I was marveling at technology today. It's, like, magic. Ray Bradbury's vision of the future in Fahrenheit 451 is actually pretty lame compared to what we really have and we didn't even have to start burning books in order to obtain wall-sized flat screen TVs!
I love the virtual world of Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. It is quite entertaining. It lets me keep up on and even make new friends without leaving my house. I suppose the drawbacks would be the amount of smut that is readily available and the way my attention span is quickly shrinking. But if it is shrinking because there are so many interesting things to look at and read, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe my attention span isn't shrinking, maybe my capacity to absorb knowledge is growing! Still, I'd hate to have to read 50 pages in a text book tonight. Let's just say I'm glad I graduated from college before certain other distractions became available.
Sure, the geezer in me yearns for the olden days. But this nostalgia is simultaneously created and satisfied by watching old cereal commercials on Youtube or by pinning Hanna-Barbera images to my Pinterest boards. See, I miss "then" but if it were still "then" I'd have no way of remembering "then." Do you understand? I had a Star doll when I was a kid. She's like Barbie but with curly hair and permanent plastic underwear. I haven't thought about Star for about 30 years but yesterday I saw her on Pinterest and I was like, "Star! I miss Star! They don't make 'em like they used to! What's the world coming to!" I guess the answer to that question is: A pretty amazing place where your phone will tell you when there's a picture of Star waiting for you to click on.
With regard to blogging, I think it's good. I've been blogging since October of 2004 and I love the blogging community that has sprung up. I am happy that people, mothers especially, are able to work from home and make a living blogging. I don't make a living at it, which occasionally makes me bitter, but I don't actually try very hard to make a living at it. Sometimes it's gross when bloggers kind of monetize their friends, but that's been happening since the dawn of Tupperware and Stampin' Up. And, to be frank, wouldn't we all monetize our friends if it were just a little more socially acceptable? So generally, yes. I think blogging is good and great.
Sometimes I wonder if bloggers who show off their lovely houses and lives hurt readers more than they inspire them. But people are free to read and look at what they want. Personally, I read blogs that I hate which make me feel angry and/or like crap almost exclusively but I read some really good ones, too. There have probably been more times that I've been inspired to make or do or be something positive than there have been times that I've been really discouraged or filled with indignation from reading a blog. One drawback with blogs and all social media is that it can be a huge time suck. But sometimes it feels really good to not do anything and just read blogs all day. It's how I plan to spend today, in fact.
In terms of writing a blog, it has been completely positive for me. I get very few really mean and negative comments. Over the last 7 years I've had maybe 12 nasty comments. And they are always written by people who aren't smart. Conversely I have received hundreds of positive, validating, affirming complimentary comments from articulate, awesome people. When you think about it, criticism from a dummy is almost the same as a compliment from someone cool. The people who read my blog are really great. They have inspired me enough to make up for any online discouragement. If I did get a lot of negative comments I would probably quit blogging entirely. So I'm glad I don't get a lot of those. There's no way I could power through it. You might think it would be really funny to leave a particularly scathing comment on this post--and it would be. And if you do I'll delete it, and this post, and this blog, and myself from any and all online activity. Sometimes I over-react. It's a miracle, really--and a credit to my readers--that I haven't deleted this blog already in a tizzy fit of insecurity. Thanks.
So, people will always say that we waste time online and we're too invested in our virtual lives and it is probably true but I say, what else am I going to do? Besides. It's fun and makes me happy. You want me to be happy, don't you? I do wish my husband would lay off the Words with Friends a little when I'm trying to talk to him, but I take the bad with the good because I'm a reasonable person.
What do you think? Will I regret this post in the forthcoming dystopian society where computers are our overlords? NO I WON'T! BECAUSE IT WILL PROVE MY LOYALTY TO THEM AND THEY'LL LET ME LIVE VIRTUALLY BUT HAPPILY UNAWARE IN THE MATRIX.