What is blogging in 2017?

Never mind the future of blogging – what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017?

I’ve been a bit quiet here recently. There are various reasons for this, but if I rolled off a few, they’d sound like excuses.

The quick version? Circumstances change. People change. People move on.

Ironically, I don’t always blog my thoughts in case someone reads something I’d rather they didn’t. By not blogging at all, I’ve certainly taken care of that.

The risk in 2017 (or 2015, or 2020) is that everything you say is so visible. So easy to find – and so hard to erase.

There’s that line for people who worry about their private messages being accessed. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ll be fine.” I’ve become a bit paranoid – not because I’m plotting something, but because once you put something in writing, it could be held against you – somehow.

While there are loads of stories about how someone has said or done something terrible, I can’t help feeling that it’s all too easy for one bad comment to permanently tarnish your reputation. There are levels of severity here.

I guess the answer is to not put it in writing. It feels like we’re expected to do this all the time. A blog cannot be too personal, lest you reveal too much. We can’t post negative things online – unhappiness, un-constructive criticism, anger, moaning, venting – because that reflects badly on us.

Thus, we have these uber-positive social media profiles. No wonder the only thing I can remember seeing on Facebook is engagement, marriage, and babies. Occasionally birthdays and barbecues show up. Oh, and holiday photos. There’s not much else.

So, what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017? It feels like blogging – and online life in general – has become very filtered. Based on my own anecdotal evidence, the overwhelming trend for everything I’ve seen friends posting online is that it’s positive – or at least has a positive spin.

I’ve posted less, because I haven’t always had happy things to say. To be honest, I haven’t had much of anything to say. Facebook particularly seems to be geared towards sharing things when you have news – especially when it’s positive. This is perfectly illustrated by the lack of any reaction besides “like”, at least until February 2016. The “like” button “was first activated” in February 2009. That’s seven years of Facebook giving the indication that positive stuff is preferred.

We’re human beings. We’re not always going to be happy. Suppressing negative emotions by not sharing them is probably not a good thing. I’m sure someone else has said that better.

For now, blogging is filtered. Maybe it’s time to change that.

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