The Long, Sad Farewell?
It was my very first one, and it was meant to be tongue in cheek, if you didn't gather.
But some of it, though written with a fair amount of sarcasm, wasn't necessarily untrue.
In short, the conclusion that I have reached is this: Blogs are stupid. As a trend, I predict they will go the way of leg warmers, parachute pants, and high waisted jeans. In other words, they will not be a treasured account of one's cerebral self in days gone by, but rather, a source of profound chagrin and endless harassment, much like the visual snapshots that preserve our dubious taste and unfortunate fashion choices for all eternity.
I have, over the course of the last three years, had reason to revise my opinion. Blogs aren't stupid. Well, some blogs are stupid. Maybe this is one of them. I suppose it depends upon perspective. Stupid or not, it has served it's purpose, which was, to help me find my voice after a long period of quiet disuse.
But I think my prediction that the fad would die out quickly is coming to fruition.
It's not just about comments. Everybody's comments are down it seems, except for a select few, whose appeal, I confess, still escapes me. That's not sour grapes, that's just personal taste.
But people aren't writing either.
It used to be that each morning my feed reader would greet me with a nicely ordered list of promise; alphabetized, categorized and waiting to be clicked.
It used to be that I simply could not read all the posts. I tried to keep my list confined only to bloggers that I found savvy, smart, well spoken and truly entertaining. The mediocre and the mundane I ruthlessly bypassed.
Still, my list was lengthy. I had to pick and choose, and it was an agonizing process. I mourned every post that had to be overlooked, wondering what I had missed.
Finally, reluctantly, I had to pare down. But I always had more than enough fare to satisfy me.
Lately? Days can go by without any new posts appearing in my feed reader.
What is happening?
During the last three years or so, blogging experienced a huge surge in popularity and blogs have become a huge cog in the wheel of social media.
But somewhere along the way, the real appeal and value of blogging got lost amid a glut of commericialism, elitism, and competition.
It became more about being important and less about being good. It became more about belonging to the right group, than writing the right things. It became more about making a buck than making a point.
I've always enjoyed the give and take of blogging. The interaction is satisfying and I don't think anybody would deny that. If getting comments wasn't part of the allure, we would all still be scribbling in journals and notebooks and hiding them under our mattresses.
But there has always been a lack of equilibrium that is puzzling and for some, demoralizing. I always thought that would be the downfall of blogging.
That may or may not prove to be the case.
But now, there are even more social media platforms. More ways for some to soar to the heights of popularity while others who are equally wonderful languish in anonymity.
It's mind boggling.
I really don't understand how people keep up with all them, or the obligations that come with them. It takes a lot of time and effort to cultivate a following on any single one. I can't see how anyone could keep up with so many unless they were spending every waking moment online, and making serious sacrifices in their personal lives.
I have always taught my kids to find a thing they love, do it, and do it the best they can do it. Be really great at one thing, not sorta good at a lot of things.
I think a lot of people will disagree with that.
I believe in being well rounded, but I don't believe in compromising something really special for something that only satisifies on a superficial level. There has to be a deeper sense fulfillment.
Blogging is it for me. Because it satisfies my need to write while working through the many issues that arise in the life of a wife and mother. It gives me the opportunity to interact on a meaningful level with people that I might not ever meet otherwise. And it enables me to continue honing my skills for the day that I finally have the courage to write that novel.
I realized early on that I don't have to buy into the aspects of blogging that I find distasteful. And I haven't. For me, it always been about the written word, nothing more. I've made a concerted effort to keep it that way.
Blogging in it's purest sense, the way it was in the beginning, is what I love.
The rest of it? Twitter...Plurk...Stumbleupon...Digg. Nah. Not interested.
They seems less, somehow, in a multitude of ways. There's no nobility in them. No deeper purpose.
God, I sound like an oldster bemoaning the loss of the local soda fountain, don't I? I guess it's an apt comparison. In the digital age, the Blogosphere became the biggest, most diverse soda fountain ever known. All the coolest kids hung out there and the flavors were endless.
Sigh. Those were the days. Some day, you kids will understand.
In the meantime, I have my memories...
The point is,
Blogs aren't stupid. But maybe, they are becoming passe. And if that's the case, I'll be passe as well. Because I won't be moving on to any of the other so called "social media" sites. (except Facebook, where I have all of 28 friends).
So if you're quitting the blogosphere, I guess this is good-bye.
It was nice knowin ya. Fer reals.