Video killed the radio star

            When I first started blogging, almost two years ago, there was a vibrant community of bloggers waiting to welcome me with open arms.  They were intelligent women (mostly) and men (or at least a man) who wrote wittily and thought deeply about parenting, politics, and something else that begins with a P.

            Lately, however, I am starting to feel like Bette Midler in the phone booth at the end of The Rose.

            Some people have bid dramatic adieus, some have stopped posting with any regularity, and some stopped reading and then stopped writing.  Part of this is due to life’s craziness.  Hell, if you have a blog, you’ve probably noticed that I no longer use capital letters when I comment, if I comment at all.  That’s because I am breastfeeding with the other hand.  My comments are few and far between, but I promise, I am there reading.

            Where have all the bloggers gone? Pete Seeger famously asked.  As far as I can tell, most of them are on Twitter.  So, I went ahead and joined Twitter, and my reaction was much like my response to Tom Cruise: I just don’t get the appeal.  Facebook I like.  It allows me to get in touch with people from my past lives (how very Shirley MacLaine of me).  I also like the updates, which are often witty and usually not too plentiful.

            Twitter?  Call me old-fashioned, but I like full sentences sometimes.  Maybe it is just too casual for someone who likes the formality of the written word.  Maybe I am a curmudgeon who cannot accept that the times, they are a’changing.  Who knows?

            Back in my senior year of high school, when I was filling out financial aid forms, I got totally stressed out because my life was way too complicated for those little spaces on the form.  I couldn’t make my situation fit into those tiny boxes.  Life is not fill-in-the-blank.

            So, by all means, follow me on Twitter.  I’ll post every now and again.  But, if you want to really know what is going on in my life, you’re going to have to check in here, because my life is too complicated for 140 characters.  I have found wonderful new blogs to read, but I miss some of the folks who have moved on.  Maybe I am like the ghost on Grey’s Anatomy: I just won’t accept you are breaking up with me. 

34 responses to “Video killed the radio star

  1. I miss some of the old blogs, too. And I just can’t get into Facebook – I have nothing against the people I knew way back when, but after we’ve said hello, I’m over it. I want a blog for thinking out loud, and getting a response.

  2. Guilty. I have stopped blogging with any sort of regularity. Mostly because “Real Life” has got in the way! 🙂 I have two little ones (and one on the way) that I strive to be “present” with, all day long. At at the end of the day–there is very little left it seems . . .(In terms of energy!) I still love blogging, and do miss it,though.

    I’m still a regular blog-reader. I open up my Google Reader first thing in the morning, while everyone is still asleep, and follow all of the blogs that I’ve always followed.

    I guess that makes me more of a “lurker” now . . . At least temporarily! 😉

  3. I am trying to play the game, at least for now, on Twitter. I just met 300 bloggers at a conference and some have decided to follow me. It’s hard to keep them all straight and I don’t really get the point all the time, though I do like updates that have links to posts that I might not find otherwise. The jury is still out…

  4. I use twitter for updates, but blogging is still where it is at for me. Facebook is more for my RL friends and family.

  5. For an internet person I feel very out of it. I don’t use Twitter even to the point of following people I actually do quite like and read. Worse, I have no Facebook account and am fighting pressure to get one – I don’t WANT to reconnect with all those high school types who knew me when I was a complete idiot. I’ve only recently forgiven myself for that, thanks! So, yup, still going to be a dull, old-guard blogger. I like the expansiveness of whole paragraphs and, now and then, the ability to throw in a photograph. I suppose it was inevitable though – I’m the person who got a useful degree in Early Modern history, and for her languages took both Latin and Ancient Greek. Sigh.

  6. Heh. I asked on Twitter yesterday who thinks they post less or comment less because they Twitter more.

    I did not get Twitter at all and hated using it until I downloaded TweetDeck. Extremely helpful! And at least now I “get it.” But I totally agree with you about it’s affect on bloggers – they are posting less. And 140 characters can’t tell stories. We’re all just commenters on Twitter.

  7. Twitter just isn’t for me. I mean, hello, I’m writing a two-part post on babysitting, for God’s sake. I am the wordiest waffling rambler EVER. So 140 characters? Not even a full sentence for me.

    You keep blogging. So will I. We’ll wait out Twittermania together!

  8. I agree that Twitter has caused a slowdown in the blogosphere. I don’t like change much either, but I’m adapting.

  9. I love your one-handed typing comments. They always make me smile because I know what you’re doing when you leave them. And that sounded much dirtier than I meant for it to.

  10. I love Twitter, because it allows me to talk about things when I think of them. But I won’t even consider Facebook. I really don’t care about that one, because I truly don’t want people I used to not like be able to find me.

    Now on the people leaving, this I am very used to, because I did it once myself. I’ll tell you, a lot of people come back eventually, when their life gets a bit easier.

