I write a lot. I write blog posts. I tweet. I update my Facebook status regularly. I comment on other people’s blogs. I send emails to people. And a lot of the time all I can hear is the quiet chatter of my inner voice. Yep that’s enough to scare anyone. So as the tumbleweed rolls through my rambling writing it might be easy to take it personally, to get offended that my legions of fans are not hanging on my every word, not realising I’m the next Leo Tolstoy or Oscar Wilde. That I’m some kind of Forrest Gump, with people following my every step, lost without me.
Well if you do believe any of that is true in my case, or yours, then this is sadly your long overdue, bubble-bursting wake-up call. The internet is a really big place and there is a lot of noise. And a lot of the time that noise is the sound of people talking about themselves, their business or their cat. Or maybe all 3 at once. So unfortunately people are too busy talking about themselves that they really don’t have time to listen to you. I wish they did because you’ve probably got something worthwhile to say but it’s just getting lost in the cacophony of the out-of-control dinner party that is social media as we know it in 2010.
Even in my own small social media circle, things roar along at a maddening pace with tweets, status updates, LinkedIn messages and a ton of emails flying in from all directions. Not to mention the guilt-inducing unread count in my Google Reader creeping higher every day (I love that Mark All As Read button). The creative minds of many, even in this small haven known as New Zealand, are busily at work, generously foisting their warbles of wisdom on us all. In our local news website we have the acidic sarcasm of Moata, a real face-melter in a librarian kind-of-way, and the latest blog idol winner who is a raving homosexual, who raves about homosexuality (and I thought the Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace boat that got bombed by the French?) or there is a pint-sized celebrity who feels the need to share e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Their blog posts are shot out into the crowd like they were using one of those t-shirt cannons at the Big Day Out, except you’re not getting a free t-shirt. You’re just getting smacked around the head with their ‘of-course-I’m-right’ opinion. You’ll be expected to wear it politely, like a good little blog reader, keeping your comments conservatively in line with the mood of the poster and their supporters (unless you really want them to release the trolls. ps trolls are not short for toilet rolls although a lot of what trolls say is pooh bum; they are cowardly cyber bullies who hide behind the seeming anonymity of the internet to flame anyone who disagrees with them).
Whoa. I just realised this post was getting a little dark there for a minute. The tumbleweed was getting replaced with a very black and very ominous cumulonimbus. Ok sun’s back out again. I guess all I’m trying to say is, if you’re reading this and you have a blog that doesn’t get a lot of love, or your tweets and Facebook status updates aren’t greeted with at least a dozen electronic high fives and witty repartee then don’t get down about it. Just keep on with the very therapeutic and cathartic process of venting online, turning up the volume every now and then so you can be heard over the din of all those oh so very boring people who seem to find their way online. Damn the internet and its open-door policy!