Last updated on November 25th, 2020 at 02:24 pm
Like a Jay-Z retirement, I wasn’t stepping away from the social media game, but my relationship with it was definitely changing. When I met someone at Friday’s TacoTweetup who asked how many tweetups I’d been to, his eyes bugged out when I answered “I dunno—100? 150?”
For a while there, Twitter was my life.
When I get into something, I really go deep. I have a live recording from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon of Drake performing “Too Much” from his upcoming Nothing Was the Same album which is currently playing for the 57th time—and it premiered Saturday night. So when I found out about a place back in 2010 where I could be as crazy as I wanted and people were happy for it, there was no way I was looking back.
But it was always a juggling act.
The eldest of three boys, I’ve always been the “model son”. Never got in trouble; always did well in school; got a stable job, and married with kid on the way. In many ways, I’m a traditionalist, building a strong foundation so I can make the best of the life I lead.
But the other side of me wants to hit every event, blog on all the things, and live like life has no limit. He shows up to events, cash in one hand and camera in the other—because there’s no moment other than the one you’re in right now, so why not live it to the fullest?
But the longer you spend immersed in social media, the more you learn a simple truth — social media isn’t reality.
What really killed the “social” in social media was just growing the hell up.
Recently, I took a step back from social media to start working on my life away from the computer. It wasn’t a grand exodus, but enough of a change that I could do things like tackle a new job and convert my home office into a nursery. We’ve all got things to do in our lives and choices to make—it was time for me to man up a little and start acting like an adult.
You can only live in Dreamland for so long. Wining and dining in exchange for a few words on social media is a pretty sweet deal, but free meals won’t keep a roof over your head. Many tell themselves that they’re paying their dues—all this face time is merely the path to something better; but it only reminds me of a phrase I was fond of a decade ago:
You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself!
The Cost of Blogging
Everything has a price. Looking at my friend Zach, he’s spent 2013 living A Sponsored Life in a large-scale social experiment but has to deal with the negative press from those who consider him a freeloader and don’t really get what he’s trying to accomplish. Or how about the numerous times someone takes a pot shot at someone else’s social media snafu, only to have it bite them in the rear end later on?
There, too, is a cost to blogging.
With my blog, after years of trying to build something meaningful, I finally started feeling like I’d carved something I could call my own—but there’s a constant battle I’m fighting; the one where if I take one step too far in the wrong direction, I’m in danger of selling out everything I believe in. I’ve been blessed to receive so much over the years, and to have access to so many opportunities—but if you forget who you are, all of it can change you.
And not for the better.
But the pitches pile up, the handshakes happen, and for every post you write to chat on something that landed at your doorstep, that’s two you’re writing to show that there’s still a heart beating in your chest. You become your own worst enemy, trying to keep up with an editorial calendar out of control—with you smack in the middle.
Not the most sustainable lifestyle.
So I took a step back to take stock of my life. I took a look at the job I’m fighting the odds to excel at, because I don’t see failure as an option. I look at my wife and the new life that she’s mere months from bringing into this world and the new adventure we’ll be travelling. I look at friendships in need of care and repair, left neglected while I started too hard in the wrong direction.
Blogging ain’t everything and I’d do well to remember that.
Will the Real Casey Palmer Please Stand Up?
So in the meantime, you’ll need to bear with me. I still want to hit all the places and do all the things—but Daddy Casey comes first. White Collar Casey comes first. Husband Casey comes first. There’s so much I need to be other than a blogger—and without these, blogging wouldn’t be everything at all—it’d be nothing without a story to tell.
And no one wants that.
Until the next time,
8 replies on “Blogging Ain’t Everything!”
I think it’s important to emphasize that “Dreamland” isn’t something that necessarily has to be removed from the adult/grown up lifestyle. Your particular life has A LOT going on at once. Until the introduction of your child into your life, you were very much able to balance your traditional work/home lifestyle and “Dreamland.”