  11. I agree, Twitter just doesn’t fill a blog addict’s need! For me, I only have time to read all of my blogs on my Google Reader once every two or three days, though, so for me Twitter sort of keeps me going until I have a longer time to check in! I use Facebook the same way though, constantly checking it to see if anything has changed in the past twenty minutes!

  12. With you on this. I have no interest in Twitter and have minimal interest in Facebook. It’s just not my “thing”. The interactive blog community seems to have faded away and I’ve faded away to a degree as well.

    Casual quippiness and shallow interaction just doesn’t appeal to me.


  13. I can’t keep up with just blogging and Facebook – no way am I ready to twitter. I’m guilty of reading before posting. Really I need to make my 1st priority posting, then read. But I love to see how everyone is doing!

  14. I’m not twittering. I can’t handle another electronic responsibility. Facebook and blogging already takes up too much of my time. Truthfully I think I’d be better off if I gave up on FB and blogging. But I like to write too much and I like that at least blogging allows me a platform for that. But I hear you… the blogging has died down a lot. I have cut down my reader list by a lot, too, because I don’t have time to keep up, and because I realized 1) I was reading blogs about people I didn’t really care about and whose writing style didn’t thrill me; and 2) there are so many other things I should/could be doing with my valuable time.

  15. I started on twitter because its my non-blogger way of commenting out loud to people who do have blogs. Sort of throwing things out there (albeit small little tidbits of info). I love facebook but have set my privacy settings so that no one can “find” me, I do not want to reconnect with just anyone, and i use it to stay connected with my real life friends and family.

    I have waivered off an on about starting a blog, but quite frankly, I don’t have anything worthwhile to say and I certainly didnt get plus points in school for my grammer. Not to mention that I don’t know how far I would go in a blog, I am pretty strict about not posting pics of my kids on the internet (except facebook and like I said I have my privacy settings set way high)….. I love reading about other peoples kids, and seeing their pics in blogs, but I worry about what the next generation is going to think about us, for telling relative strangers their life stories? Anyway I digress….. so to answer you, I dont love twitter either…. I love reading and commenting on blogs, so I hope that they don’t fall by the wayside….

    (on a sort of related note, is it just me or has text messaging turned next generation into TERRIBLE spellers, several of my hubby’s younger cousins are on facebook, and they are constantly posting as if they were text messaging…..and I don’t want to read that! Give me REAL WORDS PEOPLE)

  16. I never even considered Facebook until some blogger friends convinced me to join up for the blogging network. Another easy way to access blogs I read. I kind of like FB–and my kids don’t even seem to mind. Who woulda thunk?

  17. Lately, I’ve been trying to stretch and use Twitter a little bit. But I still don’t get it, really. Facebook, I love.

    Blogging…oy. It does seem that people are reading less, or commenting less, in general. And, some have left entirely, as you said. I’ve actually added quite a few blogs to my reader lately, just for some fresh, new reading.

  18. I got a little tired of the real life repercussions of blogging, and I mean that in many ways.

    1. The local hate mail.
    2. The never getting my cow bought b/c I gave away all my milk for free.
    3. The time.
    4. The reciprocity.
    5. The anxiety of just never getting far enough.
    6. The letting go of all that trying and just enjoying.
    7. Except for the guilt, of not commenting and reading enough.
    8. That never goes away. Oh, Google Reader!
    9. The juggling of the “pro” stuff and the “me” stuff.
    10. The mindset of “making this bloggable.”

    I am trying to find the niche into which I want—and need—to settle because I got spread too thin.

    Therefore I totally understand and respect you doing the same.

    Just call me Yorick. 🙂

    “Where be your gibes now? your
    gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
    that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
    now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?”

  19. I’ve read that the average life of a blog is 3 years. It’s a lot of writing, a lot of involvement. I spent a few years in a chatroom that had a lot in common with twitter and I found it too time-consuming. But for people who want to twitter instead of blog, maybe that’s for the best. If what they really want to do is to read and write little bits and bites of immediacy then that gives them a place to do it and frees up the blog for people who want to read and write longer pieces that have more room for thought. The blogs I read mostly are ones written by people who know a lot more than me about a subject that I’m interested in. There are only a couple of mom blogs that I follow because the writing is just so good. This is one of them.

  20. I’ve never used Twitter, but I don’t plan on starting. Basically, I refuse to use Twitter for the same reason I don’t text-message: “wat ru doin” is NOT A SENTENCE, PEOPLE. Ahem. Sorry about that. I get really (irrationally) upset over that. But really. COME ON. I have seen some literate tweets, but not many.

    AND I really don’t want to be tied to every single electronic device that’s out there. I don’t want to be available to the world 24/7. I like my privacy. (Funny, coming from a blogger, but there ya go.)

    We can be curmudgeons together. (God, that’s a great word, isn’t it? “Curmudgeon.” Love it.)

