UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Friday, 4 December 2015

Ideas On Blogger/Youtube Fame : Are We Friends Or Fans?

So I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks but just hadn't managed to find time until now which is a shame.. I feel like my feelings were a lot stronger and a lot more coherent at the time. Nonetheless, I still thought that it was something worth talking to you guys about and getting your opinions on. It's good to have a chat, isn't it?
There's been a lot of conversation around Essena and her departure from social media recently and I guess it's put a bit more focus on those who make a living out of social media and the internet.
If you're anything like me, you'll have more than a few firm faves that you like to keep up to date with on allofthesocialchannels . You might look forward to their youtube upload days or perhaps get a small buzz of excitement when you see their new hairstyle all over instagram. Perhaps you take an active interest in their life and their opinions on things and find yourself feeling like you 'know' them. Do you do that? Because I know that I certainly do.. but does that make me a 'fan'? It's not like I've got anything against being a fan as such.. I mean I'm a fan of all my mates y'know? I'll back them til the end and I'm their number one fan but I'm also, their friend? 
The internet is a super weird thing and with blogging and youtube it's hard to not feel like you really and truly know someone because of the bits of their life that they choose to click publish on.  Now both you and I aren't naive enough to think that everything we see online is an accurate representation of somebody's life because let's face it.. we actively pick the best bits of our own to post too. Still, that doesn't mean that they don't accurately represent our personality. You might not know from my instagram that I'm having a hard time at work or that I'm dealing with distress... but you'll probably still get my sense of humour, you'll see the people I'm friends with, you'll read the quotes I feel are most relevant and you'll get an idea of the things that really make me tick so yeah.. I'd go as far as to say that you know me. And.. if I might be as bold.. perhaps you might be interested in what I write because you feel like maybe we'd get on? Y'know, if we were to hang out, maybe we'd have a laugh, maybe we'd have the same interests and just generally have a great time.
 So what happens when you've got 1.5 million people that feel like they know you? 
I really struggle to make that mental bridge between having a group of online mates that are interested in what you're doing, to having a group of people who get giddy when they meet you and stop you in the street for a photo because omgit'syou. 
 I mean.. as you all know... it's not something I have to deal with and it's not something I'm familiar with in the slightest and never will be so you might be wondering why I'm even so bothered about this whole thing and I guess my real reason is this:
There's a number of people who I follow on twitter... watch on youtube and catch up with on snapchat and I'm pretty sure that I'm doing that for the same reason that you guys are.. right?
I'm not doing it to buy into some massive fandom and to get butterflies if someone big time tweets me back. I'm not doing it because omgimyourbiggestfan and pleaseacknowledgemeit'llmakemyLIFE.
I'm doing it because actually.. I think you're kinda cool and I reckon we'd - if given the option - probably be pretty good mates. 
I guess it's not like that with every blog I follow and every video I watch.. sometimes I'm just interested, or I love someones sense of style... but there's certainly a group of 'influencer's' that I like because actually, I see through those instagram filters and that enticing hand held camera action to something more. I see in them something that I see in myself and to me that's not 'being a fan'.. although I am a fan of what they do, and what they say.. it's not because of their level of following or because they're 'internet famous'.. it's just because I think they're a bit cool. End of. Right?
So.. now that's clear I can just calm myself down and go back into hiding right? Well no.. not exactly.. because recently it was brought to my attention that actually.. these people may not realise that I have that 'Ithinkyou'reabitcoolendof' mentality and actually, I might just look like some superfan that just wants a photo with the famous person and for whatever reason, I'm being totally eaten up by it. 
I think.. that if for example you didn't have millions of followers and I was like , 'oh hey, wanna grab a coffee?' you'd probably just think that I wanted to hang out because we might get on, (or perhaps you'd think I was a massive creep, but that's up to you) but as soon as I become just a number.. a name amongst the masses that follow your every move, I guess that statement is ruined a little.. it's tinged with something less real and I guess it's that. That is what I have the issue with.
I can't imagine having that many people interested in my life and I can't imagine having to be cautious because of it but nonetheless, I'd like to think that if I was ever graced with that opportunity, I wouldn't start seeing my followers as fans because to me.. there's a very real difference. 
If we're just talking about having a strong interest in someone, or admiring their decisions and creative outputs then sure, I'm a fan I guess.. but please don't think that I'm caught up in the movement of the moment because actually... if all of that was to disappear and your online presence was no longer.. you've still got a friend in me. (And if you're not now singing the Toy Story song then I might have to re-consider that statement)

Do you ever feel like this about the act of following people online?
Do you think there's a difference between being a follower and being a fan? 
Is it just me that doesn't want to queue up outside for a 'meet up' but actually just go and grab a cup of tea and have a chat?

