06 October 2010

Shaking off the Blogwebs

It is hard to get started after such a long time off.

I have heard some people say that they think in tweets--apparently all of their thoughts are 150 words, or 500 characters, or whatever constraints are placed on tweeters. Obviously I don't tweet. But while we are on the topic, let's just say that if tweets are defined by characters and people actually think in tweets that is incredibly impressive. And everyone who is spending mental energy on that should apply that mental energy to something else--like alleviating poverty.

But even though I have never tweeted, I think I can kind of understand the concept of thinking in tweets. By the end of the year, I kind of thought in blogs. Seriously, I would be in some bizarre situation or experience (like the time a fellow bus-rider started an impassioned speech about how Rosa Parks was the only reason why we could even be on the bus, and how women are (apparently? This was news to me...) the only ones who are supposed to ride buses. Apparently the men are supposed to walk. It was a very informative bus-ride--but I always learned a lot on buses.) and start collecting the details needed to make it blog-worthy (Though let's be fair, there are times when nothing is required to make a given experience blog-worthy). (Insert what I said about how we spend our mental energies here.) "What does it mean to think in blogs?", you may be wondering.

Well, thanks for asking.

First, it should be said that there are a few 'types' of blogs. You have news, politics, or other commentary blogs which feature the author's opinions on a given topic--personal experience is not required. Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have what I will call "Dear Diary" blogs that are incredibly personal and replace facts and opinions with feelings. Obviously, there is a full spectrum of blogs between these two and I fall, as is often the case, somewhere in the middle. I suppose you could say that this blog is a 'commentary of personal experience' blog--I cut out feelings, am less than concerned with facts, and you are left with my opinions as revealed by random life-experiences. I suppose that is kind of like politics, or at least the political attacks (ahem, ads) that are being lobbed between candidates in the run-up to the election.

So with that context in mind, it should be said that my kind of blog requires a few things--some of which are positive and others may be....less than positive.

First, it requires an eye for the exceptional. Eeyore would not be a particularly good blogger. Ho-hum life does not make for interesting blogs. And here, I am not talking about an actual difference between the life of Eeyore and Pooh, let's say (Ok, who decided to name a cartoon character Pooh...?). The difference is not in available material, but in our perception. I am convinced that exceptional moments occur to each of us, but we do not always cultivate an awareness for them. I would say this attention to detail has certainly been a positive result of blogging.

Second, it seems that blogging almost always (unless you are talking about the extreme version of the 'personal experience' kind) requires a bit of a dry, ironic, sense of humor. A snarkiness, if you will. (I know that some people would call this 'sarcastic', but I am convinced that we have about as clear a definition for sarcasm as for 'irony'--and that's not real clear. But while we are on the topic of irony--see a previous post for the start of this monologue--I think I have actually found a good example. Customer service in the UK is awesomely bad. By American standards it is just bad, but I find myself enjoying the freedom to walk into a retail store without anyone asking me if they can help me. The only time it is a problem is when I need someone to help me and no one can be found. But, suffice to say that the customer service is poor. And if you read the blog last year you know about my disdain for the banking system. But, if you call the bank, it is the most incredible customer-friendly experience--especially if you compare it to the woman who tells me (about 30 times) that the insurance company really values my business but just doesn't have anyone to talk to me right now. That customer service dichotomy is ironic. Boom.) Anyway, before that rabbit trail, we were talking about a dry, ironic, sense of humor, which is required (seemingly) in the blogosphere. This might be a negative result of blogging. I am not sure that my cynicism needs to be fed.

And now I would write that blogging takes perseverance and commitment and blah, blah, blah, but I am tired. (My stamina has run down over the summer). So I am just going to stop (which might be another requirement--"Thou shalt know when you are rambling about a boring topic (aka, when you are trying too hard)."

Hopefully I do better next time.

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