I want to keep my front porch! (How Microblogging Crippled My Blog)

I have such great intentions of being disciplined, of spending my time wisely. I make my task lists the night before and sit, perfectly determined to cross off each item one by one. Number Four is a small matter to promote on twitter, and … it’s over. I enter the vortex and that one task, that should have taken about 18 seconds, leads to over an hour of clicking links, reading articles and interacting with other Christian thinkers and writers.

(None of us, by the way, are actually writing. We’re talking about writing and maybe doing research, but mostly we’re visiting. We’re gathering that much craved social outlet too often missing in the lives of isolated creatives.)

Facebook is even worse. I could lose entire days there.

Experts call it “microblogging.” That makes sense. These social networks serve the same purposes blogs used to serve — building community, logging thoughts and life’s activities — but within a “micro” frame. More precisely: 140 characters.

Since the explosion of blogs — Is there anyone who DOESN’T have one these days? — the purposes seem to have changed. Blogs were once casual front porches where people could meet and visit and share pieces of their lives. They’re now formal stages with lights, sound systems and intricate algorhythms for marketing and sales. Simple anecdotes used to make perfect blog posts. No more. Now blog posts need to be polished articles with calls to action, numbered lists and at least three SEO-optimized headings. Oh, and don’t forget the perfectly edited, texted, tagged and themed images to accompany each post. Having an old-fashioned “blog” is no longer enough. Writers now need full-blown, self-published online magazines. Updated at least thrice weekly, please.

I miss the way blogs used to be.

Amy recently posted on her blog about becoming audacious. It was a fantastic post about courage and seizing the opportunities before you. I relate closely to what she shared there. (Click HERE to read it.)

Too often I feel unqualified. My thoughts seem too insignificant. Most are not fully formed, so they’re definitely not polished and I haven’t the time or ability to work through them during the summer. My delightful munchkins and I have thoroughly enjoyed these weeks without school, but — WOW, do these kids have a lot of energy! I’ve barely had time to read my Bible this summer, much less process some vague ideas for blog posts. None of it is good enough for one of today’s blogs.

And so I facebook. And I tweet. And I create text images for Pinterest. I share glimpses of my thoughts, small indicators of what God is teaching me … but I don’t blog.

Microblogging has crippled my blog.

The funny thing is that most of the things I post on those other spots could be blog posts. I often have intentions of writing them as blog posts, but the pressures of being so polished and perfect intimidate me. They help me rationalize and procrastinate so that, by the time I sit down to do it, the thoughts feel stale. In defeat, I push aside the bland, reheated leftovers of what once felt so pressing. Time moves too fast and I too slow.

I should write about how I’ll do better and how I’ll prioritize this over all my other online activities. I should commit to an editorial calendar that guarantees high-value posts, but I can’t. I can’t promise that because — well, I don’t want to.

Life perpetually changes and grows. Trends shift. That’s fine, but I don’t have to alter everything to match them. I want to keep my front porch.

porch blogginb microblogging

Yes, this is my actual front porch, complete with ugly dated carpet and dirty coffee mug. You are welcome here!

This may not be a perfect place, but it’s safe. It’s warm and unpretentious. It’s where we can connect and grow and laugh and learn together. Grab a cup of something and join me.

Talk to me!

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