Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A New Endangered Species

Have you noticed lately how irrelevant blogs have become? I don't know why, although I suspect it's that stupid social networking site. This isn't a rant about Facebook, I absolutely understand our need to communicate with each other, which is why blogging seemed so important to us. But the facile ease of Facebook and the instantaneous sparks of communication and conversation simply overwhelm and overshadow the archaic beauty of blogging. Taking time to write beautiful heartfelt pieces, showcasing the subtle changes of the world from a small spot on the planet, telling the stories of our families-- the lives and deaths of people we have loved-- all of that is what made blogging so important. But things have speeded up, they now move faster than the beat of our own hearts. There's no time to ponder, to review, to record, to consider, to dream, to question. Now I must do a status update. It's all in the moment. I'm at the store. I'm at a restaurant. I'm at the airport. I'm falling love. I'm a grandparent. I'm ...

...wondering what this all means for the future. Our future... the future of words and storytelling... the future of content and meaning.

On Sunday (mother's day) I turned 60. I wrote a haiku and posted it on Facebook.

Funny, all it's been
is sixty revolutions
around this old sun

I'm lonely for the old world, and in heartbeat, that's over too.

Hello, I miss you.


  1. Oh, how I DO agree. And I say that with full knowledge that I am spending many waking moments on that stupid social networking site as well as it's spinoff, P*nterest. My blog is languishing while I revel in other things, and lament the demise of blogs. How can this be???

  2. I don't know, Judy. I made myself blog this tonight. I've been thinking about it for a while, and it was easy to dismiss it and go looking for an instant communication fix on Facebook. I have purposefully avoided Twitter and Pinterest. I want the old days. How funny the concept of time has become.

  3. Kind wishes to you on your 60th birthday, robin andrea!

    I'm not on Facebook, and lately I have been wondering if I should continue blogging. Your post moved me and reminded me many good reasons to keep blogging.

    Thank you for posting your birthday haiku on your blog. I love your perspective.

  4. Happy birthday!
    I avoid FB,Pinterest,and Twitter. They seem to be time suckers and my blog does enough of that.
    I think the blog is a deeper platform, even if every post isn't deep.

  5. Robin, enjoy your 60. You have many years left to celebrate, again and again.

    I once loved my blog. It was gift to me and to those who read it. When I was invited to join Facebook in January 2009, Mary's View became secondary. I sincerely regret that!

    Facebook is like crack. Too addictive. I can't do both the blog and FB. DILEMMA. Right?


  6. Robin, you speak from my heart. I don't like Facebook. It's so hit and run. I'm only there because my family and friends are there, and it's the best way to communicate with the generations younger than I am.

    I miss the old days of blogging terribly, but they're gone. Everything is so fast today.

    Belated birthday wishes to you, m'dear. 60 is so young. :-)

  7. happy birthday!

    well, i hope blogs aren't gone -- here is a richness that i really like. but admit i have less time to spend on them than i used to.

  8. Wow, you really guilt-tripped me. Before blogging, I spent decades promising myself I'd write. Someday. Then I say this offer while reading Salon to join a blogging community, and took the plunge. At first I reveled in how the technology gave me permission to write creatively without having to be stagey.

    Then I started wanting to be READ, to have a robust dialogue in comments that I saw on other blogs. Still, I had some loyal and cerebral readers.

    Then Facebook appeared, and seemed to give the instant gratification with a tenth of the effort, and there I went slouching towards Bethlehem. Plus, I got caught up in trumpet-playing, which takes a lot of time and effort.

    But there's a void that clamors more & more for me to fill it with words. I really need to go back there and see if the lights work.

    Thanks for the kick in the ass.

  9. I agree blogs aren't as popular as they were due to FB and others. I still visit my favorites regularly. I write or post photos for me on my blog. I share what I see and sometimes what I feel. If others visit and like what I've done, it puts a smile on my face.

    Happy 60th birthday my blogging friend!

  10. I agree, Robin. I miss the old days, too. I had stopped blogging prior to FB due to my frustration with blogger and the photo uploads, etc. But FB's in-the-moment, in-your-face sort of updates keep people feeling more connected and current with their friends. I don't know if FB's new template has the "Notes" section the old one had, but that was a good place to write introspective and thoughtful pieces for sharing.

  11. Do you or Roger write letters? I have been experimenting recently with the mostly lost art of pen-to-paper letter-writing. Sometimes a response comes in the form of e-mail, sometimes a hand written letter appears in my mailbox, sometimes I get a phone call, sometimes there is no response at all. All outcomes are gratifying in their own way.

    I've also been made aware recently, through a third party, chatting through my car window no less, that the neighbor who frightens me does not have my cell phone number. I left it on her answering machine when we had our land line disconnected over a year ago, but she failed to jot it down or it was tossed into the recycle bin, so now she has no way to call me and she is unable to share my number with anyone who asks for it.

    The person who asked for it asked during what she believed was a crisis. Guess what? There was no crisis, only a false perception of crisis. There are so few true crises. Why don't people get that?

    Anyway, when I heard the news that TNWFM doesn't have my number, I was going to call her and give it to her again, but then I realized it's not such a long walk between our front doors and we are both able-bodied women, so why bother?

    Now, she has taken to calling me "Jen." If she sees me out in the yard, she calls out to me, cheerfully, casually, "Hi, Jen!" It's the weirdest damned thing; I don't know quite what to make of it. I still call her Barbara to her face, although part of me wonders how she would respond to "Babs."

    I could never muster a "Babs" for a republican lawyer, could you? Maybe a "Barbie," if I were feeling wicked or dismissive.

    Monday morning the city ground up and hauled off the asphalt surface of the road on which I live. Tuesday they started digging trenches for new water and sewage pipes. I have no idea what they will be doing today, but we no longer have use of the mailbox at the end of our driveway. I would have to drive five or ten miles to the post office to get a key for the temporary box that has been installed at the end of the boulevard. Once I have the key, if I ever go get it, sending and receiving mail will require walking to the temporary box. I can easily envision myself mentioning to MrZ, when he gets home on the 24th, "Oh, yeah, the mail. I guess there's a key for us at the Barlow branch, but I haven't picked it up because I was waiting to have other errands in that part of town."

    Whatever happened to drums and smoke signals?

    I chuckled yesterday when my son told me he intends to download a white throated sparrow call for his smartphone ringtone.

    My youngest daughter has asked me, not very politely, to stay away from Twitter. She can have it.

    I still love your blog.

  12. I was going to write a blog post last night, but I had several things going against me, not the least of which being that, as far as I know, there is not a good app out there for blogging on iPad. I spent twenty minutes writing what I thought was a pretty coherent post on BlogPress the other night, only to have it vanish when I hit the "Publish" button. That, and after a full day of work and ball games and chauffeuring I was exhausted. And I've been in this state lately where I have all kinds of creative thoughts racing around in my mind, but I can't seem to focus enough to channel them to words or music. I keep telling myself it's a stage and it means something great is going to come of it. Eventually.

  13. Several times a week I'll have something I want to write about, mean to write about, but something intervenes and I never get back to it. Life does seem to be getting busier and less predictable.

  14. I too have let my blog languish. I think about it, but then I move on. I wonder about how the other social media, apart from being instantly gratifying, also serve as creative outlets - and I no longer feel the urge to write anything more lengthy than a sentence or two. Which I can do several times a day if I want. At work I have three personas on FB and Twitter -and have to pause and remember who I'm posting as from time to time..Which reminds me of a favourite poem: We are not one but two, we are not two but four, we are not four but many, and
    sometimes we are not any"

  15. I keep politics (mostly) out of facebook, read it cursorily; so I still get more from blogging. I never write deep political stuff there (have done a few links) but it's totally different for me. My list of people there are limited to friends and family (some friends distant but nonetheless those I regard as friends). My blog can be anyone; so I can reach people I don't know with ideas-- even around the world.

    I expect both to disappear given the way the world operates. If Facebook becomes more invasive to make money, something it may have to do with big sponsors saying ads there do no good, I'll be gone.

    To me facebook is a place to skim and rarely take time to read more in depth. Blogs still do the other. I believe neither will be permanent. It's the nature of the world today. I just make the most of them while they are here.

  16. Belated Happy Birthday Robin.
    I have been one to slowly drop off my posts till I am now once a week if lucky. Hopefully it is just because I am now busy with Spring and gardening.
    The blog has its place and is a great place to put the stories we want to record.
    Some of my regulars bloggers have gone but new ones surprisingly appear. I have hope. Keep them coming robin, that grandchild will want to know.

  17. glad i'm not alone in my thinking either .... i also had a little rant about this very topic recently

  18. I don't blog as much these days, I guess mainly due to some of the technical difficulties of trying to post while on he road or at the Nova Scotia house where I use an iPad as my only net connection. Sometimes I don't blog because I'm having a difficult time dealing with events in my life now that I am alone and I just don't feel like writing about it and just keep my thoughts to myself. However, my blog is still iimportant to be as a record of the past four years since Don's death. I'm very glad that I posted fairly frequently during that time, and I hope to continue to do so in the future. I do enjoy receiving comments frim readers, but I would probably keep writing regardless just because it is really helpful to be able to go back through the archives and see what was happening two or three years ago. The posts and photos help me to remember.

    As for reading other people's blogs, I try to keep up with quite a few - perhaps not so many as I did a few years ago, but then, quite a few of my favourite bloggers have stopped posting. I have found others I do like to follow. There is one thing that I do lament though. For me, the seemingly small nuisance of having to deal with captchas and those blogs where one is required to be logged in to google or wordpress, etc... has almost stopped me from commenting. I sometimes wonder how many others find that duscouraging too. I write carefully considered comments, sometimes only to have them not take as I don't have my ipad or smartphone logged in to the right service or because the captchas are so heard to figure out on a small screen. So much easier to go to FB where you can remain constantly logged in and fire off a comment or easiy post a photo. Maybe I'm just wimpy about this stuff, but I don't think so. I have so many other daily irritations to deal with that I avoid adding even tiny additional ones.

    Still coming here and commenting here though!

  19. I still blog over at Roundtop Ruminations but I know what you mean. This new artform already seems to have passed its peak. Facebook is only what's happening at the moment. Sometimes that's valuable (as in "Hey, I just got a great photo of an ivory-billed woodpecker and here it is!") but mostly it's not. And blogging has another advantage for me. I can do that during free moments at work, while access to Facebook is blocked.

  20. Belated birthday wishes, Robin! You've entered another fine decade.
    I occasionally try to write a paragraph; it's worth the effort to string sentences together, whatever the result.

  21. I miss blogging so much but not, evidently, enough to resist the siren song of immediacy. Facebook and done . . . sigh. I'm not willing to give up on the blog but . . .

  22. I miss, too, the feeling of community a lot of the blogs helped to foster - especially the group blogs. I have never had a blog (writing is laborious for me), but I frequently lurk and sometimes comment. In the days when being called a liberal was a slur, it was exciting to meet others who felt shut out of the discussion in our "brick and mortar" (flesh and blood?) worlds and be able to engage in spirited discussion - with folks from all corners of the earth. And to learn about each other's passions - birding or antique cars or cats. I made lots of friends.

    Sadly, maintaining a community spirit takes work. I guess that is to be expected. Many of the group blogs I used to frequent have fallen victim to petty arguments and uncomfortable defections. The handful that I go to now are mostly written and maintained by one (or two) individuals.

    I love coming here because you guys are lovely. And even though we're FB friends, you're thoughtful and beautiful blog posts are worth the wait.

  23. (ugh -even after proofing I missed "you're" instead of "your". it will bother me for eternity.)

  24. "Have you noticed lately how irrelevant blogs have become?"

    I like the question. I'd say, yes, to many, most, the majority, perhaps.

    But to nobody who I'm looking to for something that tweaks my interest.

    It won't surprise you to know that I have a great deal more to say about it!

  25. Facebook is a time-suck which I loathe, but I was running up against a wall for rescue--almost all rescue has moved to FB. It worked wonders at first, saving a lot of lives, but not so much anymore.

    The political blogs seem to be healthy, still. Some stuff just doesn't fit into "status" updates!

    I love your blog, but what helps me to follow a blog is to be able to subscribe to it. I haven't figured out how to do that with your blog (am I missing something obvious?).

  26. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Sadly, I agree with you. I miss so many of my blogger friends who have turned to FB and Twitter. Now it always pains me when I see, "Join me on Facebook." It almost always means the blog postings will slowly recede and disappear. It saddens me but I do think it is a symptom of our need for instant feedback, instant gratification in all phases of our lives.

  27. I agree with another commenter: Facebook is like crack. I frequently call it "Crackbook" actually.

    I'm doing both, and they serve very different purposes for me.

    I haven't really thought about the irrelevancy of blogs lately: I know that you blog less and that bums me out because I love your posts. But is that because of FB or other circumstances?

    I, too, have avoided twitter and other such things, as I already feel addicted and don't need yet another monkey on my back!

  28. You say so well some of the things I think, and this is one. Fortunately, there still are, and I hope will always be, people who love to explore through writing and reading. I may have sent you this blog address before but, whatever, here it is, I've been really enjoying travelling through Asia with this couple in their 20s, maybe you'll like them too: http://otpwg.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/think-less-achieve-more/

  29. Storytelling is the life's blood of history.

  30. Interesting blog and lots of long interesting comments. True, I spend a bit more time on FB but usually more reading than writing. It's Flickr that takes my time or preparing a photo for Flickr. Even that gets neglected some days. Reading, walking, care of the house and property takes most of my time these days. Always busier than I expected retirement to me. I still write blogs in my head everyday but just don't go into the house to write out the results. . . .

  31. I wonder if it's less a matter or folks turning to facebook and more a matter of the earliest bloggers getting tired of the responsibility of it. But seems like the commenters here have had more experience with this than I have! I'm a relatively recent blogger--didn't know I'd missed the heyday!

  32. Sweet Robin. Blogs are still relevant for writers and people who love to read and see and think. For storytellers and those who love to hear them. It's been a long while since I dropped by, but I'm so glad you're still here, telling the story of you. And belated though my wish may be, here it is: May this next sweet and dizzy full turn around the sun bring you seasons full of joy, laughter and peace.