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?