I've already blogged more in the first two weeks of this January than I had for the whole month of the past four Januarys.
I hope this is indicative of the way the rest of the year will go.
Blogging is good for my peace of mind. It's contemplative, unlike other social media, which is fast-paced and instant. I can spend hours drafting a blog post. FB is two sentences, tapped out hastily ... and occasionally thoughtlessly. Facebook and Twitter foster an impulsiveness that is dangerous and unhealthy.
It's funny how my personal use of social media reflected, so aptly, how I've been living my life. Too much. Too quick.
Blogging is a lot like the movements it helped to spur in the early part of the 21st Century. Things like urban/suburban homesteading, slow/local foods, and homemade for the holidays - were all topics that started with someone blogging. They promote a slower-paced lifestyle - one that requires us to take time and think, make conscious choices, really live in our moment, rather than rushing to the next thing.
Blogging is also more personal. Occasionally, I'd have people who commented on my blog posts who were unkind, but mostly (and maybe I'm romanticizing it), people were civil, because we really got to know each other. We came to blogs and stayed with bloggers who were like-minded. We supported our blog-friends. We stood up for them when they were attacked by trolls.
People tend to either be too personal on FB (I had a really bad bowel movement today) or very impersonal (here's another cat picture ... of a cat I don't own nor have ever met). The "like" button is a substitute for really engaging. It's too easy. Just hit the button. "Like." That's all we need to say about that, right?
When they do respond, it's often in the moment without any regard to what the reader of that statement might feel. I've found FB to be an incredibly hostile environment - especially my "friends'" walls. These are places where I, too often, find myself an unwelcome visitor - not because my friends don't want me there (they do, or they wouldn't have accepted or sent a "friend request") - but because they have friends (who are not my "friends", because they've never met me, and who only see this one, short sentence I have written TO MY FRIEND, but to which they feel a strong need to respond - I've been guilty of this also), who don't hesitate to bash something I've said. Most of the time, I'm supporting the comment made by the person whose wall it is.
Worse is when I post a comment, and one of my friends wants to argue with me on my wall, and then, because I don't back down and acquiesce to his/her opinion, that person decides to unfriend me. True story.
At first, on FB, I was very excited to share my opinions - all of the time, with everyone. I've grown very gun-shy. I post a lot less. My newsfeed is mostly real news, and I don't see a lot of stuff my "friends" post, because I've set my wall to see articles by actual news sites first (local television stations, CNN, BBC news, Yahoo news, Mother Earth news, etc.). That way, I don't get in trouble by posting a comment that attempts to debunk the fake news article about the fallacy of climate change that my very conservative "friend" posted. Or comment on the anti-homeschooling article or comment by someone who is not a parent, a pediatric specialist, nor an educator - but, of course, knows everything there is to know about child development and learning.
I haven't degenerated into a cat-picture Facebook user, but I'm pretty close. Instead of cats, I find that book posts are safe and less likely to generate negative feedback. Or I vague-book a lot. Then, I delete those posts, because next year when Facebook wants me to share my "memory", I will have no idea what THAT was all about ;).
So, I'm back on Blogger, which just feels ... right! Fewer commercials. Less intrusion (like the ever present concern that we're being tracked). More of the ability to be as anonymous or as exposed as WE choose. More quiet, contemplative moments.
I'm looking forward to reconnecting with those people who found this space useful and relevant, and restarting our dialogue of living a more simple, if not easier, lifestyle. Let's face it, heating with a woodstove is not easier than flipping a switch on the thermostat, but knowing how to make my house warm without the magic and mystery of outside inputs (especially, when those outside inputs fail us - like during power outages) is a more simple way of connecting to this world.
I'm really looking forward to renewing my relationship with my land (all one quarter acres of it :)) and setting up the hammock my family gave me as a gift this Christmas. Of sugaring. Of making soap. Of repurposing that pile of old shirts (maybe into a quilt-top comforter cover).
And of returning to the awesome dialogues we used to have here in the blogosphere before so many of us turned to FB and Twitter.