I get email on my phone now, and maybe that's the problem. The easy access, the siren call of the flashing red light, the immediate notification - I was drawn in to the cycle without even realizing it. I don't even have to get online anymore to check Facebook, that amazing time-suck of a social media site. Yeah, that's right....my phone lets me know of any relevant changes or postings on there as well. This burgundy piece of equipment is singlehandedly destroying my relationship with the World Wide Web.
Or is that just an excuse? Is it easier for me to blame the demise of my long-term love affair with all things Internet on this sexy little newcomer in my life? Or does it run deeper than that? Perhaps it was inevitable - all good things must come to an end, or so they say. I don't know if it's similar to the New Car Phenomenon, where you decide you MIGHT be in the market for a new vehicle and then suddenly you seem surrounded, INUNDATED, by new car ads, specials, promotions, enticements...but the few times I have gotten online lately and clicked through to some of my favorite blogs, I have been met with goodbye messages. So it's not just me, I tell myself. See, other people are having this issue as well.
What is it with blogging lately? I'm just not satisfied anymore. I don't need you like I used to, blogging. It's not you, it's me. Or is it?
Maybe it's that many of the top bloggers out there, the ones I read all those years ago and made this whole endeavor seem so appealing, have turned "corporate" - they write for the money, whether that be product placement posts or merely for the increase in traffic that fuels their ad revenue. And something about that just hits me as SO disingenuous. Not that I am against the free market or capitalism or making money with your talents - because I'm all about it. But mainly because what drew me into blogging in the first place was the rawness of the expression, the naked openness of saying "this is my story, and I want you to know it". And that theme gets lost rather quickly in all the recipe contests and giveaways and corporate sponsorship of 3-year old birthday parties that I feel like I read about more than anything these days. As such, I haven't even OPENED my feed reader in probably three weeks. If I am online with an itch to read blogs, I click through my page to about 4 or 5 different sites, and (imagine this) NONE of them are sponsored by anyone or anything. In fact, most of then net less than 10 comments per post and seem to be genuinely unconcerned by that fact. It's refreshing.
So what to do? I don't really want to stop writing. I like writing; like the stringing of words together to create coherent thoughts and occasionally funny anecdotes that I would otherwise probably forget. I enjoy the catharsis of putting swirling emotions in order and organizing them in written form on a page, and then hitting publish and feeling like the whole situation has been solved. I'm not giving that up. But what I AM giving up is the pressure to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. I'm not going to host recipe contests, or jump around seventeen different social media sites and seventeen HUNDRED blogs just trying to up my traffic or stats. If I don't post for a week or a month, I'm not going to concern myself with what my readership is doing, or if they're going elsewhere for their fix. Let's be honest, I obviously haven't concerned myself with that last issue much in the first place, since my last Project Runway recap has been up for over a month at this point.
And you know what? It's not because I don't love having people who read my blog, and even less because I don't love the individual people who read my blog, because guess what? I DO love you guys. I know many of you in real life already, and I have gotten the chance to meet a couple of you that I otherwise knew exclusively online, and there are many of you who (and you know this) I am DYING to meet. Much like my store, which gives me no end of grief on a regular basis, my favorite part of blogging has got to be the friends I have made through doing it. And so there's another reason to continue, because I'll never believe that I've met all the amazing people there are to meet in this world.
So what's my point, you ask? Well, maybe there isn't one. Maybe this is one of those cathartic posts, and now that I've expressed to blogging how I'm falling out of love with it, we can get back on track. Or maybe blogging has changed, and we do need to break up. But since I'm still writing, and you're still reading, it looks like we're still on. Maybe all I wanted to say is that 2008 has been one of the weirdest years of my life; in some ways one of the best and in some ways one of the very worst. And yet, even though this year has been absolutely packed full of experiences and changes, my blog reflects almost none of that. I am tired of not getting to tell the stories I want to tell on here because I am constantly afraid of who I'll inadvertently offend with MY story, with MY life. And maybe I'm not going to be afraid of that so much anymore.
So maybe this isn't a breakup, blogging. But I gotta tell you - things have got to change a bit for this to work out for us. You have to be a little less commercialized and popularity-contesty, and I am going to be a little less scared of offending those few people out there with something I say that has nothing to do with them. I mean let's be honest, they were going to be offended by SOMETHING, anyway. Might as well be me :)
Also, Lydah wanted to say hello. She says that if she doesn't care about laying in a dirty fire pit, then everyone can just get over...well, just about everything. She also wants to add that her ears are just perfect, aren't they? And also that she would very much like to go camping again, and if any of you can make that happen, please drop her a line at TheGorgeousLydah@gmail.com. Yeah, she really is THAT conceited.