Oh, bugger. At the very moment when finally – and nervously – I am joining the blogging community, the whole thing is slipping out of fashion. In a brilliant Observer article about writing in the digital age, Tim Adams refers to a backlash against online communication.
“The capacity for rigorous sentence construction… is being replaced by a lazy and hasty ‘whateverism’, where nothing that is written has to adhere to the rationalisation of syntax or argument, and where no time is given to clarifying thought.”
There is apparently a mean-spirited tone to the generally anonymous online debate, a theme also addressed by the mighty and revered monarch in the Kingdom of Twitter, Stephen Fry in an attack on those who respond to blogs.
“Of all the stinking, sliding scuttling, weird, entomological creatures that inhabit the floor of the internet those comments on blogs are the most unbearable.”
For someone who, as these words are typed, is losing his blog virginity, these ideas are bewildering and scary. My fears as to the subtle, hidden effects of blogging are many and various:
1. That I’ll become as red-faced and enraged as the mad posters whom I’ve read in the past.
2. That my brain will lose focus and arguments will somehow … you know, whatever.
3. That blogging will be as futile and self-indulgent as a public diary.
4. That I’ll become drearily self-obsessed and will share far too much with far too many.
5. That I shall be unable to write anything else.
6. That my prose will become the drip-drip of a leaking tap rather than a positive, healthy gush.
7. That I’ll like it too much and move swiftly from being blog virgin to blog nympho.
These fears will be familiar to many of those who have launched their little spaceships into the blogosphere in the past. For me, it already feels like the start of an interesting journey.