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Defending My New Habit

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!

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8 thoughts on “Defending My New Habit

  1. Interesting. I suppose the bottom line is that we all relate to different mediums. Facebook and Twitter do nothing for me (sorry on the Twitter front, I know you’re a fan!). I don’t think that blogging can be categorized very easily. I frequent blogs which vary in general content to an online diary, gardening, cooking, political activism – and that’s the beauty of it for me. Sorry I haven’t visited for a while… I added your blog to my blog roll and for some reason it wasn’t there so I wasn’t seeing your updates! Have added again.

  2. Popping over from #silentsunday.

    Interesting, have mixed feelings on this as starting to feel all blogged out myself, but agree with you on the therapeutic qualities of writing. Do think we sometimes don’t appreciate some things unless we view them through media, at expense of what is real and immediate in the moment as it happens. Also, there can be something cliquey about blogging sometimes (and feeling that worth is somehow measured in how many followers you have, or whether you are getting sponsored reviews, or number of page clicks….and I have to plead guilty to a mild obsession on the latter myself) which can ignore the hard slog of making a difference in less dramatic or calculable ways in the real world.

    On the other hand, there is a real sense of community in some blogging, connections are forged in a way that would have been impossible in the pre-digital world.

    Guess, as ever, it’s about balance and where you fit in. And, ironically, guess that grumpy columnist is practising the opposite of what he preaches.

  3. Interesting. Well, I am pretty sure that there are some bloggers who just want to show off etc. I think I mostly do it to interact with people and get to know some new people. I guess we are all a bit narcissistic and that is completely fine. But I don’t need my blog to feel like “somebody”. I don’t know, for me it is fun and I enjoy it and that is reason enough for a blog. I am usually a very private person so I would NEVER EVER be a part of Big Brother. 🙂
    Have a fun Sunday!

  4. Blogging has gotten me through a lot. It is my own little paradise, a little world that I run off to. I think I do tend to share more on the blog than I do on Facebook nor twitter. I’ve learned so much from a community that I am so blessed to be a part of. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people that I don’t think I would be able to meet everyday, geographically speaking.

  5. Yes I think I too would have been a little miffed too reading that about the blogging community.. While I have never joined either FB or Twitter, I can see its appeal.. But have seen many a family split through listening to accounts from colleagues who didnt like their families photos or ‘tell tails’ being bandied about in public.. which I sympathise with..

    I have found blogging a wonderful way to connect and learn and share as well as be inspired and admire the many talents out there among ‘Ordinary Folk’ who without the bogging plateform would not venture to share their poems or art, cooking skills and DIY tips..
    I like you am not on it 24/ 7 unlike some I know.. Home and family come first.. But its helped me feel part of a bigger community..
    Yes I agree our neighbours are often strangers.. and our Communities are lacking communication.. But then so are families… as they no longer sit tog at the dinner table and prefer to converse via texts conversations as they sit with phones in hand…

    Its good you are enjoying your blog.. I too have always kept a bedside journal.. and writing out our feelings is very therapeutic..

    I for one look forward to your updates..
    but forgive my absences as my work load is varied and at times demanding in its own unsocial hours..

    Take care and I hope you find more things to do with Beetroot! LOL
    Sue xox

  6. I think you and I, as ex-media sorts, entered our respective fields because of our natures and our creativity and need to communicate. As a long time columnist I truly have missed my column and I found blogging gave me an avenue in which to express myself much as I did with my column. Albeit I don’t get paid for my blog. As for Facebook, I use it, but not obsessively, but actually it is also populated by a lot of blogger friends. My wife just loathes it and doesn’t understand why people go there.

  7. Facebook is kind of bleh for me. If my blog’s FB page wasn’t linked to my personal page I’d probably delete my personal page.

    I use Twitter as a way to interact with my blog readers. And I always take personal offense whenever someone insults blogging. I have made such great friends through blogging, people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I LOVE this community.

    P.S. What do you ‘Give A Cup’ about? Come tell me and enter my Peet’s Coffee Giveaway!

  8. Preach on sista and ignore the haters. I started blogging for me and it slowly grew into something for others as well. And if I can share a little, give a little and make some good friends in the process, I’ll continue doing it.

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