Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

In my own glory days of blogging, I wrote an average of just over seven posts a month. I also read a handful of other blogs that were updated regularly, not including the blogs of my family and friends, which were also updated quite frequently. That was almost five years ago. Nowadays, I find the blogosphere—or at least the parts of it where I used to hang out, including my own blog—to be largely deserted. Desolate. Quiet. Several of the blogs I used to read are now defunct. Some linger on, but the posts are few and far between, and often brief. This isn’t a complaint. It’s just an observation, though admittedly one that makes me a tiny bit sad. I felt quite connected to my family when we all maintained our blogs and took the time to comment on each other’s posts. Now it’s hard to find the time to write, it’s hard to find the time to read, and if we do take the time to read, it’s hurried, and we don’t bother leaving a comment. So nobody feels like they’re really talking to anybody. And that doesn’t really motivate me to write, personally. I keep it up because this is largely my only form of journal keeping, and I want to do that. But my posts have been dwindling lately. And it doesn’t much seem to matter.

Ironically, I feel much more dissociated from people now that everyone has migrated from Blogger to Facebook. The real-time updates of Facebook are better than nothing, but they don’t strike me as very engaging, notwithstanding the ability to comment on anything anyone says. A Facebook status update is nothing compared to a thought-out, or even a stream-of-consciousness, blog post. I don’t feel like I’ve really connected with anyone on an emotional or psychological level just because I’ve read their latest 10-word status update. And I don’t feel any more connected even when certain people update their status about ten times an hour. It’s just too passive. It’s people tossing out a witty quip, or leaving the equivalent of a two-second voicemail to no one in particular on a public answering machine. When people feel they are meeting their interpersonal needs by typing “Hey you! Miss you! Write to me sometime!” on someone’s Facebook profile, or clicking the “Like” button underneath someone’s public, third-person declaration that he/she is “going to need a lot of coffee to get through this day! LOL!”, isn’t that a bit depressing?

Don’t get me wrong – I hang out on Facebook and am glad I do. When a family member was recently hospitalized, I only knew about it because I saw someone’s comment to another person buried in a list of invitations to start up my own virtual farm and try to outscore a dude I haven’t seen since fourth grade on Bejeweled. So Facebook has its perks. And certain people would probably have the same complaints about blogging itself that I do about social networking sites. But somehow blogging feels a little more personal to me. A little more like communication. Alternatively, it seems to me that instant communication threatens to put an end to any meaningful communication whatsoever, simply because anyone who has more than one sentence to share (what a blabbermouth!) is bogging everyone else down. Anyone else agree? Or better yet, did anyone even read this?


  1. I totally agree! FB perpetuates the modern, technology-caused problem of shallow, superficial, and very much distanced relationships. I remember being so bugged when I got my first message of FB. I wondered why someone couldn't take the time to send me an email. When did emailing start taking too much time? I do it now, though. It is convenient and you get in touch with people fast. And I like updating my status because the things I put on there, I would never blog about. So if family reads my blog and my status, they will know a bit more about my life and feelings than they would otherwise.

    Family, do you know about Google Reader? It's an easier way to check if someone has updated a blog; you don't have to pull up each individual blog.

  2. I love reading peoples blogs and I am an avid supporter of google reader. I often don't write blogs because I think I don't have the time or I don't find my ramblings very entertaining or relevant. On the facebook thing, I tried it and I'm just not into it. I totally agree with you, I don't care what you are doing updating your status ten times a day while you are at work, but I do care about the story or musing that you write about on your blog. Plus I tire of the endless friend invites from people whom I barely know that just want to up their friend count. BLECH!

  3. I have been having this conversation quite a bit lately with people. I just haven't gotten into the facebook thing. Am I too old for it? Maybe.

    I still write on my blog, but not nearly as much as I use to. Last year I wrote 50% more than I have this year. I too know a lot of people who have stopped writing on their blogs. I understand why, but I'm sad that they don't write anymore. I always found it a lot more interesting to read about the lives of my friends and family than to hear about Hollywood celebrities or politicians or other people I just don't really about.

    I write because it is my journal. Sure I could just type up a journal and save it on my computer, but I like the way I write a whole lot better when I know their might be an audience. I am not near as witty and entertaining as you, but in the past couple of years I've written a blog I've noticed I am much better at conveying my feelings in writing.

    Thanks for writing a blog. I remember when Chad first told me you had a blog and I was like, "what the heck is a blog and why would somebody want to do that?" It took me a year before I started doing my own, but I am so glad I did. It's a treasure that I am so glad I've written.

  4. I KNOW!!! Remember back when I blogged? Then Facebook happened. I tried, oh I tried, to keep blogging. And then, I didn't! To this day I go back and forth between just saying, well, it was a good time, been there done that (as with radio controlled aviation, beekeeping, and several other past hobbies) or revive it. I still like to think it will live again. (Of course, it is possible to write notes in Facebook to one's heart's content as well. I have not yet)

  5. Wow, Andy! Very long time, no see! I certainly do remember you as one of my regular reads (and readers). Good to see you again! I actually have poked my head in on your blog every once in a long while to see if anything new appears. Let me know if you ever get it up and running again. I, for one, would happily revisit it!