The Lost Art of Keeping in Touch

The nature of blogging – or at least the nature of my blogging – has changed somewhat since I started in 2002. I'm not sure what possessed me to begin back then, but I think it was Dee (at Animated Mind, these days) who originally tempted me to join in. I started under the title Green Boogers with a really awful green design, and to this day I have no idea why. I've never really liked green at all. In the beginning, I was also more protective of my anonymity, and that of the people I blogged about. A big part of it was probably that I was working for a company which I criticised openly, and the fact that the blog was a venting hole from the frustration caused by certain co-workers. That's why I started using pseudonyms for friends and such (and those friends who actually read the blog were excited to find what name I picked for whom), but these days all kinds of borders have begun to get a little hazy.

For one, I'm not exactly hiding my own identity – even if I haven't posted my full name anywhere, it wouldn't take too many clicks to find out who I am and what I do. The other thing is that a lot of the people I blog about are also blogging these days, and most of them are also using their real names, or post (and comment here) with their own pseudonyms (such as Pin-Pop or Cyber).

The other side is that this blog is still a venting hole for those occasions that need it, so I wouldn't be happy knowing everyone I know was reading this – for instance (a theoretical event, since I blog in English) I wouldn't want to worry my parents with my regular bouts of craziness, nor, I presume, would all prospective employers enjoy hearing everything I post here. Since the beginning of my blogging life, I've gradually started to edit and censor more things out, so that this now reads more like a journal and less like a diary. I actually prefer it that way, since I actually have a couple of readers outside of my immediate circle of friends, and although I can't imagine what would bring people here in the first place (I'm not exactly a dazzling wit or a wonderful story-teller), I can imagine that the inner workings of my mind and every little detail of my life is hardly entertaining to anyone. Oftentimes, not even myself.

Anyway, to this day I don't the exact reason to why I blog. In one way, it's become an easy way to let various friends around the world know what is happening in my life, since (cause or effect?) I'm terribly lazy keeping in touch in any other way except this or, occasionally, instant messaging. I think blogging, in general, has a great capacity to assist antisocial behaviour. It's really not necessary to talk about anything with friends anymore, when most conversations can start with "Like I said in my blog..." In fact, I've almost completely lost contact to people who don't use the internet for anything other than email.

It's a pity, really, because the tradition of letter-writing is one of the most wonderful means of communication (whether it's electronic or not) to one another. It's... well, it's personal. (And, frankly, I hate both writing and receiving mass emails. I'd rather read or write a blog.) But really a sad fact is, in my case, I seem to have lost the ability. I can fairly easily write about my own life, and I can (still) have a face-to-face conversation without problems, but letter-writing is another art altogether. Aside from the obvious "How are you? What's happening in your life?" I can rarely think of anything else to ask of the other person (unless there's been previous discussion about something that's been going on in his life), and it feel terribly self-centered to write a lengthy letter to someone, talking about nothing other than yours truly.

And, that aside, unless something specific has happened, I usually have no idea what to write about. Just now, I wrote an email to my godmother whom I haven't seen for several years, and, since she's seen my sister recently, she knows I'm going to Korea... So I was lost for things to write about. I managed to scrounge up a few sentences about the traumatic experience of dyeing my hair brown (I can imagine how interesting she'll find that piece of information) and finished the email with a link to the new blog.

It's terrible. All it seems to say is "I don't have anything to say to you, go read all about it at whatever.com".

No comments: