I’ve been reading Renard’s World recently.
Renard is a major blogger.
Not so much in relation to the length or the number of his blogs although he has been blogging a while, more, he has loads of followers and lots and lots of people engaging with his posts.
For anyone who has ever blogged, getting to know someone has read what you have written is great. It gives you a pleasant feeling of satisfaction, akin to a Facebook thumbs-up.
They say that social media is a drug, in that engagements spark a transient elevation in the level of dopamine in the brain, making you feel happy for a split second. This is when someone likes or re-tweets a photo you have shared or the content that someone else has posted and you have reshared.
User generated content, for that is the essence of a blog, is wholly from the blogger, a tabula rasa, from my Broca to your Wernicke. The seamless transmission of electronic whisps.
From nothing, something.
Today, Renard wrote about the pitfalls of running a successful blog (his is very successful, if success is reflected in the number of readers or likers) and I was surprised.
One of the risks of being successful is that lots of people will engage with you and consequently your inbox will fill, there is also an expectation you will promptly respond to comments (If you are to maintain the dopa spike in the liker).
That is all very time consuming and probably intrusive and overwhelming to the sensitive soul who has sat typing on his or her laptop quietly in the corner for years.
Today, when I commented back to Renard, I accidentally clicked on the tab that said, ‘Let me know when anyone else comments on this post,’ and, voila, even as a spectator my inbox was full, overloaded.
And no, I couldn’t cope with that.
This leads to a paradox.
I write and I want people to read what I have written and when people comment it makes me, transiently happy, yet, if this became a burden, I would probably want to stop.
You could say that I am a malcontent, and you would almost certainly be correct.
You see, I write for people to read, and I enjoy the micro-dopa surge, I also write because getting thoughts on the page, or the screen via the keyboard is therapeutic. It helps my mental health. Marie Kondo for the mind.
I started writing around six years ago as I was convinced, I was going to die from a heart attack – this was an irrational fear, I was however laying-out my legacy, should I have popped-off, so my kids would have something to read when they were older.
As I am still writing I haven’t died yet and I have most likely written more than my family will ever need or want to read.
Perhaps I should stop.
I’ll keep going.
Only, please, if you enjoy this blog and you have managed to find your way past the complexities of the WordPress liking system, only like me if you really like the blog and if you don’t, do not worry, the absence of your like is equally good for my psychological wellbeing or, at the very least my digital humility.
Have a good day.