have probably mentioned this a lot of times before, blogging is a very therapeutic hobby for me. I had a lot of extra time during my student days (extra time to Kaila would mean "I don' feel sleepy so I should tire myself out first" haha ohnoess)~
And then I started getting eyeballs.
Daily hits started to soar. I've had many opportunities to be discovered because of my blog. I never fully intended to be "famous". I have different goals. I just wanted my work, my words, and the like.. to be appreciated. I just wanted to make my mark. My unique impact. Create influence (no matter how small it is) that changes lives in a good way, the same way my idols changed my life too. I didn't want to turn Helter Skelter-ish famous (constantly doing 10000% effort to stay on top and become #1 among others). If blogging would start make me feel like that & insecure about myself, I would quit from blogging instantly. That mindset is not healthy for anyone. Thankfully, blogging is still my therapeutic hobby. Other awards, recognitions, and the like are just extra's and sprinkles on top of it all. Luck brought upon by hard work.
My advertising management background has definitely helped me, and I got to apply the "out-of-the-box" thinking to a lot of areas (in terms of my previous blog layout designs, contest participations, collabs, etc.). I held giveaways for my Rainbowholic blog / brand / similar websites, and other gimmicks through social media.. because it felt like a research study for me to get to know about my readers, where do people really find about you, etc. I wanted to experiment and make many trial and errors in online / social media marketing. I invested time and some money in mini campaigns / gimmicks because I knew that just a few more years later, my efforts would contribute / help in my actual work. I started to treat my blog as "more than just a blog".. but as a brand (I could freely experiment with). And boy, that "few years later" is now.. the now. *_* Now that I have learned a lot, I am able to apply these insights or tactics with my other work.
Fortunately, most of it all clicked. But honestly, even if I did achieve my objectives before (appear out of nowhere : )) )... if I were to describe what happened to me or what to call me, I would still say or consider myself as an "Accidental Influential Person". My family / relatives / friends were so shocked when I started to appear in a TV program.. never in my younger years I dreamt about appearing on main traditional media (blame the introvertness). Whenever I'd think of that thought (me being an "accidental influential person"), it would keep me grounded. It would remind me that I wouldn't be given such luck + blessing in what I do.. if The Guy Up There didn't have a clever idea that this girl from a 3rd-world country would fulfil a mission. Some accidents probably do happen for a reason. : )
In this era of blogging, the usual blogging assumption we have would be.. ~perfectly documented lives~. Flawless selfies, endorsements here and there, bloggers turned celebs... it has upgraded into a money-making industry (imho, nothing wrong with that, if you can make a living out of what you love doing, that's awesome). In the real world, when money and opportunities are involved.. show business, "cliques", competition within the industry, etc., would start to get involved as well. I guess my point for this entry is that it gets tough and tougher for any person to stay on track when you are being given loads of opportunities.. and you let yourself get carried away. I don't know if this is just me, but I rather feel sad or quite disappointed whenever I'd learn that in this blogging world.. some care so much about follower count to the point of giving up who you were when you started (humble, grounded, always seeking to learn) to someone who feels that he / she has to conquer everything. I don't want to lie but before, like maybe 2 years ago (?), I thought that the blogging world has changed into that (permanently) and I should accept that the world is like that even if I found it quite draining / disappointing. And then one day I realized, holy shit, forget all of these saddening things.. and I should just focus on my own "world" and have a tunnel vision of my goals: blog my dreams, blog what I want, blog because I truly love doing it. I've encountered some who would treat you differently based on "how influential you are" based on the numbers or stats. That, I cannot.. understand. Seriously, please someone.. explain that to me.
And that is when I've realized that indeed, influence does mean responsibility. I have to admit, that I used to idolize or look up to some people before because they have reached their dreams because of hard work and I wanted to be like them. And then I found myself being disappointed by the fact that in real life.. some are different. That is why I feel more blessed now when I would find out that wow.. this person that I idolize is really genuine. Someone who does not appear only what he / she wants to appear on the web. Someone who would still treat you good even if you have nothing to offer back. Someone who has a sincere heart & does not have that *attitude*. Quite bittersweet, but that is what I've learned.
When I had my blog survey, I realized how much a blog can be a real impact in other people's lives. I have imouto-chans / little sister readers here. I was so surprised by the feedback. They are looking up to me as their role model onee-san / older-sister. And that is why I've realized I have a social responsibility. I would be sad if I made impact in others' lives the wrong way. When I was growing up, I've had many misconceptions about beauty and success too. That you can only be happy & feel beautiful if you are rich, if you can buy this, you wear this and that. That you can only be a successful blogger if you are being sponsored, and the like. That you can only be kawaii if you wear frills and fake eyelashes. I do not aim to come across like I'm the luckiest girl from the 3rd-world country who gets to live in her dream land, Japan.. showing off all the kawaii goods I bought here and there. If I would just produce inspired young minds like that... I think I would be awfully sad. *_* I guess that I'm just the type who does not want to be envied (such a strong negative word), but someone who they can admire instead. Whenever I would think of this, it'd keep me on track whenever an evil version of me would tempt me to think of negative things. Although I know that in the end, it is up to the person / receiver if he / she would let herself be influenced by the good or the bad.. but if you are an adult and you have many little sisters browsing through your blog, of course, you'd want to be influential in a good way and at the same time, by also being yourself (and not faking it). I guess that this is my silent revolution within the blog, lol. We have too many magazine articles, ads, etc. that promote idealistic beauty standards. Some websites would make you feel you are not enough or feel shitty about your life instead. I think that we all honestly need more encouragement, realness, positivity rather than the superficial ones. Those were something that I learned that I hunger for, that is why I am also applying those here (encouraging posts rather than narcissistic ones). Now, I probably follow a lot of motivational facebook pages, read more uplifting and humble blogs.. and honestly, without those, I wouldn't be like this. Quite open, reflective and appreciative, haha.
Anyway, I think that I've written so much again, hehe.
I want to end this with a photo of my favorite quote from Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like An Artist.
Hearts over eyeballs.