I used to LiveJournal every day. Every single day. I know, right? Me, the bad blogger?
Yes. I was very big into updating every day. Back then, I did a lot of fan fiction writing and costuming (namely Star Wars prequels and Regency and Civil War). If you look, you can find me there still I think, an abandoned journal since Russia or someone overseas bought them out. How did I do it? Wow. Every day. For like, 5 years, too.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. What has changed? Back then, in order to create a post with pictures, you had to use an actual camera because cell phone cameras were for crap (what? No way! Yes, way!), then upload said pictures to your computer, edit, and find somewhere to host unless you ponied up for a paying LJ account with some storage. I didn’t pony up for a long time and just used photobucket, you know, before they decided to charge for photo hosting on websites and such. (I miss those days. I loved photobucket then!) None of this smartphone, tablet camera stuff.
It was intentional journaling. It was a thoughtful, intentional crafting of my journey in sewing and writing (and sometimes life outside those), where I sat at my computer and thought hard about what to share and why. Some of it was emulating others I admired, but mostly it was the joy of sharing my enjoyment of costuming and fan fiction. (I’ll be surprised if anyone can actually figure out my fan fiction handles!) It was worth the effort to craft each entry every day. I made friends there. One of those friends helped me find my cover artist.
So what has changed? Obviously something has, since I can’t seem to post more than once or twice a month and they’re usually just fast drive-by posts. I’m not a bad blogger, I’ve decided. I’m a lazy blogger. There’s a difference. Seriously. Using an app for this has made me lazy. It’s so easy. I just click and type, maybe snap a pic or two, then hit post on the old iPad and forget about it. Like now. This has been on my mind enough that I’m up writing this while in the middle of a bad streak of insomnia (4 days now of waking at 2:30-3 unable to get back to sleep).
Hey, at least I’m writing, right?
More thinking. Is this worth it for me anymore? Trying to post daily or even weekly in a world where everyone is talking but no one seems to be listening to anyone?
I don’t think it is. As our culture has dived down more and more into this invasive ‘look at me’ Instagram, etc. focused culture, I’m finding myself pulling away hard and fast from social media swimming up trying to find some fresh air. (I know weird since I just posted about surgery…but it’s where I’m heading.) I’m not taking pictures like I did. I’m not interesting Tweeting or Facebook…or even blogging.
Burn the heretic!
Yes, I’m joking, but our culture has become so focusing everyone doing the ‘gram or whatever that every day pleasures are being lost in the gallop to upload every moment to the cloud and for likes and attention.
A short story: My daughter graduated college 3 years ago. I was supposed to be in charge of taking pictures with the iPhone and while I did because I was asked to, I feel like I never got to experience her graduate. It was seen through the lens of the phone, trying to keep it lined up and such, over in seconds. I did experience it, yet the camera, that need for even more pictures than what we were already getting, removed joy from me. It isolated me from a moment I’d been waiting for. Yes, I did feel resentful. But since I’m a grown ass woman, I forgave my family and dealt with it.
I guess that was the beginning of the end. I don’t use instagram or hardly even any other social media. I have Twitter and do occasionally tweet a bit. Blech. I don’t take thousands of pictures while on vacation. This was a long time ago, but does anyone remember the commercial of a young woman in front of her computer on Facebook I think it was? She’s going on about the posts of what everyone is doing and pitying her parents who aren’t even on there. Meanwhile, while she’s looking at cat pictures and pictures of people doing stuff, her parents are out mountain biking. They’re doing stuff. They’re living, not her. I love that commercial. Wish I could remember it better, like what it was even for. Maybe something for tourism somewhere? I feel it has captured our culture perfectly.
I guess what I’m getting at is that I’d rather be doing stuff than taking pictures of doing stuff. I’d rather live than wish I was living someone else’s life because social media told me I wasn’t good enough. I got enough of that crap reading teen magazines growing up. You know what? I am good enough how I am. My family is good enough and my career, while not anywhere near bestseller status, is good enough. I don’t need approval of the masses to live my life in the way I see fit.
I’m not abandoning this blog or anything. I’m just sharing recent thoughts that have been circling my mind.
So, for all you young things focused on the likes: stop. Get out there and live and quit giving a crap what people think. You don’t need the mass approval of strangers. Take a walk without taking pictures and just breathe the air and feel the sun on your face. Smell the snow or flowers. Live, don’t merely watch others living.