A short while ago, I wrote a post expressing my frustration at how the blogging scene in Lebanon has really taken a turn for the worst, with the so-called influencers dominating the scene with their hyper-stylized photos and their horrible take on the English language. Of course, the content is abysmal to say the least.
Turns out, my sentiments were echoed by many others: writers and readers. Unfortunately, that’s done nothing to stop the massive onslaught of the nonsense posting. In fact, I feel that there’s a new account popping out every single day, all trying to promote their “unique” take on a non-unique subject like travel, fashion, or food.
For me, this change in the scene comes at a time where I am heavily re-assessing my online presence and what I choose to share- and this is coming from someone who was an early adopter of all things social network. I remember being “that friend” at any social event with a camera, eager to post about it the very next day. Those days are now long gone.
In the past year especially, I have been asking myself a very important question that I do not have an answer to yet: “How much sharing is oversharing?”
And this question has impacted what I write about or the photographs I share on Instagram. Honestly, it’s a question I wish everyone would ask themselves before they spam us all with whatever they’re currently posting.
Do people really need to know about every single run, every batch of cookies, every holiday, or every little thing going on between Ahmad and I? I am already hesitant about sharing these things in person with my closest friends, let alone online- not because I don’t think they’re interesting but because by sharing, I’m letting everyone in, and I don’t want my personal life to become just another talking point for other people.
Adulthood is already hard enough as it is, without people gossiping about you or judging your actions- and I’ll admit that I too am guilty of doing that to others, most of whom I barely even know.
So I think to why did I establish Beyond Beirut in the first place, why do I have an Instagram account that I frequently update? And the answer is always the same, it’s my form of a diary, except it happens to be online because it’s more convenient for documentation and re-reading at any point in time. Occasionally, it gives me an opportunity to share and reconnect with friends and family who live abroad or I don’t get to see much of. So I think, it’s a pretty sweet deal, only when done in moderation.
I don’t care if I get 10 or 10,000 viewers because I’m not trying to sell you anything, promote a type of lifestyle that seems ridiculous when you scratch the surface, or score a few freebies. I don’t want to be an influencer and I certainly do not want random social media pages with questionable origins sharing content that I really racked my brain trying to produce to make myself happy first and foremost.
I’m a normal person who lives in Beirut, with a 8 to 5 job that I happen to enjoy, a husband whom I adore, a few hobbies that I try to actively pursue, and a love for trying new things that often takes me to new countries. And I happen to think that they’re interesting enough to write about for the future’s sake- sometimes while rocking out to 90s boybands while my husband questions what has overcome me.