WHERE DO THE LINES BLUR BETWEEN ORIGINALITY AND IMITATION AND AT WHAT POINT DO WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
I‘m not normally one to jump on the bandwagon and type my thoughts out immediately after blogger controversies and Twitter Spats. I don’t wish for my blog to thrive on the latest bitchy remarks or witch hunt or calling someone out. But it’s also important to discuss and learn from these things. We’re constantly finding new things corrupt with the way bloggers present themselves, go about their work and business, which usually explodes into a Twitter induced argument that would rival any parliament debate. I was particularly hesitant to write about this topic, because of the very nature of the topic in question: imitation within the social media and blogging industry. This blog post has been a draft for just over a year, after I experienced a form of imitation a little too close to comfort.
I moaned, I groaned, complained and confided in fury to my closest group of blogging girls. I guess I never published the post because it bothered me a lot, which then, over time, bubbled down into acceptance. What can you do? When I write, I strike whilst the iron is hot; I write about what I think at the time and what’s going on in my life, so once I’d gotten over this, I put it on the back burner. The twitter conversation in question, re-ignited my thoughts and opinions towards people getting a little too heavily ‘inspired’ on the internet. The question is, where do the lines actually blur when it comes to our content?
WE CAN’T TREAD ON EGGSHELLS EVERY TIME WE LOG IN TO WORDPRESS
Ironically, like I mentioned with this post being a draft for quite some time, I yet again held off publishing, due to a similar amount of posts coming out at the same time. (understandably, given the ‘scandal’) I hit thesaurus.com hard to find words that differed from my original title, worried that my old post title may be too similar to others. But is it ridiculous we’ve began to tread on eggshells this much? Or is it just forcing us to be respectful of others and more creative? Arguably, there’s hundreds, of thousands of posts titled exactly the same, with probably very similarly structured content – each author never have read the others. There’s bound to be a lot of similar content out there, it’s the same with books, films and magazine editorials. I could see a post, a video or photograph that I believe is incredibly similar to my own, but there’s a high probability the person hasn’t even ever set a virtual foot onto my blog. Are we all just becoming too paranoid or is it justified? A few bloggers recently discovered their work had been essentially, copied and pasted onto someone else’s blog: A lot. This is at the extreme end of the scale, and definite grounds for taking action, speaking up and seeing what can be done about something that is essentially a huge copyright issue. Scarily enough, this could be happening without us even knowing or ever finding out.
IS THERE ANY REAL ORIGINALITY IN THE BLOGOSPHERE, OR ARE WE ALL ESSENTIALLY RE-INVENTED VERSIONS OF EACH OTHER?
In my last post, I wrote all about my current ‘blogger identity crisis’ that I’ve been experiencing as of late. I’m constantly inspired and have the biggest urge to create, do something new and something that I feel is my own. Whether thats Instagram images, new articles on here or videos on my Channel. The problem is, I don’t want to constantly be repeating the same old, it’s easy to get enticed to film Primark hauls 24/7 because they’re a guaranteed winner, but they don’t exactly set my soul on fire (I do bloody love a good rummage in there though!) But then again, is there anything ground breaking you can do with an ‘OOTD’ or will it always just be that? There’s safety in doing what’s been done before. It’s simpler, easier and results are more predicable. With the new? Who knows.
It’s SO EASY to get swept up in trends – whether that’s a trend with the way others edit their images, talk, outfits or way their blog is laid out. How do we break this habit and force ourselves to completely think outside the box? We’re slowly building to what bloggers are about, represent and create. We want to be relatable but also push the boundaries when it comes to content creation and it’s not easy, by any means to break habits. What’s helping me? To be in the moment. When you’re inspired – act upon that and push and push yourself again. Think how you can convey your thoughts onto the world in new ways – it’s a work in progress but I hope it results in something, someday.
WHEN DO YOU LEARN TO ACCEPT IT’S A HINT OF FLATTERY AND MOVE ON?
If we like something – we want to emulate that. What some lack, is the ability to take inspiration and spin it into their own creation – taking elements of something they love, work they admire and putting their stamp firmly in place. This whole blog post began with scribbles in a notebook last year, when I noticed someone had written a blog post a little too similar to mine for my liking, after praising it beforehand. A week later by chance I found a very similar article on their blog. It kinda hurt, I felt pretty pissed off and I found out later, one of their comments praising it disappeared, which only really added to my suspicion that they were fully aware that perhaps it was a bit too close for comfort. There’s arguments to both this story; a topic is by no means anyones to own and solely discuss – you have freedom and speech, can write as you please. Similarly, is it such a bad thing that someone liked my post so much as to put it into their own words?
After the recent Twitter events mentioned, I feel like I was damn lucky in comparison to the girls that had their hard work, thoughts and souls spilled, copied, pasted and ‘published’ just like that. It’s been a quiet discussion for years; some bloggers have a very distinctive look, way of taking images and editing that naturally inspires the masses. It hurts to have your content altered to fit anothers, but is this the way all forms of art and creative industries have thrived for years? Did James Cameron gain inspiration loosely from someone else or something he’d seen? Did Madonna model herself on a previous icon? Inspiration comes in all forms and it’s difficult to determine when to take action unless it’s a direct form of infringement. Lawyers are there for serious cases and although hard to swallow, sometimes we need to believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (despite it’s annoyance.)
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts in particular on this post – it’s such a difficult topic to discuss and so many people have experienced similar things, so I’ve found out to chatting to you on Twitter! Please do as always join the discussion below, really intrigued if you’ve ever experienced this before or what your views are!
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Photography by Ben Kapur