That social lifestyle is very much geared towards social singles with a lot of discretionary time and income. Someone like myself (at least currently) can be immersed in that lifestyle indefinitely. I wouldn’t consider myself any less “grown up” than yourself, though I definitely don’t fit the traditional archetype of school -> work -> marriage -> home -> child.
Yeah, not exactly what I meant by “Dreamland”, though. When I think of Dreamland, I think of those who’re partying out of control and have nothing real to tether them to reality. You have a job and you have a good sense about what you want out of life and how you operate. There are certain archetypes of people who come to mind when I think of the “lost children” who just invest way too much time in social media and have nothing else of substance going on.
When I think “Justin”, I don’t think of a guy who’s going to fizzle out because he’s always on the party scene. I don’t see someone abusing himself to the point where no one can take him seriously. I see someone with his act together, who can make his way in and out of Dreamland without being a permanent resident.
That’s what’s up.
A) LOVE THE NEW LOOK. I knew something was different! It is very readable and aesthetically pleasing to mine eye. Also – minimalist. THANK GAWD.
B) I know I’m the ultimate rookie/amateur/n00b but I think people get so caught up in getting that free shiz that they forget why they first started their blog in the first place. For me, it’s a nice place to write out my feelings/talk about things I’m interested in. I like the actual “art” of writing and being able to get creative with it! I’ve watched people’s blogs turn from something I love to read because of the personal quality to ALL sponsored posts.
C) I like this Casey. And I think you should take a break away from blogging – there is so much more to life than getting free dinners and STUPID Rafflecopter giveaways!
Thanks, Yungest — (A) I was trying to use this as an interim while I build something new, but yeah, it seems that this is a far better base to work from. I’ll chip away at it until it’s exactly where I want it to be, but it works for now 🙂
(B) Yeah — even with all the stuff I mentioned above that I need to write about, I’m being as honest as possible and just writing stuff about them until it feels right. It’s not an easy feat to merge the two into a solid blog, which is why so many people flop at it. But keeping that integrity is muy importante, so that’s what I plan to do.
(C) You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna put a ton of ideas and content together in the next bit and then see what comes of it. I rather put the time in on writing some amazing shit than trying to stay relevant for the hell of it. I’m not going to stress myself into being the “best” or anything like that — but I want to be happy with what I put out. Always.
So that’s what’s up.
Thanks as always for your comments — I always love ’em 🙂
New look. Cool!
I always love talking with you about these things. It reminds me that being grounded is important.
I work hard. SM is a part of my life but, like we said last time it’s not the ONLY part of my life or the only part of who I am.
Keep up the introspective posts. They’re awesome.
Thanks, Christine — it’s an interim look while I work at perfecting it, but I’m happy to use it for the time being while I figure everything out. The old blog was too noisy and confusing, so this is a good way to go for the time being.
I’m blogging what’s on my mind these days since there’s so much going on in there. I could spend time trying to keep relevant or scouring daily emails to try and see how to insert current events into my stuff, but that’s not me. After I get this round of promoted stuff written up in the blog, I’m going to be much more careful about what I take on my plate in the future. I can always find plenty of things to talk about 🙂
Just stay true to yourself. That’s the best rule to follow!
I love the new look too!
I think it all comes down to balance. You have to step away from the computer and live real life or else you won’t have a story worth sharing – just like you said. Either way – I think you’re doing it right & look forward to following your journey my friend 🙂
Thanks, Simone 🙂 The challenges in my life outside of the blog, social media and all the digital stuff are actually making me balance things out better than I might’ve done otherwise. I just finished getting DoomzToo’s crib in his nursery on a whim, which actually cleared up a couple of weekends we had set aside to start putting that room together. I’m reassessing my priorities and starting to get more real-world stuff done 🙂
The blog will grow. It’ll probably take another decade to make it truly amazing, but I’m in no rush. We all have our paths to travel 🙂 Mine’s just going to be more interesting than I expected, that’s all!