Monday 12 December 2022

The One Where We Gave Up Our Passions And Dedicated Our Lives to Social Media

It's tempting to live nostalgically. I remember this blog with a fondness that I can't put into words. I was at a creative peak that I've struggled to match since - full of youthful exuberance and confidence. 

In the first four years of this site, I created over a thousand blog posts. In the nine years since, I've posted 64 times (and only 4 times in the past seven years).

My blogging persona took on many different personalities. The classic film lover, the indie film advocate, the changing media landscape cynic, the storyteller, the how-to-be-creative-guru-guy - and many other things in between. It felt creative, and meaningful. 

I was part of a community, and then that community died. 

Everyone stopped blogging. 

I could name twenty brilliant blogs, created by fascinating, wonderful people. They were unstoppable right up until the day they never showed up again. A few times a year I find myself wandering around the blogosphere, wondering what happened on some day in 2014 or 2015 when a writer I admire decided to just not do it anymore. 

Where did everyone go?

I think what happened to most people is, they joined Instagram and Twitter. It was the place to be, and our brains lapped it up. 

I have always been passionate about writing and about the cinema but now I'm thinking, maybe I lost that passion. Even though I hated social media - maybe my brain thought that was the passion. Here's a guy who used to watch three films a day, and now he's writing thirteen tweets a day.

Is that what happened to us all? Our brains thought social media was more important than everything else? 

It's just a theory. 

Meanwhile, I've been avoiding my creative plans for the best part of a decade. 

You can literally sense your brain deteriorating when you don't do the things you know are your purpose. There's a corrosion to your confidence, heart, and talents. You're left, a shell of a person, scrolling Tik Tok and hoping someone has an answer. 

But as you watch a nineteen year old dancing to a song that you hate, it suddenly hits you: 

You've been focusing on the wrong things. 

You love cinema. You love writing. 

That's what's important. 

Just so you know, I have this epiphany once every two weeks, it's not groundbreaking. But at some point, you ask yourself, how much more of your life are you willing to have pass you by? 

Since those days when we knew each other, there were marriages and divorces, births and deaths. Life is a big bowl of everything. You have good days and you have bad days. For the most part, we're just trying to survive. 

One thing I will tell you --- writing this blog post, even though it has nothing to do with the original concept of this blog -- it feels far better than scrolling on Tik Tok or liking photos on Instagram. Next time I forget that, please remind me. 

Oh and I mentioned nostalgia and then didn't really follow up on it. Here's why I mention it: 

Nostalgia is the most addictive thing in the world. 

It stops progress! 

How can you write a new blog post when you stopped writing like this so long ago? How can you have something to say since you stopped having something to say? 

Dreaming of the past leaves the current day unoccupied. It's a scam, and it steals years. 

It's relieving to write a blog post, even if it's a bad one. I know that "life is a big bowl of everything," is a terrible phrase but who cares - it's freeing to express something! 

And now, I'm hitting PUBLISH. 

Care to share?