Is What I'm Doing Ethical? Ethics & Blogging.
One of the biggest issues I face, whenever I publish a post, is whether what I’m doing is ethical or not. And as someone who has struggled with finances in the post and openly discussed the concept of minimalism, I sometimes worry that this blog could end up as a walking contradiction.
For a long time, I was an active consumer. Hauls were my favourite type of Youtube video to watch and I would regularly buy whatever my favourite blogger of the moment was wearing because it looked cool. And if they looked cool, then so would I. Right? I found that the items I was buying were not realistic in my life - after all, my daily uniform is essentially jeans and a jumper. The clothes I was buying or being sent were so trendy or out there that they never made it past my bedroom.
But I haven’t done that for over a year.
About a year ago, I posted about my intention to spend no money outside of my food budget & basic necessities, and I’ve come a really long way with that. There were a few things that forced me to change my outlook on money and I really now enjoy having a formal system of savings in my bank account. But every time I published a post where I discuss some of my favourite products, I worried. If I wasn’t actively spending money, then how did I feel recommending products for my readers to buy? This was something that I often thought about, especially when products had been gifted. I almost felt like a fraud.
Recently I did a sponsored post on some products that I absolutely adore. I genuinely think the products are absolutely gorgeous – from the packaging to the formula to the ethos of the brand. But recently when I was linking one of the products to a friend, I realised how much the products cost. And I paused because I realised that I would genuinely struggle with spending that much money on it. And it seriously worried me. But I sat down with a friend and talked it through and we came to this conclusion. At this current point in my life would I spend that much on the products? No. Down the line when I actually have a formal income, would I consider buying the product? Absolutely, yes. So I took a step back and reassessed the situation. Ultimately blogging is about recommending and sharing products that I love. At the end of the day, people have a choice whether to purchase the products or not. My demographics reflect a wide array of readers from young to older, all of whom will be in different parts of their lives; some may be able to afford a £150 moisturiser, some might not.
And right now, I’m at a point where I believe every post of mine has been thought through. I rarely post hauls. I avoid buying ‘trendy’ items unless they’ve been seriously thought through to the point where it’s worth it. And I don’t feel the unease I used to with recommending products.
So perhaps this post is also a slight excuse for the limited beauty & style posts, and perhaps it is an apology of sorts. But I truly think it’s important for any writer or blogger out there to truly come to terms with what they’re doing – and think about their readers. I don’t think I’ll ever post a haul on this blog again as the environmental and consumerism aspects of it is not something I want to willingly buy into, and I’ll never post an #AD for the sake of the cash. I want to take on 2018 on Life of EllieGrace with the thoughtfulness and care that I put into my daily finances – even if that means that I end up talking about the same products.
I'm no longer prepared to "buy things for a blog post" or buy into consumerism, and you might notice that I actively stay away from 'trendy' products that, yes, may make my post 'go viral' but at the same time, just aren't worth it - environmentally or financially.
But at least I know, that now, I’ve considered the ethical implications of what I’m doing – and accept the responsibility associated with them.
Have you ever thought about the ethical implications of blogging? Is it reflective of the world we live in today?