. An enjoyable pastime;
. A way of expressing emotions, ideas and opinions in a public realm;
. A way of meeting like-minded people bypassing geographical or cultural barriers
. A form of self-medication
My name is Kim… and… I am… *cough* … a blogger.
At first it was a wild ride of new people, new ideas, new ways to express myself. It was exciting, you know? All these people, all these colours, all these flavours – it was intoxicating.
And they noticed me. The came and posted on my blog. The told me they liked what I wrote. Then made me feel special, like someone important, you know? They did.
After a while, I guess the freshness of it all wore off, but by then I’d established relationships with other bloggers. The whole blogging experience matured. I was able to meet and talk to other bloggers on equal terms, rather than feeling like an indulged, excited puppy. And I was treated with respect.
Do you know what that feels like? To have people respect you? I mean real respect, not fear? Respect without having to kill anyone first?
“Smug” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Oh sure, there were some who didn’t always get it. There are always those who think you’re serious when you’re joking. And some who don’t take offence, even when they should. Not everyone understood everything I blogged about, but that didn’t matter. They still came back. Or at least enough of them did.
I don’t know at what point it happened; when the cross over began. But then, who does? Probably much longer ago than even I can guess at. Let’s face it, it’s not something I’m particularly proud of, so it’s not unlikely I hid it from myself for a quite a while.
But at some point, blogging moved from being an activity of exploring new worlds to escaping existing ones. No longer was it primarily about personal growth, it was about distraction.
As self-medications go, it’s not as harmful as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, organised religion or voting Republican, but it is not without its darker side.
That’s not to say there wasn’t anything to be gained from blogging, only that my motivations weren’t necessarily what I thought they were.
Over the past month or two, at a point of huge emotional vulnerability, I’ve been spending more and more hours on the computer. And the sudden and massive influx of visitors, followers and commenters from the Blogs of Note link has given me an excuse to throw myself into something to help me ignore the pain.
But as anyone who has ever self-medicated with anything will attest, it doesn’t really work. Short-term benefits very often only make the long term damage worse.
Still, at least I’m finally off the front page of Blogs of Note, so I expect the number of new visitors to drop off dramatically.
The stupid thing is, it should make no difference at all how many people read my blog – I am accountable to none of them, only those with whom I have built up a strong relationship.
Politeness tells me I should reply to every comment and visit every commenter and follower.
Experience tells me I’m using it as an excuse to run away from my life.
So I’m going to cut back on my comment replies, and limit the number of blogs I visit, and I’m going to attempt not to feel guilty about it.
My name is Kim, and I’m a blogger.
One day I hope to return to being just a man who blogs.