A decade back I started blogging and every two years I would pay to renew the hosting domain of my blog. Before 2013, it did not require much thought; the renewal was urgent. At the start of the year of 2013, I had my doubts, as I was not using my blog space, at all. The husband encouraged the renewal and I got it done. The next year, the web domain was relinquished.
Why? Was I thinking less, reading less, writing less? No, I was quite prolific with my thoughts and opinions, and reading quite a few new authors. I was also writing more frequently, if not too many words. Then, where were the words? Why were they not on my blog? Because some one stole my words and made them its own.
The culprit – Facebook. This addictive little application with a gigantic grip on our daily lives has slowly made us drift away from our personal spaces. With its glossy, colorful images, one-click connectivity with a host of friends, posts allowing embellishments, the instant gratification of likes and more likes, and funny comments, Facebook has become the new sibling who stole the mother’s affection and attention from the older one. And to top it all, it is no-maintenance!
So, it was not that I do not have much to say, or I was not saying it, but I was using Facebook’s “fast-track” forum. Instead of spending time on writing a book review, I was unjust to many writers by merely posting a link, and rating, or a like it/read it recommendation on my Facebook page. It may do the relevant marketing trick for the author but then is that all an author wants – marketing and money? No! All writers/editors want feedback because that is the biggest reward of being read and reviewed, prolifically.
Facebook became my channel of expression. It was easier and better to elicit support and/or more opinion on a social media platform but it was disrespectful to the actual idea, because one ends up giving it just a flitting thought and significance. Ideas that can be tossed and turned around, opinions that can matter and materialize, need to be crystallized in detail, and documented chronologically.
In April 2016, I discovered the power of a Tweet, or TwitterPoetry to be precise. It was another experience that made my poetic impulses go on an overdrive. Thousands of Tweet poems later, I realized the window of viewership and engagement was just 24 hours. Like a hungry ogre, this platform demanded more, everyday, lest you become obsolete in the maze. Keeping up is always an exhausting exercise!
Then, came along Instagram, with an even shorter life span for a post. Writings on social media have only as much life as your “now” timeline; here in the morning, gone in the evening, thanks to addictive, impulsive postings. What is important to us today, is just a few lines of thought, with the life of a timeline.
Thoughts, ideas, opinions need to be nurtured, analyzed, and referred to again, to make a great story, to ultimately power change. On Social media, these are as transient as our news media debating a “Just In” story. A blog can continue to be the gathering point of like-minded people, who follow or read a blogger, because they may (or even may not) relate to a similar vision.
A blog, like a book, should be more important than any social persona. I have to reclaim my blog and my writing time from social media and it begins right here, on this blog space. But social media is relentless and demanding and that is a discussion for another day.