I really envy bloggers who are able to stay on topic. The Pioneer Woman always sticks to life in the country. Seth Godin is good for an inspirational and informative thought once a day about business and marketing. And you can always count on Penelope Trunk to post about…well…anything that has anything to do with her life as long as it ties back to career advice.
I lack that same sort of focus and it has left me feeling rather mute. After being somewhat of an early adopter when it comes to all things digital, I decided to take a break from publishing much of anything online. Since October of last year, my blog has been dormant, my Twitter account has been collecting cobwebs and I’m on Mark Zuckerberg’s hit list for not sharing any personal information on Facebook.
My hiatus from an online social identity came after a period of time when the idea of communicating online became overwhelming. With so many social networks to update and a shortage of interesting things to say, I grew less motivated to participate. The awesome thing about social networking is the same thing that makes it suck so badly: everyone is a publisher. Millions of people are sharing everything from well-thought opinions to what they ate for dinner that I felt lost in the crowd. In other words, I felt no value in becoming part of the white noise–and there is lots of it even without me.
The awesome thing about social networking is the same thing that makes it suck so badly: everyone is a publisher.
I always thought my blog would a place I could jot everything from witty musings to the mundane events of my life. And I suppose it already is that in many ways. However, there came a time when I began writing posts for other people besides myself and that’s when I lost interest. It’s easy for me to write a post like this on the spot as long as I don’t care about other people reading it, because it’s filled with content from my thoughts in this very moment. There are no drafts involved, no ideas bouncing around ahead of time and no research going into anything I say.
When I say that I lack that focus necessary to maintain a blog, it probably has more to do with my inability to define a purpose for my blog. The same goes for Twitter, Facebook and the handful of other social networking accounts I opened at one time or another and quickly abandoned in true love ’em and leave ’em fashion. Perhaps I need to let go of the need to say something meaningful and impressive and focus instead on my my experiences. For example, if some life-changing event happens that may be something I can expand upon in a lengthy blog post. Conversely, if the only thing I experienced in the course of a day was a great meal, then I can document it in a quick tweet with a filtered photo from Instragram. Done and handled.
The bottom line is that ny online identity is my own, notwithstanding the damning data Google already has on me and the painful ads they serve me as a result. In fact, I already have a post on this sitting in my blog inbox and it might sit there a while longer while I figure things out. Regardless, stepping back from the social media noise is probably something everyone should try at least for a brief time to truly understand what it is they share and why they share it.
Otherwise, we all just become a part of the noise.