Saturday, August 6, 2016

Why Blog?

This weekend is my 20th high school reunion.  I decided not to go.  I was going to go to part of it, but I decided that I'd rather see the new Star Trek movie with my husband, get up early to go hiking with my parents, and have some downtime to get some sewing and relaxing done, than spend the weekend drinking and rafting and all sorts of other planned activities with a bunch of people I was never that close to & haven't seen for 20 years.

I guess I'm just a bit of a loner and curmudgeon, but I'm feeling okay with this decision.

However - the very fact that the reunion is happening gives pause to think.  20 years?! Already?

That's a bit staggering. Things change a lot in a decade. Even more in two.

When I was a senior in high school, I was addicted to my journal - an actual spiral-bound, cloth-cover book with a dark blue background, scattered with a celestial potpourri of golden suns, moons, stars, that I wrote in, by hand, with lots of different colors of pens every day. I had no readers.  I had no filters. I wrote what was on my mind, what was in my heart.  I wrote it just for me.

Somewhere in college, LiveJournal got wildly popular.  I tried making the switch from the private print pages of my journal to the glow of the computer screen, but it didn't really start to feel natural till a few years later when I had a blog as an extension of my MySpace page and I started my first Blogger blog for knitting as an extension of hanging out on the Knitty.com message boards.

Back then, people still had a lot of anonymity online and they shared a lot about themselves - not so much personal information, but personal thoughts & reflections... the types of things we were sharing just to ourselves before.

I think that those blogs were a lot more interesting, in many ways.

Now, it's still all about sharing with others, but in a smooth and polished way - professional photography, all the successes, tutorials, things for sale, sponsored reviews... you know, you're supposed to have a niche that makes you special and useful and gets you a lot of traffic so you can sell ads or get sponsors and make money from blogging.  There are a lot of blogs our there about how to make your blog better, more marketable, more profitable.

It just doesn't resonate with me. I'm just a person who likes to document my life for myself & maybe a few friends in one way or another. I'm not marketable now, just like I wasn't popular in high school... and it's actually a bit liberating to know that I'm so far from ever being that way, that there is no reason at all to try. But then - why blog, if no one is reading?  Why blog, if I am not teaching things or publishing patterns or taking super-fancy perfect photos, or just all-around being pretty and super-perfect at everything and showing the world how great I am?

Why?  I think it is just because I like taking time to reflect and to document my processes for myself - to seal the memory of things.  To look back on memories and be able to show the few people I care about a quick reference point of something I made that I think is cool. To avoid making the same mistakes over and over. To work out ideas.  To save information where I can find it again.  Lot of reasons... but they all sort of boil down to learning - learning about myself as I learn how to make better things. 

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