Friday, July 13, 2012

a case for non-vanity blogging

i'm in the midst of a blogging identity crisis. seriously.

i've been thinking a lot about taking my blog to "the next level"—although I'm still not quite sure what that even means. inserting a mario theme song and taking on more encounters with bowser? maybe. more likely, it means adding new and fancy features, posting more often, and adding to my follower base.

as i've explored the idea, i've browsed other blogs for inspiration, starting with familiar ones and following the long chain of clicks that brings me to someone living in belgium or someone with eight kids. how in the world did I get here?? what else is new...welcome to blogging, and the web in general.

anyway, the more i've read, the more i've noticed a theme throughout a lot of blogs: ME. (some) blogs are an outlet to showcase people's lives, kids, fashion, and brilliant ideas.

my friend and i used to joke that after a break up, we wish that we could have a megaphone shouting, "heather is okay! she's doing just fine without you...better, really." sometimes, i feel like blogs are that megaphone. "hello society, I'm doing wonderfully...better than you, in fact. just look at my adorable children, hot husband, and super creative, amazing life." my life over a loud speaker. holy moly, do i REALLY want people to see that?

it sounds crazy, right? and yet, we are entirely entertained. we desire to know how other people are spending their time and money, how they are raising their families, how they are dressing, what they are doing, which new DIY project they just accomplished—so that we can have some measure of our own success. 

when I really stop to think about it, i find utterly disturbing the amount of detail i know about someone's life, their pregnancy complications, the love notes they write to their husband, their diet issues, workout routine, etc. if i ever met that person, i would be quite embarrassed about how intimately i know them without actually knowing them. would we have anything to talk about? not much—i've already experienced everything they've ever done, ate, said, wore, and thought (and everything that their spouse, children, parents, and friends have ever done, ate, said, wore, and thought).

i saw a good friend last week and we talked a lot about the importance of community. the conversation caused me to think a lot about community in my own life—what it means and how i can be intentional about fostering it. i came to realize that in today's society, we straddle two versions: community and commuNETy. most of us engage in some type of face to face community—workplace, town, family, neighborhood, church, etc. but more and more, this type of community gives way to commuNETy. screens replace interpersonal relationships.

don't get me wrong here: i'm not opposed to modern technology or social media. i had an iphone, i blog, i sit at a computer for a living, i use Facebook and twitter, i'm learning html/css code. i'm just as entrenched as the rest of you. and really, there's nothing inherently wrong with any of it…as long as we can take moments to remove ourselves—to step back, consider our priorities and self-evaluate (hence this post).
right now, i hunger to be knit together with people in my local community, through face to face interactions, coffee dates, beach picnics and birthday celebrations. and while i do find inspiration in the blogging community, i also find a sense of detachment. without the interpersonal element, the organicness of relationships, the beauty of sharing life, my ability to feel full is much more limited (like when your mom told you not to eat junk food, but it tasted amazing and you binged..only to feel sick and hungry again later. then you grew up and discovered healthy, organic food that took more time to grow, cook, and digest, but left you feeling so much better after). everything in moderation, right? so, binge on the shallow stuff once in a while, but make the organic stuff your staple...and don't let your commuNETy replace your community.

1 comment:

  1. i like this post. i totally struggle with this on my own blog. i don't want to write all about me, me, me, and i also feel the need for real, face-to-face community over what you cleverly coin commuNETy. thanks for the reminder and encouragement!