I keep giving myself reasons as to why I haven’t been working on a personal blog. All the time. I have this idea that it needs to have some kind of thrilling strategy behind it, and if not it won’t be good enough or well written or–well, you get it.
But I don’t need a strategy. This blog, nor any personal blog, has to be written for the masses or for a specific group of people. It doesn’t have to have a theme and I don’t have to keep up with multiple blogs in order to segregate readers. I don’t have to do any of that to reach my goals. I don’t have a target demographic, I just want to write about something other than my clients and their businesses. I want to write for writing sake.
The Good ol’ Days
Whether you consider it pre-social media or social media in it’s infancy, the early days of blogging were different. I don’t need to go into how Facebook makes us unhappy or what it’s doing to our relationships, I’m sure you’ve read plenty of content about that and still give into the vice. What I loved about that era of the internet was how raw people were. They literally had their diary on the internet for everyone to read, judge, and do as they pleased with it.There wasn’t a concern for sugarcoating their lives, maintaining an image, or highlighting the most interesting parts. They just wrote. People could read it or not and bloggers weren’t refreshing the page often to see if anyone left a comment.
It wasn’t about the amount of people who were reading, if they were reading, or even the person who wrote the content. It was about the message. It was about the story. It was about the potential to be heard in ways the generations prior couldn’t be heard.
We all remember the rules of early internet: “Don’t tell them your real name!” “Never let anyone know any personal information about you: your school, work, or address!” When America went online, we were all afraid of the ways that these strangers on the web could manipulate us with only our first and last names. We hid behind screen names like “coolgurl117300” and “Xxsk8er4everxX,” because we were afraid of what was unknown about people we hadn’t met in person (because IRL wasn’t even a thing yet. DUH.).
Now that Facebook is our drug of choice, we’re attached to our names. Our new facade, however, is the choice we make every time we answer the question, “What’s on your mind?” with how we would really answer, “How would you like to portray yourself?” Instead of being authentic and hiding behind a different name, we see people all day who are being inauthentic and hiding behind a personal brand. We’ve eradicated all fear of strangers knowing where we are, but stigma has grown about family members, friends, colleagues, etc. knowing just who we are.
What the heck am I getting at?
I know I’m not being completely original here. (The internet in this era also has a way of reminding you how unoriginal you are. Humbling.) We complain about the nature of social media all the time, then we still, without a thought, check our pages frequently. I’m not trying to change the world.
I just want to write. Without proving a damn thing. This will be my space for that, consider yourself warned.