Blogs are strictly short-memory-span-affairs. I’d love to start one. And startle the world with my wit and wisdom.
It will not become a diary, if I can help it, there is one of those already, handwritten in children’s exercise books, rather ‘pooterish’, along the lines of ‘and then I did this and then I did that’. There is the risk that blogging might become too self-absorbed an activity, something I do by myself, in my study, while life happens elsewhere, without me. On the other hand, I might find a way to write a ‘proper’ blog, whatever that may be, something to advertise to other bloggers, if any of them ever find their way to my portal.
Blog entries will probably be no more than ephemeral writings that can be continued or stopped at any time, which mean as much or as little as the momentary thought; strictly self-indulgence and introspection, the sort of stuff that was once called navel gazing; a collection of musings, scribblings, memories, moans, joys and the occasional flash of inspiration.
Format and frequency of writing must be flexible, honesty will be paramount; after all, nobody will ever know who I am.
The whole idea is brand-new, it only came to me while I was walking the dog this afternoon.
I’ll call it Friko’s Musings.
This is what I wrote in November 2008, when the idea of blogging first came to me. I knew no other bloggers then, it was something periodically mentioned in newspaper articles as occupying the young, the self-interested and computer literate or, on the other side, journalists and others who saw it as a form of public service and a source of information.
It still took me two months to get past the stage of politely coughing on the wrong side of the door into blogland, waiting for somebody to invite me in, before taking a deep breath and jumping in, with a post which was more than just a tentative clearing of the throat, a post where I risked voicing an opinion and coming out into the open. After all, nobody would ever find me.
It took until March before I had my first comment and from then on I wrote more regularly, with comments coming in painfully sparsely but regularly. By the summer I had my first follower. I had also learned to explore blogland myself, finding blogs I liked and visited. Blogland etiquette demands that you visit people, that you reply to comments and leave comments. Nowadays, I visit blogs new to me and leave comments, if I have something to say; but if there is no reply or return visit, I soon drop them.
I am still very careful about telling anybody I know ‘in real life’ that I blog, it’s mostly embarrassment though; nobody has ‘come out’ to me either.
There have been many blogposts in my time online exploring the joys or otherwise of blogging, the reasons for and against, the benefits and pitfalls of blogging, etc. The majority of bloggers praise the wonderful opportunities for making friends, for getting feedback, for learning about other countries and people of other nations; there are bloggers who use the medium to collect stories for their children, who become their own historians; there are those who talk about hard times, whose blogs are part of a therapy to overcome the most gruesome experiences in the safety of an anonymous blog; many bloggers want to share the good times too and tell us about particularly pleasant, funny, times. There are poets and writers and artists, there are housewives and granddads and house-bound people, whose outlet on the world is the internet; there are well people and sick people, old people and young people, in fact, ‘all human life is here’ and, for my part, long may it continue.
Writing a blog encourages me to think over what makes me feel good, what makes me happy. Because I also post photographs, I carry a little camera with me everywhere, which means that I look at the world around me much more attentively than before. I notice so much more than I used to do, blogging is helping me to stay alert and alive to possibilities.
Yes, blogging may be the ‘ultimate form of narcissism’, or ‘the ultimate in self-indulgence’, or even a ‘fake form of communicating’; yes, ‘friends and followers’ may be total strangers whom we might not like if we met them; yes, finding something worth saying is very hard and we may rarely, if ever, achieve it. (all quotes found in newspaper articles).
Instantaneous access to millions of other people via the internet is not always a good thing, a lot has been written about the harm that could be done; of course we could also all bore each other to death.
Online interaction brings pleasure and convenience to millions, including me; I would never have met as many friendly, informative, clever, funny, interesting, and like-minded people anywhere else in so short a space of time. I have also been fortunate in that I have yet to come across any abusive, offensive and humourless bloggers. Once or twice misunderstandings have occurred, jokes may misfire, the tone of voice may get lost in the writing and there is no body language to be read. Not every blog I dip into enthralls me and my unfocussed ramblings, which are Friko’s Musings pure and simple and lay claim to neither literary nor any other merit, cannot be of the slightest interest in the great scheme of things.
So, on this almost anniversary, having well and truly entered the wonderful world of bloggers, my polite little cough has vanished for good and I make no apologies for staying put.
Friends and Followers, stay with me.
Friends and Followers, stay with me.