I’ve done the exact same thing as the author of the article: sat at my desk and stared at the blank address bar of my web browser, wanting to waste time but not knowing how to do it. Like him, I’ve ended up at a news site, which is why I laughed at the following line.
Eventually, I typed “nytimes.com” and hit enter. Like a freaking dad. The entire world of the internet, one that used to boast so many ways to waste time, and here I was, reading the news. It was even worse than working.
The author talks about how Facebook and Twitter replaced a lot of the fun things on the internet, among them forums and personal blogs. I remember a small circle of blogs I used to follow: Radioshak, Ariane Sherine, Hattie Hattie and Random Musings of a Josh among them. One by one, they stopped blogging with frequency. Most stopped altogether. Some URLs don’t even work anymore. That was okay for a long time because we had Facebook and Twitter, but then Facebook and Twitter stopped being fun and there I was reading the news again.
Blogs are funny things. They give us an insight to other people’s lives, many of whom we don’t even know but they’re surprisingly effective in connecting us to each other. I liked that about mine.
I also liked that I could write here without polish. I didn’t need to rewrite or edit. I could use an errant semicolon if I wanted to; look, here’s one. I could use a lazy cliché or leave the accent off cliche. I could dash off a post without too much thought or effort.
I stopped blogging because social media became my primary way to share random thoughts, but something was lost in that – nuance, yes, but also a level of honesty. Social media feels noisy and big and has a strong undercurrent of keeping-up-with-the-joneses and, with that, a need to put your best foot forward. I still use it, but in the way one might keep tonguing a painful ulcer.
Separate to that, in 2014, I started a travel blog, Atlas & Boots, which today is read by 200,000 people a month which is crazy when you consider this thing was only ever read by a hundred or so people a month. (I just checked and 339 was a record). Atlas & Boots is now my full-time job and takes up a lot of my time. I love it but I miss writing here. I miss the blogs I used to read. (Yay, btw, for Ariane who has started blogging again.)
So, anyway, that’s a long-winded way of asking if this thing’s still on or if blogging is well and truly dead.