Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
Regular readers of this blog and the journal that preceded it know that I am, if nothing else, an irregular poster. I put up entries in fits and starts — I’ll be “good” for a week, two weeks, maybe even a month, putting up entries every day or two, then weeks or months will go by before there’s a new one. Something that’s always bothered me about such irregularity has been my own guilt over it — I always feel like I’m being “bad” when I don’t post, as if I owe it to my readers to put up new content. And on one level maybe I do … but since all my sites have always been free for the taking and very, very few of you know me personally, on another level maybe I don’t owe you a thing. And maybe I’m taking myself a little too seriously when I feel guilty for not providing. Maybe no one even notices.
Jim over at Meat of the Matter said something recently that really got its hooks into me. He said that the way the Internet has evolved, personal blogs have become “a non-event.” That struck a chord with me; it felt like truth, and it sort of surprised me. Always slow on the update, I suddenly realized that “blogging,” even the way I do it with the personal stories, has become a cliche. When did that happen?
I’m sort of an Internet old timer. I was part of, if not the First Wave, then certainly the First-point-Five wave of people publishing personal content on the World Wide Web. There were just a handful of “journals” online back in ’97 when I stumbled across the phenomenon and dove in with chuck’stake. We formed our own little communities and fed off each other and I like to think we helped the Internet become what it is now. We fed it content, made it an interesting place to go, showed people that everyone can have their own soapbox on the net. Now, everybody’s doing it. Even dogs have blogs.
And since reading what Jim said, and looking at my traffic stats, and reading the comments my blogs draw and the people making them… I feel like I just woke up and now see things for what they are. All of a sudden my blogging, the pictures I put up, the stories I tell — it all feels like I’m talking to myself. I feel exactly as if I were the crazy homeless guy you see down the alley having a conversation with the wall. He thinks he’s having a real, genuine, important conversation, but the wall couldn’t care less. Can’t care less. It’s a wall. I suddenly realize that I’m just one person among millions having a personal conversation with a void that couldn’t care less. It’s kind of embarrassing, actually.
And I think back to what I said when I started all this back on August 13, 1997: “I’m hoping that writing this journal will help train me to put my ass in the chair and words on the screen on a daily basis.” Well, guess what? It failed. Not only have I failed to write here on a “daily basis,” I’ve also failed to write anything of any real importance offline either since I started this. In fact, I sort of feel that the online “writing” may have been at the expense of the “real” writing, since it’s been the bulk of my output for the last ten years. As the kids would say: EPIC FAIL.
So… I think I’m done. In the next week or so I’ll be shutting down the Lunchroom here, and my motorcycle blog over there, and I think I’ll be taking all of it offline, chuck’stake too. If I won’t be putting my life online anymore because it’s just noise, then what’s the point of leaving the archives up to be noise too? Shut it down, shut it all down.
I suddenly feel the need to go dark. I like the sound of that.
My life has been a mostly open book online for the last ten years. Now I’m checking the book out. Permanently.
The Lunchroom is closed.