I was just reading the blog of a person I won't name, someone who has made a FORTUNE off his/her blog, looking at this person's photos of his/her new house. A huge, gorgeous house. The "look at this, you guys, isn't it gorgeous?!" post had just a bit of bragging to it – whether conscious or not – and my mind took that and ran with it, like a terrier with a pair of underwear. Or at least my terrier. And my underwear. And look what I've just told you, world! Or, okay, both of you who are reading this.
In this day and age a person can make so bloody much money doing something as amorphous as blogging, turning that into a multi-million dollar empire? Why? How? Isn't that mind boggling? I guess it's no different than any celebrity rising to fame. It just seems… weird. Then I progressed to thinking about blogging in general, its weirdness for being such a public forum, how we reveal so much to complete strangers (underwear!), and I actually feel a little self-conscious about a hobby I just happen to share with anyone who stops by. Accidentally, more than likely, because a keyword search led them here.
It fascinates me, from a sociological and psychological level, how our society is absorbed by the virtual. Myself included, because when I want to know something quickly – a fact or whatnot – I hop online. And I think, how did we live before the internet?, which gives me a whoa! feeling. We did survive, life was much slower, and somehow we managed to get along with our more limited tools, things like the LIBRARY, which had reference BOOKS such as the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. The same set of reference books someone called me about yesterday, at work, asking how best to dispose of them. Because who needs them anymore?
It's a little scary, because my children's generation has never known anything else. Those of us in our forties and over know where the manual override switch is; they don't. Should the entire internet come crashing down one day – and I hear some of you hitting the floor in a dead faint – my generation could revert. How could they?
Not long ago, when in another mood like this, it occurred to me how interesting it would be for a person now immersed in the internet world to head out to the "wilds," unplug, live life, then report back on his or her findings/feelings/experiences. But then I realized no one would care unless that person blogged about it daily, or wrote about it on Facebook, which would defeat the purpose. And if they published it as a book, if anyone cared about it at all it would have to be available for the Kindle, the Nook, any mp3 player. So what would it even matter?
Luddite I am not. Obviously. But when I'm really paying attention (hey, it happens) to things people around me do and say it can get a little scary. Such as the last meeting of my writers group, when a teenager visiting with a friend piped up with "I think you should use smaller words. I'm a Junior (in high school) and I read at, like, a second grade level," my first impulse was "You stupid kid!" Then I realized maybe it wasn't all her fault. Maybe sliding into a culture of text language is turning a lot of our kids stupid. And maybe, a few generations from now, we'll all be communicating like cave men, having lost all ability to speak actual words.
All this because I had to go and check a stupid blog. Internet, stop making me THINK! Aren't you supposed to do all that for me?
Oh, and P.S.: Happy Fourth of July.