A good essay from Whitney Pastorek takes an interesting look at the life of the “non-blogger,” but more so an interesting look at where the online world is taking us.
Whitney Pastorek cites the evite as last year’s demise of society. I can say myself that I did once receive an evite to someone’s wedding. I wasn’t able to make it (though not because I was evited). The points she raises about blogging, such as the fact that bloggers expect you to read their blogs instead of talk to them about your life, are extremely valid. It goes further than blogging. Sending an email to a housemate to communicate rather than sitting them down for a couple of minutes is something that happens in society now. The cell phone keeps us connected to everyone but the people we happen to be physical with at that moment. The PDA lets us know when we need to be with people other than those we are physically with right now. The blog lets us say things to our people en masse instead of sharing our joys and concerns with those we live our lives with.
But only for certain people.
We don’t worry about the comic strip writers expecting their extended families to read their strip in order to find out what’s going on in their life. We don’t worry about film directors or actors working through their emotions through their craft. We aren’t concerned about whether Tolkien was disengaging from the world when images from the First World War appeared in his stories. We are concerned when they only appear in the stories, the comic strips, and the forms of expression that we use to communicate that which we can’t find the words for face to face. Using expression as just that, a means to express oneself in different ways, is healthy and good for society, in my opinion.
Whitney has some good concerns. There is a culture growing in the blogosphere that exchanges links like money and seeks to be on top of whatever dog pile happens to be growing at that particular moment. I, as a blogger, see that happening and feel the pull to join that in order to have more inbound blogs on Technorati or more people commenting. But frankly, I could care less how many people visit this place or how many people link in. It’s interesting to know what people are typing in on Google that brings my site up as a search result, but I don’t thrive on that. I can have a good week without my name appearing somewhere on the web.
The culture that is growing steadily apart from itself in reality through the blogosphere is the same culture that grew apart over the cell phone and the PDA. Before that, it was just email. Before that, I can’t say exactly, I was too young to be paying attention. Though I imagine television might have had something to do with it.
The advances in technology and innovation that has sprung from using it are good things. People are bound to abuse it in ways that don’t advance society. But there are people who will use it well. I don’t claim to be one of them, but those that are will endure.
Found via InstaPundit.
UPDATE: Some folks are linking to this article in, that’s right, their blogs! Whitney had to see this one coming from a mile away (one could make the argument that this was the point of writing the essay in the first place). You can find them at Technorati (yes, I use it for some things).
WhippetGood.com may spark someone creating a quiz for you to find out where you rank in the caste system.
ANOTHER UPDATE: d2r has a wonderful entry about this article. This is at least part of what I was trying to get at.
EVEN MORE: Ursula seems to be in a similar place as myself when it comes to blogging.