  21. When I first started blogging, it was a very tongue in cheek prod at bloggers. Way back then, I predicted that blogging would be a star that burned very brightly, but burned out quickly. I’m finding the same thing as you are, and I think that maybe blogging has just run it’s course as a social medium and a popularity tool. But I think, for those who use it to reflect, to exercise their writing skills, to capture those life moments, to work through internal struggles…it will continue on, quietly.

    I struggled for a long time with wanting more comments, more readers, more popularity. But then I realized that it would require a lot of kowtowing and ass kissing that I’m not really good at.

    So I’m okay with where things are at right now. I don’t get the most comments, but I get good, insightful, meaningful comments. And I no longer feel the kind of pressure that I used to, to perform, or to be a certain “kind” of blogger.

    It is what it is. And that’s okay.

  22. Oh, thank goodness. I thought I just sucked at Twittering, because I just wasn’t that into it. I assumed that meant I was doing it wrong.

    I think where I have gotten lazy with my blog reading is that everyone has their curve, and some of my blog-reader folks are trending down in content and frequency right now. But I’ve been remiss in adding new.

    What are some new blogs you might recommend to get my feedreader hopping again? I’m getting ready to be a one-handed commenter myself in a few weeks, and I need new stuff!

  23. I find blogging very difficult to balance with full-time life. And also difficult to coordinate with full-time life. I’m constantly aware of the admonitions at work against blogs or any other online profile. Yet I can’t quite give up my blog. Nor can I find the time to blog with regularity. It’s hard because then I wonder if anyone’s still reading.

    Anyway. Just saying that I’m still reading your blog. And I’m even still writing my own when I can. 🙂 I admire you for writing so much, so often, so thoughtfully.

  24. The worst is when I find a blog that I really like, read the archives, and then find a post a day or two later saying, “I’m taking a break, thanks for the good times!” I’m forever late to the party, so this has happened a couple of times. I do Twitter and Facebook, but blogging will always be my first love.

  25. I can’t quit you :p

  26. I’m not breaking up with you.


  27. Can you imagine me on Twitter? 😀 I can barely post under a thousand words on a quiet day.

    Blogging really does come and go in waves. Everyone disappears in May, because the weather has finally turned nice and gardens or sports are demanding. January is always the best month for blogger interaction because there’s so little else going on. And most bloggers I’ve met blog a lot in the first year and then let it fade, unless of course, like me they got hooked and can’t quite move away from the keyboard. So you’re stuck with me, and then there’ll be a rush of new people shortly. And all the old ones will reappear.

    And I am always delighted to see one of your one-handed comments on my blog. I’m amazed constantly by how much you manage to accomplish, despite three children under 5…..

  28. I second Lilian’s comment. Good post.

  29. I do read your blog almost everyday, often while nursing my baby. I, too, often write in all lower cases due to one hand being occupied! (No baby in my lap right now though.) It is hard to type with baby feet kicking the keyboard so I don’t always comment, and as for my own blog, I just gave up. One baby is enough to occupy all my time! I don’t know how you do it with three kids, but I’m glad you do! I am always commenting to my husband on something you wrote. I used to refer to you as “that mom whose blog I read” but now we are on a first name basis with you and I just call you “Emily.”

  30. I still check in, but don’t like to comment unless I feel like I can really add something to the conversation. I WON’T do Facebook and I have no idea what Twitter is eventhough I am still in my twenties.
    My blog is mostly for family and friends who really want to know me. I can’t stick to a theme other than the ever-changing steadiness of life.
    Oh, and I have bad grammar and don’t spell very well and am computer illiterate, so I’m always afraid of making a truthfully stupid comment…
    But I am here reading… still.

  31. I’m still reading along with you and glad you are blogging your adventures, Emily. I miss being able to do the same, but like Julie, coping with the ramifications of blogging at Reality Testing was overwhelming for me. The blogging that I do now provides added support to the teachers I’m working worth, and it’s taking all of the energy that I have to keep up with that, which has to be my priority right now.

    I learn a great deal from Twitter. I’m able to connect with other educators there and we share resources, network, and problem-solve together. It’s nice having a personal learning network to lean on now that I’m sort of “on my own” in the field. But if I were using it for personal reasons, I’m thinking that like you–I’d fail to see the allure.

    Just wanted to let you know I’m still around! Thinking I always will be! You go, girl : )

  32. I lovelovelove Facebook. It’s a guilty addiction. But Twitter… I can’t get into it. I really liked it before and during the election – getting the updates, the opinions.. but now? It’s too time intensive to follow or to post.

  33. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. For me, my blog started as 1) a way to write through a trauma, and 2) a way to get paid work.

    The trauma has been (mostly) dealt with and the work is coming so fast that I rarely have time to post on my blog, considering that I also have a 6 month old and a 4 year old, and my “office” is either a crowded coffee shop or my kitchen counter.

    I miss blogging, and I miss my friends in that world. I’m still here, no matter how many characters you use.