Several posts about social media were supposed to precede this one. Then life happened. In hindsight, if I could have predicted certain events, 2011 would have been one of the worst years to start a blog. A year later, I am somewhat surprised that this blog is still here.
Blogs are (as we all know) time-consuming. Everyone blogs for their own personal reasons, I can only write about my own experience as a "hobby blogger". Blogging does not offer the same relaxation or benefits that some of my other hobbies or passions do. In my case, painting, reading and writing. They are mostly solitary activities and are not intended to be shared. I do not sketch or write into my journals thinking about submission or publication. They simply offer a diversion and the enjoyment of creating something for myself.
Blogging is different. It is meant to be shared. Publicly.
Blogging was not on my list of "things to do". It seemed like a huge waste of time; I am not promoting anything, I was not looking for on-line friends nor am I one of the digital natives, who is willing to trade privacy for social media.
I was aware of the stats related to compensation through blogging. Less than 10% of bloggers earn any remotely significant revenue through their blogs. An even smaller percentage are able to rely on blogging for their full-time income and those are usually tech bloggers. The only way I was going to join the blogosphere (beyond commenting) is to treat it as a new hobby and have fun.
Personally, the most challenging part was that the posts that I had planned to write took too much time and I had to get used to the idea that I was publishing unfinished and unedited posts. In the absence of time, I frequently thought of returning to commenting, but instead posted cat videos. *Ahem*. No one told me blogging was going to be addictive.
I think that it goes beyond having fun and reading shared experiences. I have heard the term "social evolution" being applied to our new digital age. We are communicating across all boundaries, forming friendships with people whom we will probably never meet, but that are no less genuine. (For a recent post on virtual friendships see Vinny C.) This particular aspect of social media breaks all demographic barriers.
Our backgrounds, place of origin, age-groups, gender and/or level of education are virtually irrelevant. It is our thoughts, opinions and writing that matter. Within moments any of us is in the company of writers, thinkers, artists, poets, scientists, humorists etc. as suits our needs and schedules. There is an unspoken mutual respect for acknowledging individual copyright or ideas. In this particular community, I have yet to encounter the lack of tolerance for diverging opinions that I sometimes come across in other social media platforms. If this is social evolution, I want to be an active participant.
Thank you for visiting. Nice to meet you all.
And zere ya go.