I have long considered writing a blog but I have always had mixed feelings about blogging and social media generally. Although I love following other people’s blogs and posts about things that interest me, I worry that if I blog or post about what I do, it will come across as bragging or just downright boring. Perhaps my concern comes from how we edit our lives for social media as most people tend to show the best things that are happening to them or one particular aspect of their lives. My assessment is not intended as a criticism of people who post on social media because I do not think it is possible to publish a ‘rounded’ view of your life.
When I was considering this topic recently, I was reminded of a statement by the eponymous hero in Virginia Woolf’s novel, Jacob’s Room, when he says: “And the Greeks, like sensible men, never bothered to finish the backs of their statues.” I remember a lecturer at university commenting on this line and explaining it as possibly having the meaning that the world only sees the façade and it is rare or sometimes impossible for anyone to look behind to see the chisel marks. Similarly, on social media we can hide the messy and the half finished elements of our lives and that is as it should be. Those parts of our lives are reserved for the closest of friends and family members or even for our own private thoughts.
In my blog, I am deliberately showing just one part of my life that is intended to be positive and uplifting in the hope of inspiring people to spend more time outside. However, there is also a 'barbsindoors' who has the same struggles and woes as everyone and my life is not just one long hike or trail run (even if it appears that way from the things I choose to post here and on my instagram account @barbs_outdoors).
The other element of having a social media presence and writing a blog that I am grappling with at the moment is making sure that I am not disrupting my time outside by taking pictures just for posting here or on instagram. Since having an iphone, I have always taken pictures when out running or walking and I enjoy looking at them when having a break at work or sitting on the train on my commute. However, those pictures have always been just for me so the angles, the filters and the composition do not matter. As I mentioned in my first post Let’s Get Ready to Ramble, walking or running outside helps clear my mind and I do not want to pollute that with worries about taking the right selfie or the best picture. There are so many talented photographers out there who post sumptuous scenery and dramatic action shots and, although I can learn something from them, I will just snap what I see and share the pictures I enjoy when discussing all things outdoors on this blog. Fortunately, today was one of those days where I could point my iphone anywhere and the blue sky and winter sun made the scenery look stunning.