I would very much like to know you, in the way that you know me and that will always run through the veins of my online existence for as long as it's alive.
So.. let's chat.
After all.. if we're not all here to make friends then I'm sorry but what is this about?
(If you're thinking coats and shoes then you're only half right)
x
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13 comments

  1. I loved reading this blog Ally! Your so right, it's a weird relationship following people online who for the most part you've never met and similarly having people follow you back! I think sometimes the reasons why people join these online bubbles can often be skewed! I hope people read my blog and think of me as a friend they've just never met!

    www.thegirlnextdooronline.co

    Claire Xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much Claire :) Yeah it's so weird isn't it, & that's exactly the same as the way I feel too! x

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  2. FRIENDS AND FANS FOREVER, and this was so well thought out - I definitely comment on the blogs/vlogs I think would be relatable to me, that we could hang out IRL and be friends. So we're staying together forever.

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

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    1. Thanks girl, it was kind of a brain splurge haha.
      TOGETHA5EVA

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  3. OH THIS WAS SUCH A GREAT POST ALLY! I think the line gets really blurry when people are being followed and watched by SO SO MANY (like beyond some celebrities) it's hard to truly get to know those followers. But who's to say we cant right? I follow youtubers/bloggers because i genuinely think they're cool, and yea that we'd click.
    I wish i knew everyone of my blog readers, and that I could be their friend. FRIEDS OVER FANS, Although I might fangirl you a little ;) hahaha! Fan FRIENDS!

    XX

    x, Carina / Running White Horses - Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle
    YouTube

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    1. Ahhh thank you SO much Carina!!! It's such a weird situation isn't it really, I guess it's all still quite new too. Hahaahha nooooo fangirling haha, JUST FRIENDS XX

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  4. Ally, I just stumbled across this on Twitter and your question really caught my eye. I totally agree with everything you said. You're right: if this isn't about forming connections/friendships then (aside from the shoes) what is it about?! I then thought about this and my obsession of big time superstars... I admit, I'd probably get a bit fan girl and faint if I was ever in a situation to have a conversation with Beyoncé but behind all that and her wonderful talent is a person I like, a person I think I could get along with. Fans/friends... Same thing right?! Love this! X

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    1. Ahhh thank you so much lovely!!
      Maybe it is all the same but just expressed differently?
      But yeah, totally.. I feel like most bloggers started blogging to make friends in some way! XX

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  5. Absolutely, totally, definitely, yes! I get sad when I find bloggers that I find I have a real connection with (their style, humour, personality) that live far away as I always want to be friends with them in real life too....then wonder if the think I'm fan-girling when that's not the case. Blogging is great for finding people you think are cool. But the Internet is also a weird place, that's for sure. I'm rambling tonight. Please move to Leeds so we can be friends. haha :-D

    x

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  6. You're speaking to my soul girly. I agree with every word on this web page (and yes, I did start singing towards the end). This whole online deal is way more than just the shoes and clothes.. Well, I hope it is!

    And if you're wondering.. I'll take an iced coffee with soya milk and a shot of vanilla.

    Big love xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

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  7. I definitely know what you mean, I watch tons of videos and there are a few who I feel like I could especially get along with and even be good friends with...but when you do leave comments and their social medias and such it does sort of feel like you're being a "fan." I think it's cool that a lot of them do refer to their viewers as friends but how much do they really mean that, you know?

    avec danielle | holiday giveaway!

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  8. I think it all depends on how people act. There are certain bloggers/vloggers who don't respond to comments, tweets, or questions and that sucks. It's rude. They have made a decision not to engage with people and yeah, I get it that they probably get hundreds of people trying to talk to them.. but that's kind of their job, y'know? That's the reason they are there, doing what they do and other bloggers/youtubers manage to respond to a heap more questions/comments than some others so it's clearly not just an issue of time (especially when we see them lounging around at home all day...)

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  9. This is such a good post Ally - I think if I'm being honest, the internet is the most amazing yet weirdest thing like EVER! RIGHT??!!
    Some of my closest friends were who I met through blogging, but now I don't even say that I'm going to hang out with bloggers, I'm off to hang out with friends. If they upload an Instagram photo, or write a tweet - I won't always like it or reply, but it's still nice to see and we'll probably find ourselves texting about it instead. I think it's such a funny thing, and actually I don't know where I'm going with this comment.. But I suppose as bloggers/internet folk we all have same interests which automatically means that for some part of it, we'd get on with everyone (I mean we can't be friends with EVERYONE.. well, i'd like to! but there's bound to be clashes!), so it almost feels like they are a 'friend' rather than just a 'fan'.
    And I suppose with everyone posting about their daily lives, including you and I, we're all being 'friends' for everyone too/. So when you write a post or share a dress or I write a sad letter online, we're almost reaching out to these people - that we kind of call friends, because their tweets/comments/likes make us feel warm. And that's what friends do...
    What a ramble. And what a comment where I'm not even trying to get at anything, but yes, THE INTERNET IS WEIRD. AND WONDERFUL. and if you want to meet people for coffee but you're afraid by numbers, screw it. A number is just a number, coffee and company is much better! :-) x

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