OK, obviously, I don’t hate blogging. I wouldn’t waste my time with this if I did.
But there are a lot of things I hate about blogging, and “waste of time” is a common theme.
Here are a couple of recent examples:
Arguing for sake of arguing: I had a polite, well-reasoned exchange of views with a fellow blogger who seems genuinely nice. But someone else decided to jump into the conversation to challenge my assertion that Christians and Muslims could live together in semi-perfect harmony. And so I’ve been suckered into a theological argument that has led me to spend far too much time this evening reading a bunch of amateur historians trying to prove or disprove some … I’m sorry, I’m not even going into the details. Basically, all these people are talking past each other, so trying to make sense of it all is a bit like taking a set of bagpipes to a Ramones concert.
I get suckered into these arguments from time to time because I have this perverse inner need to correct things that aren’t true. It’s the philosophy major and journalist in me.
Of course, taking any sort of middle ground in these chest-puffing rituals that pass for intellectual discussion on the Web means that someone will try to push you one way or the other.
It wasn’t always that way. I remember offhand political discussion in the real world in the pre-Internet days, and I was pleasantly surprised at the underlying civility. (I say “surprised” because even back in the Stone Age, the media dealt in conflict.) But the Internet empowers people to say things they wouldn’t say in the real world. They can always find enablers to back up any extreme point of view, and there’s no compelling reason to get along with other people in a virtual space.
Enabled hostility: Expanding a bit on the last point — through a series of links I won’t describe to protect innocent intermediaries who may be reading, I came across LiveJournal’s “childfree” community.
I understand people who choose not to have kids or are in a situation that would make kids less than feasible. I understand if such people occasionally need to vent about societal pressure to have kids, though that pressure seems to be diminishing daily. I’ve often quoted the Harvey Danger line “Been around the world and found that only stupid people were breeding.”
I don’t understand this community. I don’t understand the insistence that anyone who would put herself through childbirth isn’t in her right mind. I don’t understand how people expect to be taken seriously with arguments about why dogs are preferable to kids. (If they were joking, it’d be one thing, but I don’t think they are.)
To be fair, when I checked in today, it was more civil than it was when I first saw it. Then, it was full of terms like “crotch nuggets” … well, they didn’t say “crotch.”
Our community believes it; therefore, it’s true: Ever wander into an unfamiliar blog and find that the blogger and his/her commenters (usually his, because let’s face it, men are meaner) have essentially created an alternate reality?
The myth of time: “Oh, blogging is so easy! You just go online, type in a couple of boxes and there you go! Before you know it, hundreds of people will be reading!”
You don’t want to know how much time I spent writing and researching (should I link to a definition of this word?) this blog and how few people will read it.
So this has been a waste of time. And that’s why I hate blogging.