As per, Jon Ronson’s Guardian column kept to its usual standard, i.e. high. Subtly linking Linda McCartney, Time Out and Jimmy Wales Ronson lays it out on the line why blogging is unimportant and he made some witty, self-deprecating remarks on the way. For those without a Guardian column though it is easy to defend blogs: it allows us to record the tedious ramblings that otherwise would remain inside our heads thereby causing that most horrific of traumas: nobodylistenstome-itis.
His best made points comes in the form of a circular argument based firmly in the Ronsonian tradition:
the internet gives us the illusion that we’re wonderfully gregarious people. When we type away on discussion boards and post comments on one another’s blogs, it feels as if we’re sitting outside a pub in the evening sunshine with our attractive, cool friends. But we aren’t. That’s what we did before we got addicted to the internet.
Not that I think his argument against blogging is nonsense mind you. He does make some interesting points about how blogging and internet usage is yet another way that we can avoid personal interaction with real people. This curious form of Luddite ranting does not stand up to scrutiny though. Boards.ie regularly hold beer evenings, bloggers come together for awards ceremonies and, as stupid as the idea is, flash mobbing takes place largely as a result of frenetic internet activity. I take his point though: some are beginning to see all online activity as the only form of social interaction. I see many people come together and forming reasonably coherent social groups based on internet activity. Ok so the interactions might be shallow and self-absorbed but that’s the best we can hope for in this fractured world of ours.
You are no one unless you are on YouTube, using WordPress, mashing it up and using Bebo. Beware the power of Web 2.0….whatever that is. I like Jon’s work and was really impressed by the boy-looking man when he came to this city a few years back to present a documentary he’d made but Jon (‘cos I know you are reading this after the paper published your article) sometimes people do things because they want to, not because they are the ‘latest things’. Five years from now, will I be blogging? Probably not but right now I really enjoy it.
As an aside, I read on this morning’s BBC site that the series ‘Lost’ is to continue until 2010 when:
A “highly-anticipated and shocking finale” is being planned by TV network ABC, which acknowledged viewers may drift away unless the drama concludes.
That’s a relief ‘cos I thought it was going to go on and on indefinitely until something of consequence happened.
p.s. blogger’s dictionary doesn’t recognise the word ‘blogging’.