Deep down, I’m a pessemistic person. I always have been. However, my general negativity has flourished exponentially during the last decade or so–thanks to the blossoming of the true Information Age (or lack-of-information age, depending on which side of the street you’re on). Social networking–of all kinds–has shined millions upon millions of individualized spotlights on the most selfish, primitive, and revoltingly irrelevant thoughts of mankind. Opinions, speculation, personal narratives, infantile mental flatulence. You name it. Pointless shit people think that NO ONE needs to know. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all saying that it’s wrong to have your own opinions and think pointless thoughts. This is all part of the human condition. I just merely wish humanity would stop saturating the Internet with personal ‘information’ that helps no one.
As you know, there is an easy remedy for this. Don’t look. I haven’t looked at my Facebook feed in over a month, and the difference it has made in my general outlook on everyday life is nearly unfathomable. This particular layer of this ever-developing digital reality is, for the most part, ignorable. You aren’t missing out on anything. Unless it truly does matter to you that an acquaintance you haven’t spoken to in three months has just made a homemade pizza with produce he/she grew in his/her garden–and they’re so proud of themselves that you somehow feel proud of yourself for being proud of them. If so, I guess you’re probably going to stop reading this and get to making your own pizza.
I do not intend for this post to be a hot-headed (personal) attack on the masses and how they use social media for masturbatory purposes. Instead, I want to use this reality as an interlude into my much more positive outlook on blogging–the embarrassed parent of modern social media.
There is a lot to know about this world. There is something important happening in every city in every country at any given moment. Collective human reality. And it’s incredibly hard to find simple truths on the Internet–thanks, in part, to our own collective irresponsibility (readily viewable on Facebook, Twitter, etc).
I believe that blogging is a continual effort to battle/overshadow this irresponsibilty. Mainly, it is meant to be a reliable inner network–a (mostly) trustworthy system for the noble digital citizen. A way to navigate the treacherous bogs of bullshit. Levels of seriousness/sincerity may differ, but the bottom line will usually remain the same: here is some information, here are some sources which verify this information, and here are some suggestions for further reading. Comments can be important–being that a very useful link may be listed in the comment. The blog-owner will allow these comments to be viewable. Some comments will be juvenile, in poor taste, or simply stupid. The blog-owner will thus moderate accordingly–most likely refusing to allow its presence on the holy page. This is a perfect example of the responbility I mentioned previously; it is what separates blogs from their spoiled children. Stupid comments on Facebook often incite a FLURRY of emotional responses–which all tend to be just as pointless as the original comment, in the end. Serious issues are transformed into nothing more than entertainment. Information is buried, while opinions are piled high.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: what truly makes a blog a blog is linking. Linking is what separates blogging from Facebooking. I know people often link to things on Facebook, of course. However, it is by no means the same thing. Links in Facebook are like pictures on a wall–or at best, windows to the outside world. Links in blogs, however, are like roads. A true connection to true information. A reliable way to navigate the digital mirror of our physical world.
All this being said, I will say that I agreed with a lot of what Brian related to us in his most recent blog entry The Peek-a-Boo World of a Global Village . We live in a world where useful, quality discussion is overshadowed by ‘Absurdities’. I couldn’t have said it better myself.