I mean, is there really any doubt?
I know one thing, I used to write things on the internet. Sometimes they were interesting, sometimes they were complete drivel. But the key was, I wrote them. I sat down at my computer, I opened a blog post window and I wrote. These days, I’m more likely to open a rapid succession of Facebook and Twitter windows and read things other people have written. Some of them interesting, some complete drivel. I still write, but it’s more fragments and pieces of thoughts than what I would have otherwise have formed into complete phrases within a blog post a few years back.
Each tweet, each status update have given me a sense of completion, but they’re just a taste. They’re nothing like that thrill of hitting the “publish” button on a long-form work that you’ve given serious thought and contemplation to. I’m sure it’s somewhere near what a novelist feels when they hit the return key at the end of a completed chapter. It’s that sense of fear in knowing your thoughts will be read, but also, that satisfaction in knowing you’ve created something and you’ve put yourself out there to be critiqued. And well, that counts for something, doesn’t it?
Basically, this is a post about how I haven’t posted. And my struggle to figure out why. I’ve had an idea of something to write for going on a year now. And I just haven’t written it. This would have bothered me a few years ago. Back then, I wrote something just about every day. It was more of a journal of my day’s events than anything. But I took great care to fashion each post. I designed the site with great attention to detail. I took a lot of pride in my silly, little Xanga page. And now I laugh a lot when I go back and read through it. But the point is, it’s still there. You can still go and read all the thoughts, emotions and events of my life for the span of well over three years. It’s riveting material, let me forewarn you. Wikipedia rabbit-trails have nothing on my Xanga site.
This is also a post about how I’m not quitting Facebook.
I feel like I’ve read blog posts about this sort of phenomena before. And usually all of them end with the author resigning himself to quitting Facebook/Twitter and only posting on their blogs from here on out. That’s great and all, except for the mere fact that no one will read anything you’ll write from here on out. There are a few exceptions, but on the whole everyone looks to Facebook to see what’s going on in their world. Facebook (and Twitter to a lesser extent) has become the only online social hub. We’ve all taken it’s mark. There is no socializing outside it.
That’s a bit drastic, I know. But it’s the future, and I’ve accepted that. It grieves me a little that sites like Xanga aren’t the social epicenter anymore. But I get why they died, they weren’t instant enough. They had a lazy pace to them. But I think it was that lazy pace that made it easier for deliberate thinkers like me to keep stride with our quicker-witted online peers.
The internet is just getting so fast. And I can’t keep up.
I log on, read about everyone else’s day, maybe type a few words and then close up shop. When I had my Xanga, life was the only thing that kept me from updating it. These days, it’s the internet that keeps me from updating about my life.
I suppose I could just resolve myself to write more. And I’m going to do my best (starting with that post I’ve been thinking up for about a year). After all, my Birkman report told me that, above all, I’m a “Literary”-type, and that I’m not completely fulfilled unless I’m consistently writing or doing something close to it. The fact remains, though: the internet has changed. And so too, must my expectations.
Thanks to anyone who has stuck around to read my infrequent writings on this site, I certainly appreciate your patience. I truly hope to get to a post of more substance shortly (it’s relevancy window is closing rapidly).
Until then…completion is just a click away.
P.S. - In this same online writing vein, a few friends and I have started an online newspaper detailing the insignificant minutiae of our daily lives. It’s more for us than you but it’s a good time regardless. It’s called “The 6th Degree”, and you can check it out here.
######Note: This was originally posted on an old Squarespace blog of mine. Most of the references, links and jokes are probably dead.