Let's get right to it: we're all getting a little bored, aren't we? With blogs, I mean. For the last few months, I've sensed a general malaise going around the blogosphere. Readers aren't commenting as much, bloggers aren't blogging as much, and the draw and pull of blogs as a source of inspiration, connection, and information isn't what it once was. The new year brought the promise of change and with it, resolutions to blog more authentically, to focus and simplify, and bring things back to basics and in many ways, we bloggers are doing just that. But still...
I had the pleasure of addressing the marketing folks at The Home Depot yesterday, participating with Leigh-Ann and Ferg on a panel discussing "The Power of the Blog". It was a fascinating conversation, and the last question of the day was this: where do you see your blog and blogs in general in five years? I've thought about that question a lot lately. When I first started blogging, there was no Instagram, no Twitter, no Pinterest, no Facebook fan pages. Can you imagine? There was only blogs (and before that, chat boards) as a way of connecting with like-minded folks in an online two-way conversation. And it very much felt like that. I 'knew' most of my readers and would read their blogs too. Posts that generated 20-50-100+ comments were not unusual. It was a very supportive and social world because we were "all in this together".
And now... it all feels a little broken. Bloggers who used to blog now Pin instead. You might have a modest blog readership, but on Instagram, you're a superstar. Just like the end of highschool, your great group of friends have dispersed, following different paths, evolving into people you now have less in common with. We've grown up.
So where do we go from here? Why keep blogging? Why keep blogging if you can reach an audience with less effort through a single photo or tweet? Why make the effort to leave a comment when you can easily just retweet their post to show your support?
I don't know the answers to those questions but I do know this: there is a lot of noise in my life that detracts from the joy of blogging. Each new person I follow on Twitter or Instagram, each blog that I add to my reader, deflects my attention from what is already there. We live in a society where more is better. Where more subscribers makes you a more successful blogger and more Facebook fans makes you more influential.
But we know the numbers are not the whole truth - even if the social media marketers and brand sponsors try to convince us otherwise.
So just like my diet needs the occasional cleanse, so too does my online life. Instead of being so invested in other people's lives, its time I focus more on my own. I'm going to whittle down my Twitter list to only those who I really want to hear what they have to say. I'm going to cut down my blog reader to those few who bring me a constant and dependable stream of inspiration, creativity, and thought-provoking posts. I will banish from my Instagram celebrities and those whose beautifully styled photos make me feel a little less happy with my own life. Because each minute I spend checking in on someone else's life means less time spent on the things I love.
I'm learning that social media takes as much as it gives - and I want to take some of that precious time back. So if you find me tweeting less or failing to update my Facebook page, know that you can always find me here, finding joy in blogging. And if you choose to cleanse your social media life too and my blog doesn't make the cut, know that I am thankful to have had you here for even just a moment. I do hope you stick around though. I do have so very much more to say.