I have been a blogger since 2005*. Social media “happened” majorly somewhat during 2007 and onwards. My own personal blog started showing signs of being unloved (by it’s own author) in about 2008 or so – which seemed to coincide with the rise of Facebook.
To put it in very briefly – I think my blogging capacity decreased as I spent more energy chronicling life on Facebook.
Blogging was and is a way of chronicling, finding the humour in every day situations, and ultimately an emotional & artistic release for me. I have so many, many, MANY thoughts at any given point of time, and I often struggle to put them across verbally (aside from the thought of “who would even listen to all of that“). But give me a laptop (I am a millennial after all – though I still write a lot using pen and paper #journalling #planneraddict) and some free time, and I find myself making sense of my own thoughts through my writing.
A little side effect of the rise of Facebook, and reduction in personal blogging (talking completely about my own self and life, but this is not untrue in a general sense either), was a reduced sense of expression.
The thing with social media posting is this:
The Newsfeed is the bane of authentic, in the moment, completely genuine and undistressed expression.
The thing with the Newsfeed is this. Every time I want to say something, I KNOW that it will be slapped across on several people’s newsfeeds against their will, really. It feels a little like taking a microphone and announcing something out to the world. Unsolicited. Which is why I find myself trying to filter my expression, thinking eleventy billion times about whether it will be “accepted”, whether it will make sense to anybody else.
It feels a little like walking across the road, shouting about my thoughts and feelings. Sure, some might find it amusing, many might throw some signs of approval/ relatability my way in the form of likes and comments, some may shut their windows (scroll past), but it does feel like its directed at people in general/specific.
Whereas, blogging is the opposite.
It is just a pure outpour of one’s own thoughts and feelings (or whatever else), without really any expectation or even knowledge of who is consuming it. If someone seeks out my writing, they will find it (i.e. come specifically to read my blog or see my post on their feed reader – do those still exist by the way? I miss Google Reader….)
Blogging is not directed at any body. It is purely for my own sense of expression. Surprisingly though, over the years I have made new friends through my various blogs – but I have not made a single new friend through Facebook. This might not be true for many people who do in fact find friendships and meet like minded people through social networks.
May be because I deeply care about the inner workings of people, and not so much about their outward daily activities that blogging is a better channel for me (for expression and also to share space with minded souls). For example, I don’t care about what people do as their job. I don’t think doing the same job as me makes someone more of a kindred spirit. I do think that having similar views on relationships, life philosophies how to deal with situations, is far more of a connecting factor for me. Blogging gives a deeper opportunity to be more meaningful and to express oneself without word limits, or the fear of being judged by your peers #NewsfeedShame I get to see (and express) more of the inner side of things through blogging.
Social media is great for chronicling outer things (I like this little categorisation of “inner things vs. outer things”) like social gatherings, travel, work stuff, memes, brief views & opinions on culture, sports and politics (which, if my Newsfeed is to be representative of an average newsfeed, is about 95% of things).
Blogging is great for chronicling inner things like relationships with others and the self, extended views and thoughts which go into the “whys” and give more insight on the inner workings of a person, inspirations, aspirations, chronicles of the mundane and little moments which may not gather too many likes, but may comprise 95% of one’s life, worthy of being relived (reread) after years. Also, because there is no scope of #NewsfeedShame, words tend to tumble out effortlessly (wait, is this why it’s called Tumblr????) and authentically, feelings expressed more unabashedly and without fear of judgment.
I absolutely love going back and reading what my teenage self wrote more than a decade ago. I had been doing a lot of soul searching, identity searching kind of work last year (for example, that right there is a sentence that would never make it to any of my social media posts because it is way.too.bare.for.the.newsfeed.) and my old blog was an absolute goldmine. I even found myself being counselled by the wise words of my teenage and uncensored self.
That’s why I find personal blogging so very different in form and spirit. It is nothing more than a digital diary left open for anyone to come and read at their own free will.
*with a little break during my “lawyer years”, and resumed in 2015 with my photography website blog (granted, not the same as a personal blog, but not nothing either)