”She’s going to kill herself,” I sobbed ”And it’s going to be my fault”.
My partner looked at me, bewildered. ”Honey, it’s just a blog?”
When a friend of mine with terminal cancer needed help raising funds, I started a blog. I had 75 followers and I loved it. I loved communicating with intelligent, articulate women and sharing my thoughts with a community of like-minded followers. As a stay-at-home mum, I’d often struggled with a sense of isolation and my blog was connecting me with people from all over the world, with readers who would respond to my posts with support and encouragement.
When a post of mine went viral, shared over 27,000 times, I found myself with over 6,000 followers and a sudden surge of new blogger friends, my inbox filled with questions about how I'd managed to go viral so quickly, what tricks I'd employed. They refused to believe that I'd simply sat down on my couch one day and typed something into my phone that resonated with people.
The pressure to continue my momentum, to become a power-house of the blogging world, was overwhelming.
Bloggers, friends, family, even strangers, would say ''YOU'RE GOING TO BE SO SUCCESSFUL! You're the next BIG NAME, you'll be able to support your FAMILY!''. It was relentless, overwhelming, and I became so afraid of disappointing everyone that I'd stay up long after my son had gone to bed, Googling viral posts and trying to re-capture the magic.
One blogger in particular would bombard me with messages, desperate to increase her already significant follower count. She would post troubling selfies, with huge frantic eyes, unraveling in front of an audience who lapped it up. The bigger the train-wreck, the bigger the response, and she was hooked. But unlike most addictions, hers was constantly celebrated and validated.