Young Casey Palmer — 8 or 9 Years Old?

I’d been lying to myself all along.

I’ve been stuck in a rut for who knows how long, and it’s been getting harder to hide — my blogs grow increasingly critical of the blogging industry around me; I find it harder to put a solid post together now than in times past; and I just feel like I’m dragging my heels, lethargic and unable to keep up with my peers that are doing some amazing things. I even spoke with a friend about whether I’d already peaked and now faced what looked to be a life of utter normalcy.

Turns out I was just looking at my life all wrong.

The Missing Ingredient

July 15th marked my 30th birthday, and I was happy to mark it with a few changes:

  • After years of heckling by family and friends, I was finally licensed to drive — and in style, behind the wheel of a 2011 Ford Edge Select, which I’ve enjoyed taking for spins around Toronto so far
  • I held my second annual DoomzDay birthday party on the 19th, and while the night ended less than optimally with the loss of my wallet and another year testing my tolerance for tequila, I was surrounded by family and friends as I prepared to take one of the biggest leaps of my life in only a handful of months
  • I heard the stories of other 30-year olds who still hadn’t left their parents and worked minimum-wage jobs, and felt blessed to have a steady job, be in a strong marriage, own property and be preparing for the magical challenge journey of fatherhood

I’m known for my luck, and there’s a lot of good in my life — so why did I feel like I was all out of steam with nothing left to give?

It wouldn’t come to me until I started reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!, which Sarah gave me as part of my birthday gift. It was nothing new — it was a simple point that we’ve all known since forever, but dutifully ignore it to fit in. And that point is this: we do best when we do what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re all coded differently — we all have things we enjoy and things we dread; things we’re amazing at and others we’ll suck at no matter how hard we try. And it’s said that when you do find the thing you’re born to do, and you pour your blood, sweat and tears into it — no matter how much you work at it, no matter how much of yourself you invest into it, you know what? It doesn’t feel like work at all.

It feels like fun.

Everyone. Stop the presses! We’ve forgotten how to have FUN!!!

Why We Do Social Media Wrong. So Very, Very Wrong.

I remember being sad the day after DoomzDay that I didn’t have quite the turnout that I did last year. With a storm watch afoot following in the heels of Stormageddon 2013 and a later start time by 3 hours, it was enough to slice the attendance to half of what I’d anticipated. I’d put months into promotion, planning, developing a playlist, scouting locations — I wanted it to come off just right.

Does any of this sound fun to you? It’s supposed to be a celebration — how’s stressing over every little detail going to make me enjoy my party any more?

And that’s only the beginning — let’s take a look at social media in general.

These past few years, I’ve been privy to numerous opportunities because of social media and my blogging. I’ve been to Vegas. Twice. I’ve gotten a media pass to Toronto Pride, snapping pics of people like Keisha Chanté and Corey Hart up close and personal. I’ve stood on the court of the Air Canada Centre and eaten at more places than I can remember.

So much has happened, and all that was asked of me was to write about it. Take photos. Spread the word on social media. Which all works… for a while.

It doesn’t take long before you start figuring out who the “big names” are in the industry and start getting a taste of the green-eyed monster as you look at their lives:

“They got a free trip to where?”

“They got to drive what?”

Who gave them a free which?!”

And it’s not long before that envy turns ugly, with those feelings showing up in the conversations you have with your peers:

They don’t deserve that. They don’t even fit the image of what that brand should be looking for!”

I’m good at what I do — why don’t they pick me?”

“I heard they had to do this and this to get that and that!”

The lessons we learned about envy, gossip, grudges and spite when we were kids are the same ones we learned as teens and the same ones that apply to us now —when we wish ill on others, it only hurts ourselves; you never get ahead when you use all your energy worrying about someone else; and when you spend so much time welling all that negativity up in yourself, you leave so little room for positivity and actually enjoying everything that life has to offer you.

So what does this all mean?

I’m 30. I’ve been building websites half my life and blogging for a third of it. I know the importance of SEO, promotion, good writing and solid multimedia. I know that you need to stay authentic to stay relevant.

But I also know how easy it is to get lost. To forget why it is you do what you do. To get so caught up in the minutiae of what others tell you you need for a great blog, and forget that your blog is simply the best possible representation of you and what you have to offer to the world.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Palmer

I am not my content — my content is part of my story.

I’ll still look at things to review, read the books, try the food and go to all the places. I’ll try new things and find new ways to integrate all of it into my life.

But if I don’t remember to have fun while doing it, I haven’t learned a damn thing.

I’m going to worry less about the page views and more about the stories. Less about the Klout scores and more about the feelings. Less about how many comments I get, and more about whether the blogs I write energize me enough to write more. Because I haven’t peaked. I haven’t quit. This isn’t the end of my life’s road — I’m only just merging onto the highway.

Happy belated, Casey Palmer — welcome to the rest of your life.


–case p.

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

11 thoughts on “THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: NEVER Forget the Fun!!!”

    1. Thanks, Valorie 😀

      While epic, don’t feel so bad — it’s not like you live around the corner or anything 😛

      And I already had my 30th year! It’s time for YEAR THIRTY-ONE! *chills down spine commence*

  1. Hey Casey!
    I love this post! Very down to earth and helps me get a new perspective on the places I’ve been. Social media encourages us to compare, and unless we come to accept our whole situation, the comparisons are almost inevitable. That’s when the envy starts. Even something as trivial as comparing klout scores and follower numbers.

