There’s little question that I’ve been neglecting this blog this year. School has been incredibly demanding, especially this last fall term, and so there’s been little time left over for blog posts. I’ve also stopped dating, so my social life has been much less dramatic (or comedic) as it was during the first half of the year, meaning that that well has dried up. I told myself that even during the dry spells, I would still write at least one post a week, and I haven’t even been able to stick to that.
Imagine my surprise, then, to get my annual blog report courtesy of wordpress and to be told that my blog had been viewed 34,000 times in 2013. 34,000 times? I don’t even know what to do with that number.
It reminded me of the first blog I had, back in the late 1990s, and why I started it. I’d just moved to New York City and come out of a nasty breakup, and I felt so alone. You know how they say there’s nothing worse than feeling alone when you’re surrounded by people? Whoever said that is right. It sucks. So I started the blog as a way to connect, as a way to transcend my four walls and my skin and my life. I wanted to put my emotions and my experiences out there in a way that could be accessible, maybe even meaningful, to others. And it worked. I connected with people around the world who appreciated the nakedness of my emotion, who related to the realness (the mundanity?) of my struggles. It was an electrifying moment, that experience of connection. When someone wrote to me, out of the blue, to share their lives with me or to tell me what they appreciated about mine.
I forgot how that felt. Many times when I write a blog, it’s like a drop in the ocean. There’s a little “blip” and then it vanishes into the ether. Sometimes, someone hits “like” on facebook or stars my link on twitter. Sometimes, someone comments, either directly on the blog or privately to me. Sometimes, people even engage in a conversation on facebook about what I’ve written. But most of the time, there is nothing.
I can see people read it, or at least click on what I’ve written, but they rarely say anything about it.
I don’t know if this is symptomatic of our age and attention spans, if people are mostly reading on their smartphones, and so typing is a chore, or if communication has simply gotten quicker and shallower with less actual engagement.
All I know is that I miss that contact. I miss that engagement. I miss that feeling of transcending my body and my four walls and my skin to connect with someone on some imaginary plane, where the only thing we have in common are our feelings and ideas.
But still — knowing that there were 34,000 views is still stupendous, however silent those views may have been, so thank you for that. I’ll keep exposing myself, however silent (or raucous) the response.