At the end of 2020, stuck in lockdown, I pressed the pause button on my online life. Bored witless by the banality of Instagram and repelled by the hate-filled bile of Twitter, I deleted the only two social media apps from my phone. Then I questioned why I was still writing this blog.
Personal blogging has changed dramatically since I started and my enjoyment has waned. Ten years ago, I flitted around the globe reading blogs about ordinary everyday lives, which were so different to mine, listening to voices that usually go unheard. It was refreshing and interesting to see things from the perspective of a normal person instead of from a journalist or politician. I was inspired and influenced by other people’s passions and enthusiasms, where they lived, what they ate and what they did. We were an engaged community: we left comments and linked to each other’s blogs, we shared stories and added our own viewpoint, we met up in real life or chatted on the phone or by email. Looking back, it was a much simpler and more innocent time.
Blogging has moved on. It’s become more professional and monetised, moving from hobby to career with blogs swamped by adverts, sponsored posts and self-promotion in the pursuit of income. There are still plenty of personal blogs out there, but many more have been abandoned or are updated irregularly. Followers have drifted away and readers now bounce in to read a post that answers their particular question and bounce out again, never to return. It’s hard to comment using a phone or tablet (which most people use to read blogs) so the banter and dialogue that came with comments have been replaced with a meaningless ‘like’. It’s all a bit soulless.
I let the blog sit for a couple of months to see if I missed it. I didn’t. So, it’s time to stop blogging and end it properly, rather than letting it half-heartedly fizzle out. As we’ve learnt from the Covid pandemic, life is short and we have no idea what lies ahead. I have places to go (one day) and things to do with no need to document them online. I’ve had a lot of fun and ‘met’ some wonderful people through Life in Mud Spattered Boots, so an enormous thank you for all the comments you’ve left and discussions that we’ve had.
I’m not going to write any more blog posts but maybe I’ll fiddle around with Life in Mud Spattered Boots to transform it into something amazing*. Maybe I’ll just leave it as it is and it will sit online, unloved and unread. Waiting and ready for the next big thing to arrive …
*Obviously that’s a rash statement as I have no idea what that amazing thing might be. Not even the germ of an idea.