    Also happy belated (again)! Keep pushing

    1. Thanks, Pavel 🙂

      You know what; social media has given me such an opportunity to see what I’m capable of, and now I get to take all the knowledge I’ve amassed to become a better me. I can’t think of a better birthday gift than that — personal growth. To look beyond all the hype and hoopla and get back to creating things that just WORK for me. I look forward to what I can do in the future without tethering myself with things that just weigh me down.

      I firmly believe in the idea of “build it and they shall come” — so if you build something you’re having fun with, other people will see it and flock to you for a piece of the action.

      Metrics come last, not first. Always important to remember that.

      I’m far from stopping, my friend 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Mr. Palmer,

    (Sounds So Formal)

    Having fun is such a huge part of those awesome things that we’re privy too.

    As long as I’ve known you (Not really that long in the grand scheme of things), you’ve never been envious of others and have always managed to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

    If this isn’t your full time gig, and you’re not planning on making this a business… then don’t let it weigh you down. Just enjoy it, your life and your family. It is what it is.

    For those of us who work in the scene, we need to WORK and that can sometimes be stressful. The hustle isn’t always easy.
    I have days where I’m like OMG. how am I going to make it in this world others are doing soooo well. I can’t catch a break but, most times I just bury my head in my work and keep pushing forward.

    For me it’s not about the “scene” – I have clients I need to work with and make happy. I have schedules, deadlines, invoices pitches and relationships I MUST work on. The UN-FUN stuff of the social media / Web Dev world – actually just the real world…

    However, I LOVE what I do, so I will just keep on keepin’ on. I have good days and bad days, people will question me, bridges will be burned, bullshit will happen. lol Meh. Just got to move on.

    I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to meet some awesome people through SM and I’m also grateful for the not-so-nice people I’ve met. Both are reminders that SM is just the real world on steroids.

    Thank you for another awesome post. You always make me think.


    1. Thanks for the insightful reply, Chris 🙂

      Let me try this from another angle — are your clients comparing you to other people in the social media industry? Will you lose the clients you already have if someone else has more page views? (I mean directly — not whether that makes the other person a more attractive prospect to work with or whatever.)

      You’re right; I don’t work at this as my full-time job, but — and feel free to call it naïve — I believe there’s always a way to do things better where your passion’s involved. Whether that’s doing all the stuff you like to do yourself REALLY WELL and outsourcing the menial stuff you prefer not to touch, or thinking up a new way to do things that makes you really happy and still gets the work done, I don’t know what it looks like, but somewhere within, I like to think it’s possible.

      Much of the world has things that aren’t so fun — but it makes me wonder how much of it is actually not so fun and what simply requires an attitudinal readjustment? I think to my trip to Africa and seeing people who had nothing, yet were COMPLETELY happy. Or think back to wartime women on assembly lines who tried to make the most of a ROUGH job by developing support and community into their world.

      In any case, I think there’s a world of fun we can have in what we do — we’re just not there yet.

  3. Thank you Casey! This is one of the best damn posts I’ve read in a long while. Thanks for giving me some much needed inspiration to get going on the next phase of my own blogging journey. Note to self: Don’t forget to have FUN!

    1. Thanks for all the love on this post, Joyanne 🙂 Like I’d mentioned on Twitter, a big part of this post was getting back to fundamentals and reminding myself what drove me to do it in the first place 🙂

      I’m going to keep this mentality as I continue to write and work on stuff; I know people say that time is the issue when it comes to being involved in social media, but when you’re passionate about something, you MAKE time for it, right? So that’s my mission. Be more passionate so that I’m inspired to make my blog a prominent part of my life 🙂

      Who even knows what might happen?

      I’m glad this post had such a positive impact on you — I look forward to seeing what madness YOU’LL get up to!

  4. 1. Jamaican kid photo is perfect.
    2. This is a good post – I like the way you wrote it. Raw and organic and easy to read. YOU HEAR THAT ALL YOU YUPPIE MUHFUGGAS?! Raw AND organic.
    3. Yay for personal touch!
    4. Yo I’m so green-eyed monster. Why are ‘fit’ girls who booze every weekend and don’t step foot in a gym endorsing fitness products? I’m the only girl in Toronto for the job yo! 😉


  5. 1. Yeah, gotta love the rounder face I had as a yout’! That kid was MAD happy, playing video games with his friends, doing well at school and just CHILLIN’. I need to get back to that.

    2. And thank you 🙂 I think that’s part of the reason why I want to take a step back to really write from the soul — after a while you can start getting tired of what you’re doing, and it starts to show. I want to always have interesting stuff to share and say, so I need to look inside and figure out what REALLY drives me.

    3. I guess point #2 counts for this, too. I don’t want to be a watered-down version of who I’m supposed to be. I’ve learned a lot over the years; now it’s my responsibility to use all that skill and knowledge for something WORTHWHILE.

    4. Well, then it’s up to you to change the game, isn’t it? 🙂

    I’m working on ALL the things, Yung Paige!

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