Blogging is set to return with a ferocity that may have never been seen before in the history of the Internet.
Social media has failed us miserably. People are tired, and angry, and they’re angry at being angry. No matter what side of any debate you find yourself on, there is no doubt in my mind that you have felt this pain just as severely as anyone else. We’re tired of massive social media corporations manipulating the algorithms to subtly utilize their free services more and more and more and more… all while their real customers and beneficiaries make big bank off our suffering. We want control again.
We can’t simply ignore the tired trends of social media, though. Look at how the most viral threads, posts, and micro-videos catch on: They are longer than a few years ago, thriving when accumulated as a series rather than a one-off comment, with more links to external sources, and more visual and audio media to capture people’s attention in a form that is best-suited to a blog.
The masses of people are tired. Not just tired of social media corps creepily controlling and knowing everything about them, but tired of not being in the spotlight for more than 2/10ths of a second before the next TikTok video is loaded on the timeline.
We’re also tired. Sick and tired of not feeling connecting on a deeper level with our fellow humans around us. We’ve spent nearly three years increasingly separated from each other, and even while we venture back out into the world to capture a moment of physical touch with our loved ones, we can’t help but feel the world is totally different than it was before. It will never be the same. The new Internet has consumed our habits and transformed them. Our emotionally-charged meat cases weren’t built for this.
Our minds are tired from trying to keep up. A million views on a video are seen as meaningless. A million subscribers seems like no effort at all to the ravenous fans who demand more. A million album sales comes across as a shocking miss. A million theater seats filled is a box office bust. Creators are coaxed into creating more and more or they lose their relevance, while fans are forced into consuming more and more or they lose their grasp on what’s happening.
Being misunderstood is tiring. Our limited lengths of videos, character counts in tweets, and quickly fleeing trends are forcing us into a self-defeating cycle. We destroy ourselves and each other over small and large mistakes, and we assassinate the character of leaders who carelessly omit recognition of some serious offense. There are no accidents, no unintentional misdeeds… only sins. We don’t just throw this judgement on other people, but also on ourselves as we become more and more critical of every minuscule mark we put out there for the world to see. Did you forget some horrific event that happened when making this insensitive tweet? “No you did not. You ignored it. You bastard.”
This, I believe, is all going to lead us back to blogging.
It may not come this year or the next, but eventually the time will come when people are no longer bashing each other for “writing an essay”. “Too long, didn’t read” will be “cringe”, and saying something that has greater impact beyond the next instant in time will be applauded.
We’ll slow down. We’ll look for more meaning, more connection, more insight into what our fellow tired humans are really thinking beyond emojis and GIFs.
Then blogging will return.
Until the pendulum swings back, of course.