Why I stopped lifeblogging so much

Way back in 2001 I started a blog on Diaryland. Blogging wasn’t quite as big as it is now, and I poured my heart out into it. All my high school dramas, angsts, and achievements appeared there, and this being the early 2000s, there was even a guestbook for visitors to sign. While most of my entries consisted of everyday life, there was the occasional pensive entry, and sometimes I actually wrote things that weren’t about my everyday life or online quizzes. (The latter made me sick and tired of “What X are you?” quizzes that were popular a few months back, which were also popular in my early blogging days.)

I moved from Diaryland to Xanga to LiveJournal to this site, almost coinciding with going from high school to college and beyond. Back then, my life was interesting to write about. I interacted with lots of people on a daily basis thanks to being in school, in classes, in a tutoring job with others my age. The interactions were, if not noteworthy for future self, idea launchers for blog posts and stories.

That isn’t to say that I don’t interact now. I do. But working remotely means a lot of that conversation, even with friends, is online. Remember those IM logs people would post for blog posts? I did that occasionally, whether for better or worse.

At some point, I stopped writing about my life. Not just with the IM logs, but with lifeblogging as well. It wasn’t a sudden stop. My life eventually contained fewer interactions than during my school days, and writing yet another blog post saying “I looked for jobs and read some interesting things” became boring even for me. At a time when my life, quite frankly, wasn’t all that interesting, the things I wanted to share became links and thoughts and short observations. Part of this was because fewer people were lifeblogging in general, what with the arrivals of Facebook and Twitter and all those other sites that encourage shorter, more immediate updates. I’m active on Twitter and can attest to this.

But this kind of instant, bite-sized update doesn’t lend itself very well to truly keeping up with people. Sure, the big things get updates, and short-form updates are a good way to glimpse parts of one’s life that one may not ordinarily share. But takes a lot of putting together pieces to figure out if, say, someone hasn’t been doing so great, or if there are exciting plans in the works. The things we choose to share on social sites aren’t often major life events like what Facebook wants you to share. They’re bite-sized pieces that take more context to get a full picture of one’s life.

Sometimes I miss blogging about my life. I still keep a paper journal that contains what would normally be lifeblogging, a combination of feelings and events and other exciting things. And sometimes I ponder writing more about my life on here, especially for big events that would be of general interest to others. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Lifeblogging is dead. Long live lifeblogging.

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