One thing I realized this year, where I spent a month without Facebook and several months with no reliable Internet service (but somehow managed to blog 365 days in a row), then transferred six and a half years of blog entries manually from one host to another, then bought my own computer for the very first time is …
I am really sick of the Internet. I need it, but I don’t need it. It should be a tool (directions, instructions, information), not a time-suck. If something cool happens on the Internet and I miss it, it’s okay. I’ll live. Calm down.
Lately I’ve realized how much time I spend sharing cool things I find on the Internet with the Internet, or talking about things I found on the Internet with people like it’s a mutual friend of ours. I talk about bloggers like I know them. I’ve stopped making cool things. Doing cool things. Asking people how they’re doing, as opposed to what they’ve clicked on.
When my WordPress layout was set to automatically switch to a different layout, I went to the forum to learn about it. One girl was freaking out about how she didn’t want to alarm her readers or have a disruption to her daily “work”. I went to her blog and it was just pictures of her outfits and make-up. It’s gross, but really – is it that different from what I do here?
Also? Blogging is almost over, at least as a thing. It’s something I still want to do as a journaling tool, a way to connect with the people who read this (who I mostly know, and love) and a way to experiment creatively … but it’s not my life the way it used to be and I’m happy about that. My blog is an extension of me, but it’s not me. It’s a way to reflect on my life, but I don’t think it will bring great opportunities to my life the way I probably wanted it to at one point. You used to be able to meet cool people and network through blogs – and it was great when it happened to me – but I feel like if people are going to come to my blog these days, I have to give them a reason outside of the blog to come here and look.
All the popular Internet kids are at Tumblr, and while I love Tumblr, I don’t want to be a Tumblr person. There are people who are great at it: Kelly Oxford has consistently solid content that has given her a new career, Erik posts clever ideas of his own and reblogs the stuff he (rightly) feels is important, and Amy Marie has mastered the art of using Tumblr as a mood board – mostly reblogging, but in a way that is completely mesmerizing to me even though the preppy aesthetic is something I’ve never been drawn to before.
I just feel like, if I’m going to be coming up with clever things of my own these days, I want it to be in a larger format. A script. A novel. Hell, even a memoir. I don’t want to spit out every great idea or observation I have on twitter as it comes; I want to hold ideas and craft them into something significant. George Carlin had an entire filing cabinet full of notes that he would mold into something worthwhile; some people tweet out just as many ideas in a month with nothing to show for it.
I want a body of work, not a sea of throwaway jokes. I want to impress people with what I make, not with what I find. I want to spend my time creating amazing things, as opposed to being a person obsessed with sharing amazing things that other people have created (though again, Amy Marie is an exception to my criticism). Hell, even Tavi Gevinson has decided at the ripe age of 14 that instead of blogging about fashion, she should do something about it (and sure, she only gets to work with Jane Pratt because of her blog, but I digress).
There are people who can find a balance; people like Stee and Dave Holmes can create and do amazing things while still finding consistently great stuff to share. But clearly, I’m not there. I need to be satisfied with my real life before I can find any more fulfillment online.
I’d like to simultaneously be a creative person and a Tumblr person right now, but I just don’t have the energy. I don’t have much energy for the Internet at all these days. I thought about writing an entry to sum up my 2010 and audibly sighed, like, “What is the point?”
I’m still going to blog, probably at my current rate. But I mean, listen to me. Even my almost-30 early-life crisis is about the Internet. IT’S TIME TO SIMMER DOWN.