November 19, 2015

Be The Best "Online" You

We all know the horrific moment in elementary school when you showed up for picture day confident in your pink tee from Limited Too only to find Little Miss from homeroom wearing the exact same top. Is this a complete coincidence or did she hear you plotting your outfit with your BFF in art class last week? Either way, you shoot her a stink eye and complain to your teacher until she lets you call your mom for a change of clothes.

Ok, so maybe this didn't happen to you, but we've all had a similar experience. Maybe it was something more serious like someone copying your big history essay or your math test. Either way, it's relevant today. Imitation is not flattery.

This is the age of social media and if you repost, write essays, blog, and share statuses, these do's and don'ts will apply to you. And beyond that, some things in life just aren't nice of you to copy. So what constitutes these things?

It's not ok...

To use someone else's pictures without credit
Finding a picture on Pinterest and then posting it to your Instagram and pretending it's yours is not cool. Simply reposting someone's picture and not crediting them is not ok. Always tag the person you got it from and say "pic cred" or "repost"! 

To rip off someone's idea
Story time: I know a blogger who worked really hard to come up with her own product. She finally curated something that was a hot commodity on the blog market. To her dismay, she found that someone copied her idea after she launched! I mean, it wasn't just a similar product, it looked pretty dang identical. This was her baby, her creative project, and her business and it took someone a couple phone calls and a PayPal account to copy it. She was devastated.

It's pretty easy to follow the crowd or just copy someone. To be on the safe side, contact the person. All of us bloggers have a contact page on our site or in our social media bios. Let them know you liked their idea (whether it be for a product, photo shoot, or post) and would like to put your own spin on it.

To try to prove you're better, instead of just knowing you're awesome already!***
***This is like, so important
Do you know what I mean? Celebrate other people's accomplishments without having to talk about your own.

I'm in a really great group message with my two best blogging friends Cathleen and Rachel. We text about random stuff most of the time (like how cute Target's mugs are), but we also love to share our accomplishments with each other. It's so great because as soon as anyone shares their good news, everyone else replies with encouraging words and heart-eye emojis. We need more of this in the world!

No one likes feeling like their accomplishments are small or insignificant because someone else keeps putting them down or trying to "one-up" them. #1 Be happy for each other. #2 If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 

It's ok...

To use popular hashtags and captions to generate an online presence
I'm sure you see a lot of us bloggers using the same hashtags on our pictures and that is totally intentional. This is our mating call to one another. When we search the hashtag we can connect with one another and network. This is how I've found a lot of the bloggers I work with today! 

To join in on the popular posts
Bloggers: It's ok if you make a "Holiday Gift Guide" even if you can name at least five other bloggers who have in the last week. It's gift guide season! Obviously, don't copy all of the things they listed on theirs, but if you happen to have some of the same, it's understandable. I mean, everyone really wants a pair of bean boots right? 

Non-bloggers: It's totally a-ok to re-blog or retweet as I'm sure you know. Literally will never get tired of the video of the girl with the bird flying around her room. 

To be in on the trends
So if you bought a poncho right now, I'm sure no one would try to accuse you of copying. It's just the latest trend! Maybe don't buy the exact one that your gal pal bought a week ago, but you know - enjoy what's in style and participate if you'd like!

What are your thoughts on what's ok and what's not ok in the realm of copying? Have a great rest of the week! 




  1. Definitely agree with the last one on the don't section.
    We all get so wrapped up in our own accomplishments that we forget to celebrate other people's.
    This is definitely something to always keep in mind.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  2. Yes yes, this is all so true and so good! Definitely on the originality thing- some people get confused on the line between "inspiration" and "copying". And celebrating each other's accomplishments! We all deserve support from one another, and it's truly a beautiful thing we all have :)

    Courtney//As We Stumble Along

  3. I think it's important to celebrate everyone's accomplishments, too! We all work hard!
    with southern grace,

  4. I think there is definitely a distinction between gaining inspiration and copying.No one likes to feel like someone else is taking credit for their work. Online it is really difficult to monitor copying but I think it is important that we all strive to do our own thing and not copy someone else just because what they're doing works for them.

  5. ABSOLUTELY yes! It's completely uncool to lie about your life and make things up for attention! I love this post!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  6. This is such a good post because sometimes the lines get really fuzzy. And yes, everybody really does want a pair of bean boots!

  7. This is a really great post! It's crazy that their are still people who don't see how unethical it is to steal other peoples pictures!

    xo Ashley

  8. So much yes! It's so important to be authentic and 100% you when you're trying to build your online presence.

  9. On the nose with this one, especially the part about trying to prove you're better! If you aren't blogging for yourself, you aren't really blogging for the right reasons.

    Alessandra |

  10. Amen to that!! There literally is nothing worse than realizing that someone has stollen your content as your own. Thanks for sharing.

    Sara Kate Styling

  11. Preach it girl!!! Your distinctions between what is okay and what is not are spot on!

    How 2 Wear It []

  12. Great post! I literally just had someone steal my image off Pinterest and post it on their Instagram (and we follow each other, too!), and it was INFURIATING. When I called her out, she deleted the comment. Some people have no manners!

    Diary of a Debutante

  13. Love this especially the part about being yourself! It's not fair to try and copy someone.

  14. All really good tips! Being yourself is so important!

  15. These are such great tips and are SO important. It's SO important to be yourself. Even if it's online!!!


  16. This is so important in the blogging world! I never thought that if I can name 5 people who did a post, it's probably okay to use the same idea, It's usually just a popular topic to write about!

  17. Your posts are always so uplifting! Seriously, the "don'ts" are so dang true! I see so many people ripping off other's ideas. Totally not cool!

  18. This is SO relevant for today's world! It's so easy to get caught up in the ridiculous side of being anonymous online, more people need to just be authentic and like you said, the best "online" version of themselves. I'm all for supporting other bloggers too. Such a great post through and through, thanks for sharing! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias