It’s crazy, possibly a trap, certainly a time consumer! Social media is eating up a lot of what used to be spare time and all in the name of making things quicker, easier, more immediate, intimate, short time accessible…..I am sure there is a perfectly good bit of jargon for what I am trying to say but I haven’t got it at the tip of my typing fingers.
Once upon a time starting a blog was something pretty unique, brave, different and cutting edge. Who would have thought sharing your thoughts out there in the great wide web would capture the attention of people all over the world from different countries, backgrounds and belief systems (not to mention the media and potential employers/sponsors).
I started blogging in 2000 which from what I understand was in the early days of blogging. Just a side note – webloging kind of came about in the early 90′s when someone put their personal journal out there for all to see then in 1999 the word “Blog” was used and thus blogging was born. So I got into blogging in 2000 which is pretty early on in the scheme of it and it was all thanks to Cat (thanks Cat!!) I didn’t know about, couldn’t set it up, had no idea how it worked or even why I might want to do it but I got into it. My driving force was so that people who thought they knew me could actually get to know the real me and not the Film TV personality. I blogged a lot and they are all still out there on the net for people to read through if they have the courage, strength and time as Natalie recently has!! Occasionally I will click randomly on the archives and have a read – it is certainly a fascinating look into where, why, who, what and when I was as well as the conversations and replies that flew back and forth between us.
I blogged a lot and frequently, my wife would often ask me what I was doing and why and thought I perhaps spent too much time doing it. My brother couldn’t work out why I – a person in the public who had to contend with that would then go and put myself in the public in a much more intimate and personal way. My sister quietly found my site and would read the posts but never post herself. Eventually my wife would read my posts and the responses and generally enjoy them – not always – they would often spark discussion between us and sometimes argument but all healthy really. I now know a lot of people whom I know well read my blog but never actually tell me they do. I also know that when I have gone for interviews for jobs, sponsorship opportunities and actual interviews for radio/newspapers etc the interviewer has seen my blogs and thus is armed with information to use at their discretion.
That has been the scariest part of blogging actually. That people I don’t know can take information I have freely put out there and use it for or against me. That is why my blogging over the years has decreased, sadly a small number of people were reading and using the info against me. That sounds harsh in fact let me put it a better way – when I realised certain people were reading my blog I then realised the potential for misunderstanding and how that could damage me and my brand. In the early days I could be brazenly honest because for one there was not so much at stake as there seems to be now and not a lot of people knew about or followed blogs so those that did were fellow travelers. Of course this is not only a problem for me nor only for celebrities but for everyone indulging in this brave new world. What once was a wonderful place for true freedom of expression has become a slightly subdued environment where one can express themselves with some caution lest they get, sued, fired or beaten up. Of course I could have changed my name (still could) but what is the point of expressing oneself behind a false name???
I have often felt sad about this change as I have felt less able to express the me I still am, the free and open bloke I was when I began blogging and the me that sits here today with more of a need to do so then ever. I am sorry if I have disappointed people as I withdrew from this world – how ever I console myself with the idea that everything has it’s time, whilst I am not giving it up it has changed due to the nature of social media and the way it makes the world go round – but we did have a good time back in the old days didn’t we?
And so I get back to the point of this post – Social Media. This blog has suffered from it even as it is a part of it. I now have three facebook accounts, a Twitter account (thanks to Kelly – 337 friends now!!) and of course this site. I have several domain names registered which one day I will activate and no doubt need to spend time writing on and hopefully answering questions/requests etc
And so it came to Xmas and it came to the dilemma…..where do I post my Xmas wishes? The answer of course is on every site although I didn’t do that as I felt silly saying the same thing on every site knowing that there are people who follow me on different sites and would see the same message and then if I posted different messages on each site that would take a lot more time and what if one site message was happier than the other???? Damn Social Media!!!!!
Each social media site I have has a different audience and serves a different function which seems crazy as I type this. It is like we are pulling ourselves apart and presenting each part to a succinct section of the community and along the way lessening our ability to truly communicate. As we reach for a broader audience are we dumbing down who we are and therefore our message? Or am I thinking too much, am I not getting what it is all about, am I still coming to terms with the new wave of Social Media ?
I will have to get back to you on that one as it’s time to tweet to my 337 followers that my cup of tea is ready and ask what biscuit I should have with it and whilst I have my cup of tea and biscuit I will check my 3 facebook accounts, my hotmail and email accounts, twitter and peep on my phone and then after all that have a chat to my wife – if I can remember how.
Oh…..and Happy Belated Christmas – I raise my glass and toast to you all and thank you for being on this journey with me.