When I began blogging almost ten years ago, I felt as though I had been let into the shiny, sugar-scented emporium of legend. Via the auspices of Twitter I set about visiting every blog I could get my hands on, spending as many waking hours as possible in their company.
I can’t point to a single moment when this behaviour changed. I have learned very slowly, and at times painfully, that life online, though bursting with potential, creativity and connection, can bring with it a new set of pressures and measures that are hard to prevent from becoming imprinted in hardwired habits of mind, the thinking and feeling I do when I am not scrolling or commenting on what someone else has said.
Sometime last summer, I decided to stop. Not to abstain completely, but to stop my indiscriminate consumption. I now read about four blogs. One is in Edmonton, Canada. One is from Wiltshire. Another from the south coast. I have nowhere idea where the fourth is based. (For some reason, I think it is Surrey.) Anyway, that is not the point. These blogs, they give me more than enough.
has never been about who is in or out. The point is about salvaging some time, the time that is left, for proper work, deeper connection, and actual conversation. I still love the blogs I have left behind. I may even return to them. But for now, for now at least, I need to spend time on other things.
As Kafka says:
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”