The best article in last week’s New York Times was Brian X. Chen’s thoughtful essay, “I Deleted Facebook Last Year. Here’s What Changed (and What Didn’t).” Chen, a tech columnist, writes, “The social network’s long-stated mission has been to connect people so that we can live in a more open world. But after being off Facebook since October, I found that I did not feel less connected and that my social life didn’t suffer, even though I was no longer seeing status updates and pictures on my News Feed.”
Chen outgrew Facebook. He marvels at all the time he wasted there. Now he reads lots of books.
And he doesn’t miss his 500 Facebook “friends.” He sees about twenty of them in real life.
I relate to the pleasure of giving up an online activity that no longer gives pleasure. I decided to stop writing my blog Mirabile Dictu last fall. Six years: 1,567 posts. Highlights: so many highlights.
I wrote all kinds of sense and nonsense. And I wrote fast. It was so much fun for a while.
But turning around copy is not the point at a blog. As soon as the blog begins to feel automatic, it’s like work. Why am I writing this, you begin to ask yourself. Blogs get stale. And I wrote such long posts (about 900 words).
The cool thing about Thornfield Hall is that it’s like a private blog. It’s a quiet place. Nobody knows it’s here. And that’s a relief.
The “bloggers-reading-bloggers” thing has quieted down. Social networkers used to comment at Mirabile Dictu so other readers would click on the links to their blogs. One blogger commented daily, not only at Mirabile Dictu but at every blog in blogdom! It was a case of amicitia (political friendship), I suppose.
I can’t help their stats now. And anyway I don’t have my comments on all time!
Here’s the really fun thing. I have received mail addressed to Thornfield Hall. I love the Brontes, but never thought I’d be Jane Eyre!
I have saved the address label.