When you find yourself, at quarter to midnight on a Tuesday, having to write a list of things to do that aren’t blogging, because for some reason your brain just cannot fathom what it was you did before, then maybe you have a problem. On slow rainy days, I can turn on my laptop to check my emails in the morning, and oh, just quickly check my blog, and find myself sat there for 6 hours at a time, if not more. Albeit I don’t live a particularly productive life, but this is getting ridiculous.
It’s not surprising, in a world where technology is so rapidly advancing, and the internet is so readily available anywhere, that people are plugged in almost 24/7. You can’t escape it; people tweeting from buses, blogging from cafes. You can be having a seemingly regular conversation with a friend only for them to laugh inappropriately, don’t worry- it’s not at you, they’re just rudely checking their Blackberry mid-conversation.
Social networking is not my vice, however I still am several steps away from clicking the deactivate button. No, instead blogging is my poison, and with the rise of teen fashion bloggers such as Tavi and Bip Ling, more and more teens and young adults are choosing to try and make it big in the blogosphere. Attempting to follow in the cybersteps of successful teen bloggers, more (although not exclusively) young people are trying to make a living from blogging, postponing finding a “real job” in search of elusive blogger fame. Posting lackluster, watered down versions of posts from more well known bloggers, these new blogger-wannabes are trying to forge a career out of unoriginality.
Blogging is truly addictive, trust me, I could have finished this article in a quarter of the time had I not been regularly checking the status of my new blog. One of the reasons is the aspect of gaining vs. losing “followers”. For those of you who aren’t well versed in the language of the blogosphere, a follower is simply someone who is signed up to receive your blog posts in their news feed, much like a friend on Facebook. In much the same way we would praise a child for doing well, gaining followers acts as validation that you are writing worthwhile content that people want to read, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to feel like they were making a difference? This of course has a flipside, losing followers can lower self esteem, making the writer question themselves, wondering what did they do wrong? Whilst you muse on screen that you “don’t use this blog as a popularity contest, I just post what I love”, you check to see if your nonchalant attitude as awarded you the respect of more followers. Interestingly, if you type “How to get more” into a Google, it offers up some popular suggestions including: “followers on Twitter”, “followers on Tumblr”, “views on Youtube” and finally “energy”. Is this really where we’re at- that we care more about getting validation from strangers than looking after our own health?
Maybe it’s time to get a grip. Internet fame is likely to be short lived, and I’m not sure that many people are paying their rent by writing about their outfits/hilarious pets/sleep-talking husband. We need to stop trying to look for self esteem in online strangers and start using our time productively. Go offline. Read a book. See your “real world” friends. We need an offline revolution. “The Offline Revolution”, sounds like a good name for a blog.