There are a lot of people not having fun with their blogs right now.
And it makes sense.
I’ve always thought of the internet (and blogging) as a big dance party.
And it sure was fun when we started dancing.
We danced together,
we danced alone,
we made up new, weird dances.
Supported each other, spun around and around.
Fell on our bottoms, laughed and helped each other up.
Who cared? ‘No one was watching, everyone was watching.
This was fun.
Then things got weird.
Blisters, cramping and messy toenails.
Self-proclaimed experts came to the floor.
Everyone came to the floor.
Salesmen and marketers.
Sheisters and shuckers.
Here came the new dancers, it felt crowded, as new blood always crowds the old.
Dancers didn’t understand the new rules,
made weird power grabs,
drew lines around themselves.
Old dancers didn’t have time for us.
New dancers tried something we weren’t into.
Old and new dancers grouped up in ways that didn’t have rules, and couldn’t be anticipated.
Then maybe it felt like everyone was doing a different dance.
We felt awkward and in the spotlight.
Like everyone was looking at us,
like no one was looking at us.
The dance floor got crowded.
Some people got invited up on the stage and were paid for dancing. But it didn’t make sense who and why. They were all dancing. Sexy dancers, dramatic dancers, dangerous dancers. Risky dancers, mostly.
Why were they being paid for dancing and not me?
Is this metaphor getting tired yet?
I’ll stop now.
Blogging got confusing.
Maybe it was Pinterest.
But not on purpose.
This medium has gotten a little away from us.
It seems to me like that the last time blogging was fun was a few years ago.
It was when blogs became less of a reflection of a way things were and more a reflection of what people wanted.
I’m going to say that again, because I feel it’s the main point of what I’m trying to say:
“Blogs became less of a reflection of a way things are and more a reflection of what people want.”
See, longing and hoping is a terrible way to live.
It creates jealousy.
A soul-hole. A void.
Back when we started blogging/dancing, we talked about our now, our pasts, our dreams. We shared what was real and happening in our lives. We weren’t promoting an aspirational lifestyle, we weren’t selling up.
We were in it.
We created connection through that real story.
It wasn’t “Boy, I wish I had this thing.” or
“Boy, you should wish you had this thing that I got for free.” or
“BOY, YOU SHOULD REALLY BUY THIS THING.”
There’s no connection really that can come of that, other than, “Wow, that’s cute!” or “I want that too!” or at worst “I wouldn’t choose that.”
That feels empty to me.
I suspect, it might feel empty to you.
That’s okay, we’re just tiny scientists. We have lots of time to evolve.
We can course correct.
This medium is our medium.
When we share our realities, the truth we’re experiencing right now, our collective wisdom, dreams and connections, we crack open the REAL opportunity of the internet.
This medium holds that opportunity, more than newspapers, television, radio or bull horns.
This medium holds the opportunity for real human connection.
Let’s not forget that.
And that dance floor?
It’s bigger than a football field,
bigger than 72,000 football fields,
bigger than the whole, wide world.
And all this time, we’ve been crowded in 20 square feet.
That’s more space than we know what to do with.