Years ago blogging was the rage. Before YouTube and Instagram, blogging was the way for an aspiring writer or photographer or other creative-types to gain a following. Now, however, reaching a public audience — and making money — requires having a YouTube channel or Instagram account. Some of the YouTubers I follow began with a blog, but were smart enough to transition from blogging to vlogging. On occasion, I still come across a blog that interests me. But I don’t follow them religiously. I subscribe to YouTube and Instagram channels. I don’t bookmark blogs anymore.
So why write a blog now? Why not rather create a YouTube channel? Why not focus on developing an Instagram site with super cool images and short videos? Well, my life isn’t that exciting. And I am also not looking to monetize my internet profile.
I know I am several years too late to the blogsphere. It is like arriving to North America in 2018 and declaring I have discovered the New World. I am not that stupid. Besides, my life of middle-age husband and father, working Monday through Friday, an urban commuter who sleeps on the train, binges on shows like Netflix’s “Dark,” watches copious amounts of anime, and is a political news junkie was never going to draw readers. I am even boring myself…zzzzzzz. I realize I don’t have a story to tell.
Maybe if I lived like @wanderlusterprincess or @anna.everywhere, whose Instagram channels are among my favorites to browse, I could write something emotive. It is one of the reasons I shelved my photography. Photography only excited me when I traveled outside of New York City. Here, at home, there is nothing new to my eye. New York City is like a slice of buttered Wonder Bread to me. Tasty, but banal. Occasionally I whip out my mobile and take a picture of something that may capture my fancy. But I don’t spend hours toiling on Adobe’s Lightroom or Alien Skin’s Exposure like I used to.
I know I am writing to myself. Or I would rather say for myself. This is more like an online journal than a blog meant to be explicitly shared with people I don’t know. (I have paper journals, but my mind works too fast for my hand. It is easier for me to write using a computer since I can type over 60 words a minute; and it is also easier to edit my writing.) Obviously this is not meant to be a private journal. Besides, what is private in today’s internet world? Privacy will eventually become an archaic word and expectation.
I guess I could use Twitter for short blurbs, random thoughts. But I don’t think that way. I am too long-winded, as my colleagues and friends know. And even when I have random thoughts, I am like Dory — they are gone just as quickly as they arrived. At most, I occasionally re-tweet a tweet. So I am left with this. The “ancient” medium of blogging, online journaling, whatever you want to call it. A platform where I won’t be disemboweling myself so the world can see my entrails. But a place that I can (with temperance and caution) express myself in the English language.