The blogs I don’t read (LentBlog8)

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.

The point

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.”

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for this Anthony. I have done this with social media this year. I just dip in to FB & Twitter, then quickly get out of there. I’ve written so much more this year. It’s good to hear of other’s strategies. Oh, but you’re more than welcome to hop over to Proletarian Poetry anytime you like. Its door is always open for viewing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the Kafka quote. It chimes with other things I have been reading: Richard Rohr’s “The Divine Dance” and the marvellous poetry of Mary Oliver. Stillness, silence, attention. So simple. So difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a wonderful quote.

    I relate hugely. Whilst I’ve never really gone all in with social media (Twitter for a while perhaps a decade ago before it pictures or advertising and they were genuinely great little groups of poets united by hashtags) I used to follow far more blogs, like you. Mostly on Tumblr, again some years back.

    These days I use virtually no social media and try to keep the blogs I follow to about 20. Some don’t post more than once a month so there are less new posts than that might sound.

    I try to be mindful of how I’m scrolling/reading and if it becomes just swiping and speed reading through stuff just to get to the end of it, I take a step back.

    Read less, read deeper!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That is precisely why I get nervous when I have a new follower. I don’t care for ‘the number’ of followers! I care about keeping this space ‘my space’, under control! I practice the same thing with my small business and the social media surrounding it! I will never understand the ‘empty’ staggering number of followers! And I’m glad I don’t.
    Note: Edmonton is my neighbour city. Does that mean I’m getting closer to you reading my …words?! Just kidding. Sorry couldn’t help it.

    Liked by 1 person

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