I know that what I say here isn't going to be popular but I am hoping that it might help someone else who is feeling the same way, which was one of the reasons I started blogging. And, thanks to high school, I'm pretty used to feeling unpopular. So, here goes:
I feel left behind in this whole social networking craze. I once defended the internet because it was a way to build community where there was none but now, I see many friends I have communicated with in thought and word via blogs turning to social networking and in turn, neglecting their blogs. So I tried popping onto Facebook via my husband's page (which he doesn't ever use) and just couldn't get into it. It was all jumbled up and not very orderly which made me feel like I needed to tidy up and declutter. If I want to feel like that, I just have to walk into my kids' bedrooms! Then, I opened up a Twitter account, tried to pop around and see what people were talking about... and promptly had a panic attack. Seriously. All the chatter, all the conversation, all the virtual noise and I felt my chest tighten up, my heart race and my breathing get shallower and shallower. I felt like Professor X in a New York subway. Thankfully, it was not telepathy induced so I could turn it off before I started hyperventilating.
I don't want to offend anyone who enjoys these communication mediums, but I love blogs! A blog is a beautiful place filled with the character and spirit of the person who owns it. It offers pieces of them and their world. It opens your eyes to places, customs, family situations that you might not get to experience in your own world. Even if a blog is not visually beautiful, it can be intellectually beautiful and carry your mind to the pinnacles of thoughts you never could have imagined yourself. You can follow the conversations of the blog hostess and other readers and you can even choose to engage in those conversations as well. It is a notebook where you can quickly share a small silliness that you will just as quickly forget or a scrapbook to hold those precious things that you want to remember forever. And it can be a lovely place to share yourself with the world and a comfortable parlor to invite guests to come in and sit a spell with you. If blogging is like a home cooked meal, then social networking is fast food. And while fast food can work in a pinch, I'd rather enjoy a succulent pot roast with roasted sweet potatoes on the side.
Writing a blog post requires you to engage your thoughts and feelings and put them into words and phrases that will evoke a response from your audience. To those of us who aren't natural writers, there is literally a little bit of our blood, sweat and tears in every post. To read a blog is to occupy that place, that time, those tears, those feelings of the writer and to share them with her. You can let her know that they have inspired you or that you sympathize. Other people reading your comments can join in the conversation in a gentle but active way or in a passive, thoughtful way. It is a conversation that is open to everyone on their own comfort level whereas social networking feels like a thousand private conversations between everyone else, but not you, unless you join. The friendships that develop in the blog world are real friendships, but they are friendships that are almost completely based on communication. While some people are excited by this new means of communication and its potential, it is the equivalent of an exclusive club to those of us who can't keep up.
Sadly, I feel like some of those friendships that I thought I was developing have been cut off by social networking. In order to participate in those conversations, I now have to tweet or peep or read a wall. A wall... seriously? I feel left behind. I feel out of the loop. I feel dejected and a little rejected. I don't think those friendships were false. But now, I see some of those friends climbing onto the bandwagon and heading down a road that I can't go. So I'll just hang out here and work on making this place a truly beautiful space. And I'll keep popping over to see those friends with beautiful places that inspire me and hope I'll see them soon.