I read an article a few days ago that was tinged with nostalgia while wryly admitting that our lives have changed. It’s this one – How the Mom Internet Became A Spotless, Sponsored Void. The author says:
“This is the “mommy Internet” now. It’s beautiful. It’s aspirational. It’s also miles from what motherhood looks like for many of us — and miles from what the mommy Internet looked like a decade ago. “
How The Mom Internet Became A Spotless, Sponsored Void, Washington Post, Sarah Pulliam Bailey
The evolution of blogging
Bailey is referring to how the blogosphere – the blogging world – shifted from real to staged. Because of the flexibility of blogging, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that the genre quickly tilted to become a money-maker once it was possible to make a living from blogging.
Somewhere along the way, though, we lost what it means to be a blogger. To be real. Not perfect, not Pinterest-worthy, but messy real-life. I guess that doesn’t sell as well.
I’m a little late to the blogging game. So I can’t sit here and critique those who chose to make it their living – that’s their decision. I don’t know what kind of factors went into that, nor do I know what their family is like or what they need. Not my business. All I know is that blogging is my voice.
The end of an era?
The article says blogging is dying – almost on its last legs, basically. I get that. No one has time to sit around and read lots of blogs these days (including mine!) so it makes sense. That makes me a bit sad, because blogging is such a personal writing venue. I can’t think of many others that are so close to the writer. When you read a blog, you feel like you’re reading a letter from a friend. Letters are dying too, so perhaps that’s not a great analogy, but I’m trying to say it’s a personal touch. Like looking through a window into their lives.
That’s one of the reason I cherish the blogs from the GHF bloggers. They feel like family. Like people I’ve known forever, even though I’ve never met most of them. They’re my tribe – a group of people that I fit with for multiple reasons, not least of which what they actually blog about. If blogging is truly dying, then I’m in good company.
No selling out
Bailey’s article made me think deeply about why I blog. And why I’ll continue to blog, probably even after blogging is “dead.” Most of all, the article made me evaluate how I feel about advertising, reviews, and all the money-making options available to bloggers. I don’t want to sell out. I want to stay real. Raw. Gritty. Because that’s who I am, that’s what I write about. Changing that into staged photos, product reviews, and “perfection” would completely ruin what I’m saying.
Sure, I blog for me. I always have, I always will. A public kind of musing journal, if you will. But this blog has become more than that – it’s become an outreach. If my writing can help one person feel less alone, I will have accomplished my goal. If my blog can reach one person and teach them something they didn’t know about twice exceptionality, then it’s worth it.
I’ve learned along this personal journey that we all feel alone. We all feel like we’re the only ones with the messy floors, the intense kids, and the crazy lives. And we’re not. We’re not alone. We’re all soldiering along trying to act like this is normal. We’re all trying to fit into the “beautiful and aspirational” mold that the media shows us, and it’s frustrating. It’s unrealistic. We know it’s unrealistic, but we keep yearning for it because it’s wonderful. It’s amazing. But, for most of us, it’s impossible. At least, as long as we have kids around.
Perhaps the next stage in the blogging evolution is podcasts or Facebook Live videos. Or YouTube Vlogs. It doesn’t really matter, as long as we all feel connected. As long as we’re authentic. That’s the key – authentic. Real.
Pretty sure you won’t find me making the jump to podcasts or vlogs though. That’s a bit more than I can handle.