I miss the old blogging days when we would all read and comment on each others’ blogs. Before the days of social media bombardment, writing seemed easy and took place in way more than 140 characters.
I started blogging because I had a friend who had a blog. I’d read her blog for a few months and noticed that she had links in her sidebar to other people with blogs. After blog hopping and reading about people I didn’t actually know, I decided that I needed a blog! I lived overseas and liked that I could write about what was going on in my little world and that my family living in the states could read all about it. That first year I only wrote 48 posts, but my love for blogging grew and over the next two years I cranked out 640 posts on one blog and 86 on another. I had definitely found my thing!
The age of social media was definitely dawning my first year of blogging. Facebook became a thing that everyone over the age of 13 could use in September of 2006. I didn’t join until October of 2007. Twitter was started in March of 2006, and I finally got involved in January of 2008. Facebook and Twitter were both ok, but blogging was definitely something special. On Twitter and Facebook, people showed their best selves, but in blogs, authenticity rang true for the most part. There were a few people out there who would copy other blogger’s posts and post them as their own, and blogs written by people claiming to be someone they weren’t. I remember the outrage we all felt at being lied to and manipulated by other bloggers. But I also remember reading about real people and how they handled their real lives. I remember reading about people’s children and families. Most of what I read back then were what were later called Mommy Blogs. I remember the first time I ventured out from the typical Mommy/Daddy Blog. I was reading a blog post by someone I read regularly and they were excited because they had been listed on Alltop. I had no idea what that meant, but I clicked on the link and discovered that some genius had created a list of blogs in categories! I had no idea that there were that many different types of blogs out there! I remember seeing a heading for gay and lesbian bloggers and sucking in a deep breath because OMG gay people wrote blogs!! Between the lgbt blogs listed on Alltop and blog hopping through the links on their sidebars, I got a glimpse into a life that I wanted but wasn’t sure how to get. It was like the world opened up when I read those blogs. It was my beginning.
I can’t begin to know where I would be today without both the blog posts I’ve read and the ones I’ve written. Reading and writing became therapy for me when I was having a crisis of faith and coming out. Being able to express myself was so very necessary back then, and I wasn’t able to do it aloud. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in the way I felt helped me cope with the loss of who I had been. Encouragement from those who commented on my posts helped me put one foot in front of the other and heal. I had no idea when I started blogging that the written word would save me.
I don’t feel that same urgency to blog these days. Maybe because of how far I’ve come. Maybe because of the influx of so many different apps and social media sites. The fact that we can stay connected 24/7 on phones and watches kind of takes away the appeal of the blog I guess. But for me, blogging will always be my first love.
I remember you. 😉
I too miss the blogging days and have made similar comments about how Facebook was sort of the death knell of blogs (I think I may have written a column about it back when I wrote newspaper columns.) People still blog but I wonder how many people still read. Our attention spans have shrunk thanks to FB and Twitter. Who has time to read a 500 word blog post??
I’ve been thinking about trying to start blogging again but I don’t seem to have anything to say.
OMG!! Joe!! I miss reading you! I wasn’t always the greatest commenter, but you were! When I didn’t have to delete them of course! 😉
I was telling Jana about you and remembered a story I hadn’t thought of in a long time! Maybe you’ll remember it!
Do you remember when we IMed a couple of times back in the day? I’m sure we discussed our excellent parenting strategies and how to achieve world peace! And then one of my missionary friends commented back to you on my blog once or twice. Her name was Lisa. Anyway…she and I were talking once and I told her about IMing with you about whatever it was. A very casual conversation. A few days later, I was IMing with another blogging friend, a girl, and Lisa came over so I got off the computer to talk to her. A few days after that my husband, Brian, and I were called in to our team leader’s house where we discussed the fact that I got a tattoo (which apparently was a red flag for some reason) and the fact that Lisa had come over and “caught me IMing with “HeyJoe”. I was so upset. First of all, she hadn’t even seen who I was talking to on the computer and then to decide it must have been you based on knowing that we had IMed one time was crazy. Brian told our team leader that he knew I had IMed with you a couple of times, but that time I wasn’t talking to you and that I hadn’t done anything wrong in his eyes. I never really trusted that friend again. She had done a couple of other things already and that was just too much. And little did my team leader know, but at that point, IMing with a guy I met on the internet was way less threatening than IMing with a girl!
You should blog. I’d read it. All 500 words!
Hey Natalie 🙂
Fill in the blanks for me. Is Jana your spouse? Partner? Squeeze? Friend? All of the above?
I do remember messaging with you a few times, though I have no recollection of what we talked about. I’m thinking I was asking you about life in Turkey and such? Maybe? In any event, kind of funny about “Lisa” being suspicious of your actions. “Who is this Hey Joe you’re chatting with? Are you having an online affair!? I’d better inform the elders.” Some people’s lives are boring so they have to insert themselves in other people’s lives.
So how are you anyway? I’m sure I could find out if I were to read all of your past blog posts but honestly I don’t have the energy, nor the attention span. 🙂 You SOUND good if that counts for anything. Are you still teaching? Living in Texas?
What is your tattoo? Yes, only sinners get tattoos. I got one too about a year ago. lol. You can see a pic of it on my blog. It was one of those “turning 50” things. I’d wanted a tattoo since I was 20 but never got one. It was just something I had to do or I’d have regretted it.
I will try to blog more often. I want to, but as I said I don’t seem to have anything to say. I used to blog about random shit, celebrity deaths, weird news stories, etc but I feel like if I’m going to write i should write about something more meaningful. And yet meaningful usually means truthful and truthful can often be painful for some, you know? Ah well. There are always Last Meals to report on.
Great to hear from you. Hope you are happy.
Jana is all of the above. We met in 2011 on Match.com. She happened to be out of the country for work when we started talking so we didn’t get to meet in person. I started dating someone else during the same time Jana and I were sending each other friendly emails. When she got back to the states, I was in a relationship and we never actually had a chance to meet. My relationship lasted about 2 years (it was terrible and dragged on way longer than it should have!!). Jana realized that I was no longer in a relationship a few months later and swooped in and asked me out. We’ve been together for 3 years and married for 1. She is amazing!!
I am still teaching…kindergarten. I just changed school districts this year which has been a nice breath of fresh air. I love it, but sometimes I think I’m crazy since my youngest in a senior in high school. I purposely make myself hang out with 5 year olds all day. Is this what I want to do with my life??
I have two tattoos. One is an alpha omega sign. I got in in France in 2007. While I was having a crisis of faith and sexuality, it was a reminder that God was first and last and whatever happened in between was no big deal. I got the other tattoo on January 1, 2014. I had just come out of that bad relationship and felt like I had lost my way a bit during it. The tattoo is a compass rose with a fleur de lis in the North position. I love the fleur de lis and was born in New Orleans. It reminds me that when you know which way is north, you can’t ever get lost.
And yes, still in Texas!
I looked back last night and realized that you weren’t in my reader anymore. I have no idea how that happened! It must have been when I switched over to feedly or something. I do still have people I read, but I am like you in the fact that I don’t want to read a whole bunch of blog posts to catch up! No time for that! So I added you to the reader and will read from here on out! I did go back and look at your tattoo post! Awesome!
How are you? Wife-Lisa?? The kids?