Why you should never censor yourself as a blogger

When I first started blogging, I was eager to be liked. I'm not a very confrontational person in the first place, so I just went along with what I thought was expected, too afraid to stick my neck out if I disagreed with the crowd. But somehow, and I'm not sure when or how it happened, I've realised that I no longer care. Of course I want to be liked, that's human nature, but I don't want that to be at the expense of sharing my opinions, even if they are unpopular. Yes, I'm sure there are people who don't like me because of it and I know I've lost followers after expressing certain opinions, but that's not important to me anymore. The benefits I've gained from being unashamedly me have been worth way more than followers or popularity.

Sharing controversial opinions on a blog
THE BENEFITS

People follow you for you 
This is a bit of a cliché, I'll admit, but it's true. Discussing opinions that are polarising will inevitably cause people to unfollow you. In the past, I've lost shedloads of followers after sharing my views on the refugee crisis and bombing Syria, expressing my unshakeable belief that Zoella's blog is ghostwritten and for live tweeting Harry Potter. Do I care? Not one bit. What I'm left with are people who either agree with my opinions or disagree but are mature enough to respect them. Those are the people I want to interact with. I'd rather have people who respect me for my passionate beliefs than those who only follow me because I sit on the fence at all times.

You stay true to yourself
I hate this phrase, truth be told. The whole "be you, be real" thing tends to turn my stomach but I'm including it here because I completely agree with the sentiment in this case. While portraying this image of somebody who had no strong opinions on anything, I wasn't being true to myself. I was hiding away areas of my personality that were fundamental to who I was. Once I stopped being scared of people judging me on my background or throwing eggs at me because of my taxidermy, I found I was a lot happier and people respected me more for my beliefs. And so far my house has been egg-free! 

You're memorable
Some may say for all the wrong reasons but hey! Once you start making your beliefs loud and clear, people will remember you for them. The benefit here isn't in being notorious (although I dare say for some people it would be) but in the help you receive from the community. As soon as I stopped hiding my love for Alan Rickman (I promise there once was a time I didn't bang on about him), I found people would contact me in droves whenever there was a weird Buzzfeed article about how he would make the perfect boyfriend, or something. It really highlights the community spirit of blogging when people send links to obscure stuff saying "I saw this and thought of you". 

You can make a difference
Imagine if everybody kept their opinions to themselves. There would be no change in the world- no protests, no demonstrations, not even any democracy. As bloggers, we all have a fantastic platform from which to make a difference. It doesn't matter if you've been blogging for 10 years or started last week- there are people out there who will read what you say and you can harness that to bring around change, even in just a small way. Speak out about issues that matter to you. Raise awareness of charities and causes close to your heart. Share your experiences. By opening up about the values that are important to you, you can help make a difference in the world. 

STRATEGIES

However, despite all these benefits, there are of course pitfalls to be aware of. There are a lot of people who prefer to follow non-committal bloggers. That's fine, I get it. Not everybody is going to agree with you and, once you become vocal, you may find that some people don't take too well to it. The good news is that there are ways to handle your opinions in ways that minimise this. Before you start dredging my Twitter feed, I'm not saying I always do this, but these are things I try to remember.

Be balanced
You may find it useful to consider other people's views. I don't mean a generic "I'm sorry you feel that way" but to really think about their feelings and see things from their point of view. Remember that with most opinions, there's no right and wrong, only different beliefs. Respect those when you put across your own case. 

Be polite
Even if you are calling someone out, there's no need to be rude. A polite "I disagree because..." is enough to get your point across without resorting to insults. The same goes for being passive aggressive. Nothing makes you lose respect like replying with "Alright babe". 

Pick your battles
If I were to argue with everything I disagree with in the blogging world, I'd be there forever. Knowing when to keep quiet is just as important as knowing when to speak out. If somebody is spreading misleading or dangerous information, it's probably a good time to step up. Same goes for people being hurt or something you feel really passionate about. Otherwise I'll stay out of it. If in doubt, ask yourself "What will I achieve by stepping in?". There's a big difference between being 'real' and being confrontational. 

Deciding to be more open and expressing my opinions unashamedly was one of the best decisions I've ever made in blogging. I dare you all to share an unpopular opinion right now!
I see you thinking "My unpopular opinion is how much I hate you".

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25 comments:

  1. Loved this post Becky! You're such a queen of awesome <3 I definitely have to censor myself a lot!

    hellomissjordan.com xx

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    1. Queen of Awesome is now my official name

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  2. I agree with this so much! There's no point censoring yourself since you just end up having to carefully pick what you have to say in case you end up contradicting your image. It's so much easier to just be yourself!

    Holly | http://holbol.co.uk

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  3. I love this post! I used to be exactly the same, I still sort of am I bit..censored, but i'm getting there!
    The latest opinion of mine, that may or may not be unpopular, is Katie Price piercing her babies ears! Horrible! I think it's just horrible to do that to a baby!
    Thanks for sharing your views and tips. I truely agree.
    Sarah xxx
    Oh and here's another one of my opinions/rants about...the v word.
    http://whimsicalmumblings.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-v-word.html

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    1. I tend to agree with this- I think a kid should be old enough to decide whether they want their ears pierced or not. But then I don't have any kids so I don't really feel qualified to say haha!

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    2. I actually disagree. In the Middle East and South Asia, it's a cultural thing to pierce babies and toddlers ears so coming from the first culture, I'm used to it. I find that it's accepted then but when white women do it, it's considered tacky and cruel. It may seem strange to some people but then to me, it's not a dangerous tradition at all and is not in the same league whatsoever as footbinding or FGM

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  4. I prefer bloggers take risks and be more opinionated and open with their posts - it may inspire a post to write yourself or a new idea! X

    Everything But The Kitchen

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  5. I've only been blogging for a few weeks and haven't shared any opinions yet, never mind unpopular ones! I'm scared of being one of those people who go viral and receive tons of abuse for something silly they've said!

    sophiesnotebook.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's definitely easy to be worried about it at first but you shouldn't be afraid of getting abuse. Unless you say something really offensive, it's pretty rare for bloggers to go on the attack.

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  6. LOVE this! The reason you are definitely one of my top five favourite bloggers is because of your personality and how you always speak your mind.
    It's a brilliant quality to have, one I admire because I am one of those people who, mostly, keeps their opinion to themselves in case they get shouted at or start an inadvertent Twitter war.

    Also, I always think of you anytime I see Alan Rickman.

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    1. Mary, this is such a lovely comment and means so much to me (especially the last bit haha)

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  7. I LOVE your voice, Becky! You're always so open about your opinions and I highly respect that you never censor your real self. You're one of my main blogging inspiration and I'm v happy that I found you through blogland!

    xo,
    Not Your Type Blog

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    1. This is the kindest thing to say Areeba! Thank you so much!

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  8. Love this post! This is one of the reasons why I love your blog so much as you always speak your mind. You seem like a lovely person, and I really admire and respect that you don't censor yourself x

    www.beesytimes.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. That means so much to me, Julia. Thank you!

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  9. Censoring myself on the internet has never been my forte (although sometimes it should be) and I can't stand it when you can see someone is clearly avoiding controversial topics out of fear of the outcome. I'd much rather read someone's personal views than what they think we want to see.

    Raise The Waves

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    1. Absolutely agree! I follow a lot of people whose views I don't agree with but I love and respect them because of how honest they are about it

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  10. This is fantastic, well done you !! Totally agree and also understand the difficulties in doing so. I'm trying more and more to be this way xx

    onefoundseven.com

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  11. Such a great post! I feel like I need to be more like this on my blog and my social media, I do sometimes shy away from things that I really like and I shouldn't!

    Lauren :) x

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  12. Thank you for sharing this. One of my goals this year is to be a bit more bold on my blog and say the things I want to say without worrying abut others opinions. I'm not there yet, but this post has put me one step closer to just going for it. I always love reading your opinions posts, and admire you for them too!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

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  13. It so nice to read this. I'm terrified of expressing my opinion somtimes. I see so many people get jumped on just for tweeting somthing the majority disagree with. I think i should try to care a little less xxx

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  14. I loved this post so much that I had to read it again and comment!! This pretty much sums of my social media life. xx

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  15. Great blog post, Becky! I have to say I totally agree with you. I think the majority of this issue comes from my personality, as I'm a Scorpio and I've got quite a bit of a temper. Lol, actually occasionally my friends have to refrain me from speaking my mind, haha. However, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially on their own blog. Of course, there's a line between discussion and bashing, and I agree that if you want to share your opinion on something (whatever that something is), it needs to be kept civil.
    New follower on Bloglovin! :)

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  16. I really enjoyed this post. I'm still trying to get back into blogging and one of the things that annoyed me with my old blog was that I kept trying to keep everything light and happy (which is a good thing of course, but with light comes dark too). I'm a person with strong views and was worried about what people would think, however now I think otherwise and it's lifted a burden off our chest! As long as we use our emotional intelligence wisely and respect opinions whether we agree or not then that's all that matters.

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  17. Hehe Love this Post Becky! I definitely learned to give zero fucks now the hard way. I think it's always good to share an opinion, what you stand for, without disrespecting other people. What's important is you really need to be honest with yourself first and not change anything about you just to please everyone.xxx

    www.mrsjamesrecommends.com

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I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!