Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Case Against Blogs

I hate blogs. Hate is a strong word, so let me explain. To put it more clearly, I have mixed feelings about blogs. In this overexposed and conformist world we live in, it’s just a tad conceited to think that everyone in the world is interested in every whit and tittle of every suburban mom’s (or dad’s or _________’s, insert noun here) mundane details of daily life.

I am also a bit perturbed that the maintenance of a blog/website/Twitter feed entitles the small-minded and willfully ignorant to proclaim themselves as authorities on the world at large, a là Fox News-style (on second thought, all their commentators are paid outrageous bucks to spar with other blowhards and simply express their opinions-maybe I need to ring them up to find out their secret). The self-absorption and selfishness of current society has allowed any and everyone to become “authorities” on whatever topic, political ideology, or economic policy seen fit. Some writers are bloggers but not all bloggers are writers but this crucial distinction is lost on the general public.

I was fortunate enough to graduate from my local school system (the largest county-wide system in central North Carolina-I won’t name names but you know who you are) before the current political uproar exploded. Back then, grammar and fundamental English skills actually seemed to count for something, and young people of varied socioeconomic backgrounds had a chance to interact with each other and get a taste of “how the other half lives”, for better or for worse. Okay, I went “political” on you when I said that was the very thing I hated. My point is that US society is inundated with singular material and commercial interests and that our so-called “celebrity” culture is slowing destroying us.

Back to blogs. Yes, I am a proud mother who delights in every coo, every squeal, every giggle of delight and wonder of my young children but I am loath to participate in a forum open for emotional rants, heated political discussions, or, worse still, exaggerated portrayals of modern life for expressly commercial purposes,  like a book deal or movie rights. Excuse me, but wasn’t Eat Pray Love intended to chronicle  a thirty-something woman’s journey to self-discovery? The objective was lost on me when I learned there was a  perfume coming out by the same name. This ethereal expedition has turned into a franchise. Some spiritual discovery.

To be fair, I do read  some blogs, specifically the “mommy” kind, some of which I find cute, amusing, and reminiscent of my own life. Truth be told, if I started a blog, it would primarily concern “mommy” topics because that is where I am in life right now. But this new venture creates its own special quandary: If I started one, when would it end? When Mom gets tired of posting? After the children’s high school graduations? How much to reveal? How little? If spiced with too much detail, you turn into the  overexposed, ubiquitous internet “celebrity” that  people get tired of hearing about. If too dull, no one will be interested and will move on to the next flavor of the month. Say it’s a hit and you develop a following. If you get fed up, want your life back, and decide to pull the cyberplug, your loyal followers will be sorely disappointed.

So why am I considering joining the fray?

If I were to start a blog, I should hope it would be a lighthearted look at modern family life to capture my children’s fleeting childhoods, without ulterior motives. My desire would be to inspire moms, and families in general, to enjoy their children, remember what’s important in life, and to make the most of their time in this fragile and short life we are given.

So, will I start one?
I’ll keep you posted.

Tracy Capella is a mom and occasional freelance writer living in North Carolina.

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