Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Alien Invasion. Is your bunker ready? To blog, or not to blog...that is the question.

What’s the deal with blogging? It suddenly seems like everyone has a blog (I realise how hypocritical and ironic it is that I’m actually blogging right now, but just go with it). I don’t know how many times in conversation people will casually add the words ‘in my blog’. What are they trying to say by letting you know? I have something to say, I have strong opinions, don’t mess with me or you will end up in my blog, I’m such a deep thinker?? A blog can be informative, entertaining, boring or preachy. There was one I read that made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my face and made my husband look at me like I was a lunatic. Some read like a private journal entry that has been made public, but perhaps should have been left private.

In Hyde park in Sydney, there is a place where people bring their ‘soap boxes’ or milk crates and stand up on them and preach (for lack of a better word) their chosen topic in loud voices to passers-by. Popular themes amongst the milk-crate-preachers include; aliens and UFO’s (they are coming to get you), antigovernment types (these people probably also believe in UFO’s), preppers (people preparing for the end of the world and once again, usually related to aliens and the government…and atomic bombs), religion and politics. Most people walk past. Some stop and listen, enjoying the spectacle. Others will debate with the speaker about why they are wrong. This seems like an acceptable thing to happen and if anything the speakers appear delighted that they have managed to lure someone into a conversation about a topic they are clearly passionate and obsessive about. It then seems to end up as a battle of wits…whose oratory persuasion and knowledge can out do the other persons (also known as a debate), onlooker’s head nodding or shaking to indicate level of agreement.

I find the soap box situation awkward. When I see them one word usually comes to mind. Weirdo. They are generally extreme and more or less wanting to tell you that you have it wrong.  I get the feeling that most of them would struggle socially. I don’t think ‘coolness’ has ever crossed their mind (totally overrated anyway). It’s awkward because they are really putting themselves out there, wearing their heart on their sleeve for all to see and to tear off.

The other word that comes to mind is brave. It takes a lot of guts and conviction and planning. They haven’t just been strolling through the city and thought ‘I have a thought…I might say it aloud for all to hear’, no, they had all their props ready the night before. Milk crate, check. UFO warning signs, check. Information booklets, check. Brown trousers, check. Original aviator reading glasses, check. Sweaty armpits, check. Then they got up early the next morning, gathered their gear, and made their way to the park, hopefully beating all the other like-minded individuals to the best spot.

Blogging is just a passive form of this. Your blog is really a soap box. You may be in your pyjamas, but really its brown trousers, aviators and sweaty armpits. Your audience is potentially a million, but at the same time, a million people may decide your first sentence was too boring to continue reading.

Aaah, blogging. Is it just another way to get rejected by a larger audience? I have noticed that people can be vicious in their comments. Trolls. It’s easy to be mean from the safety and anonymity of your lounge room.

Similar to when you are driving and a car speeds up behind you, swerving from side to side about an inch from your rear bumper trying to get past (even though you are going ten over the speed limit). Eventually they make it in to the lane next to you (probably stuck behind the same traffic you are) and the light turns red. You both pull up next to each other. You look. The soccer mum in the car next to you, with her freshly manicured claws gripping the steering wheel, pretends to not notice that the driver she has been trying to intimidate for the last 5 minutes with close range swerving motions is right next to her. She won’t look. Not so brave anymore. Trolls really get my blood boiling. So weak. So pathetic, yet their comments can be so damaging and hurtful.

So what am I trying to say? I don’t know where I was going with all this. I actually started writing thinking my angle was only blog if you have something interesting to blog about, or lead a life worth blogging, but I think the moral of the story is, be nice to bloggers. They are modern day soap box preachers with something on their heart or in their head that they want to put out there. At the end of the day they might be a bit weird, but if you don’t like it you don’t have to read it. It’s something that they clearly feel passionate about and there will be like minded individuals out there who will love what they have to say. Birds of a feather will flock together after all.

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