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.