Robert Hampton

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20th November 2012

This time it’s personal
Posted by at 11.42pm | 1 response | It's My Life, Meta

We’re just over four months away from “celebrating” the tenth anniversary of this blog. 22 March 2013 will mark a decade of my writing borderline nonsense on a little corner of the Internet.

The only problem is, I’m not sure I want to carry on for much longer. Ten years is starting to feel less like a milestone, and more like a millstone. Around my neck, that is.

When I started the blog, I was a very different person. I was very much a loner, with few ways to express the massive frustration and unhappiness I was feeling. The blog was my way of sharing some thoughts. The target audience: former school friends who thought I was dead or crazy. The Internet, bizarrely enough, felt much safer to me than the scary world outside.

Almost a decade later, much has changed. Not only do I have a reasonable network of real, tangible, touchable (NOT LIKE THAT) friends, but the primary reason I started the blog in the first place – to stay in touch with people I know – has been usurped by Facebook.

Of course, the blog is still an outlet for my opinions – sort of. You see, I’m starting to wonder if there is a point to me posting blog entries online like this. I have views on everything from the Savile scandal to manned missions to Mars, but does it matter if I share them with the world? Who’s reading? Who cares? Does my writing here make an iota of difference?

I joined Twitter over three years ago. With its pithy 140-character missives, it seemed more exciting. Unfortunately not everyone on Twitter is nice, and I worry about attracting the attention of trolls. My friend Jamie got a torrent of abuse after posting a perfectly reasonable tweet recently. He’s the sort of person who can give as good as he gets. I’m not.

Saying controversial things for the sake of it – a la Jeremy Clarkson – isn’t my style, but I would like to have a sincere rant every so often. However, I’m finding myself increasingly reluctant want to stick my head over the virtual parapet, lest I open a can of troll-flavoured worms. So the tweets are tame and the blogs are bland. Occasionally I’ll cop out and retweet someone else’s tweet or link to someone else’s blog. That way, they get the flack, not me.

For similar reasons, I haven’t made any more vlogs. I did a few during the first half of 2012, but they sort of petered out. I enjoyed putting them together – it was fun experimenting with a new format. Now, though, I find myself lacking inspiration and, again, wondering if it’s worth the effort and potential hassle.

Tied up with all this is a thought that I am maybe living too much in the virtual world, instead of getting out and experiencing stuff for real. When I was in Berlin earlier this year, I was so preoccupied with getting good material for my blog that on occasion I forgot to, you know, enjoy myself.

So that is the situation I’ve found myself in. Part of me is worried that the blog is starting to become a chore; an obligation; something that I do because it is expected of me. I’m also keeping in mind, however, that I have made some very real connections through this blog. Would I have ever met Scott or Ian, or Jamie, without the existence of At the very least, the site contains content which proves that I’m not some sort of axe-wielding serial killer.

Don’t panic, I’m not about to pull the plug just yet. I will always have an online presence of some sort – I’m vain like that – but I’m not sure what form that will take. Twitter, blog, vlog or a combination of the three? Further pondering required, I think…

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One Response
  1. Comment by Ian
    23rd November 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I’d be sorry to see the blog end, but if you have stopped enjoying it, I can understand you thinking about bringing it to a close. 10 years is a hugely impressive stint, mind, which you shouldn’t undervalue!

    Besides, the answer to the question in your penultimate paragraph is almost certainly no.