Return of the Blog. The Blog Awakens. The Empire Strikes Blog.
However you want to brand it... it’s me. I’m BACK.
Earlier this year, I conducted an experiment. I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and a whole host of messaging apps off my phone. Just… to get some peace. It was weird at first. Then it was OK. Then it was hard. Then it was OK again.
I’m now using social media once or twice a day, but it was great to break the spell of hyper-connectivity. Some time to reflect on technology and my life.
I remember when THE INTERNET arrived at our house. Excitedly my family gathered around an awkward laptop to marvel at this invention, the height of human technology. What did we watch? We watched the hampster dance. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the hampster dance but it’s a bunch of GIF hamsters spinning around in circles, set against a white background with a catchy little ditty. This, my stepfather proudly told us, is it. This is what it’s all about.
We cranked the Logitech speakers until the dial-up dropped out.
And swiftly into the web we fall. Scattered over the internet you will find various stages of my development. Little parts of me in unanswered Yahoo emails, abandoned Neopets, frozen Bebo profiles, comments on Weebl and Bob. Somewhere along the line Blogging was a thing, and then it wasn’t. Somewhere ELSE along the line, we decided we were OK with our data being sold to shady third parties. We decided we’re OK with every second post a sponsored ad. We decided it’s OK our lives are an endless stream of notifications. We decided we’re OK with fake news, fake butts, fake connections.
I mean it makes sense. All those amazing services were never going to be free, duh. But I’m wondering how much value they add. Is my schoolmate’s dad’s dodgy opinion really worth those relentless baby monitor ads? Is my brother’s 90th meme for the day worth the sale of my personal data? Do I need a reminder of my ex-boyfriend’s birthday? For every friend I keep in touch with, I have to suffer twenty impossible models I’ve never heard of, selling me a lifestyle I don’t even want.
I dunno, maybe we’ve reached a point where we could just… talk to each other. Without all the BS.
In saying that though, I like to share art and see what others create. The internet is awesome for birthing ideas – both good and bad. So, I’ve decided to breathe life back into the old blog. I’ve poked around and it’s working OK, bit dusty but she’ll be right. In social media terms, think of it as the quiet bookshop next to the rowdy nightclub. It’s not quite the Hampster dance but it will be fun. I promise.
For posterity's sake. The closest I could find to the Hampster dance.