A little while ago when I was at the dentist, I read an article, admittedly from a very old magazine, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since.
Basically it was a piece by someone who was clearly irritated by the whole social networking trend. It was quite witty and well-observed, I suppose! He said Facebook was just a platform for people to show off and as a result they had stopped enjoying the best moments in their lives because they are always too busy thinking how best to encapsulate them in their next update. I suppose I share that view to an extent as I’m not a huge fan, and I admit to maybe being guilty of what he said.
But then he moved on to Twitter and what he saw as the complete futility of “micro-blogging”. He said it comes from living in a very narcissistic age where unless people are recognised, they cease to exist – hence the need for a huge following. He said that in the real world, most tweeters were probably very uninteresting little people. I took great exception to that!
Most of his bile, however, was reserved for the blogging community which he said was an utter waste of time.
He questioned exactly what sort of person feels the need to give information to the world in a blog and then he went on to answer by saying it was losers who clearly have a lack of identity because they need to share who they are. Blogging, he said, was a way of making sure you are connected to someone and most bloggers are the types who secretly wish they had the guts to be on Big Brother.
I was a bit miffed. Maybe because I recognised something in what he said, but certainly not all of it.
Why have I started writing a blog? Is it to do with proving I have some sort of identity, now that I am not working ?? I don’t think so. I think it’s more about feeling safe enough to share what I am up to or how I feel about stuff. But why do I need to do that? Is it narcissm to want to document that for public consumption? I’m not sure now.
As for Big Brother, I gave up watching that a long, long time ago when it stopped being a vaguely interesting social experiment and became a showcase for a group of loons that just want to be famous for the sake of being famous. Bloggers aren’t like that….are they? I certainly have no desire to be on that or any other reality show. I’m not that much of a wannabe.
But, if I’m really honest, I suppose deep down I do wish I was a “someone”. Which is why, maybe, since stopping work I have spent some considerable time exploring my creative side with lots of writing and acting. Maybe, that’s why I have strongly encouraged my son in his desire to perform and create. I’ve done my motherly duty in warning him that he is entering a cut-throat industry where few make it but I also feel I owe it to him to encourage his dreams. And of course if he does make it, I’ll be a “someone” through him….
However, I don’t think that’s what my blog is about and I have taken that article quite personally because it seemed to demean and mock my desire to just write.
I only started this online diary in March and haven’t had time to post more than once a week but I have enjoyed writing my little entries and the one on my Dad I found most therapeutic.
I’ve always believed that writing really helps improve emotional wellbeing. I’ve known from when I used to keep a handwritten journal, that the act of writing allows you to explore your inner self in a deep and intimate way. My blog will never become a public confessional but I think, over the weeks and months it will become a great sounding board.
I love that I am already part of a little community that put out all sorts of blogs. Ones that are quite personal and moving, ones that invite discussion, records of parenthood, ones that contain the most amazing poetry, and so on. There are no rules but each one satisfies the writer ….and me, the reader.
For me, this community offers a good platform to vent fear, anger, humour or depression, and it’s also a good way to get different perspectives.
So, now I have given it some thought, I’ve decided that actually, I don’t care what that grumpy bloke said – I’m not going to give up my blog anytime soon!