Occasionally I like to do a little blog maintenance, even if that means I’m not actually writing anything: I log in, I erase the spam, and I log out. Today, I decided to extend that spring cleaning to the @travelorelse Twitter account too. And wow. I’m a little depressed, and not because of the fact that Twitter is a bit of a dumpster fire anyway.
When I started Twitter, I did so with the idea of focusing primarily on travel, which I still kinda sorta do except when I don’t. And so, in the beginning, I started following established travel bloggers and anyone who was kinda sorta travel related who wanted to follow me. I followed snarky bloggers, super optimistic bloggers, overly helpful bloggers, condescending bloggers (there are a lot in that category by the way), and people who just wanted to bump up their own numbers. Sure they would follow me, then unfollow me after some time had passed. I see you, you sneaky bastard. #unfollow
So this afternoon while scrolling through my list of people I was following (and mostly thinking, “Who is this again?”), I decided I would only continue to follow accounts that had been active this year. And that’s when I went down the rabbit hole of dead travel blog accounts.
It began with the Twitter accounts. One after the other had not been updated in over six months, one year, two years. So then I clicked through to the blogs. People with MUCH better blogs than mine. People with gorgeous photos. People who seemed to be traveling regularly. And they too, had not been updated in months, years even.
What happened to all the blogs? Why are they dying?
To be fair, I hadn’t even looked at my blog in the last few months, and that was even after my husband stayed up until 4 in the morning trying to transfer my WordPress files from one server to another (#hesakeeper). And I have multiple, months-old posts mostly written and ready to go.
Why did people stop sharing? Did we all just overdose on digital media?
Granted, I’ve been really busy at work. I think this is the first time I’ve come up for air in a while. And I’ve been doing lots of other things, like training for 5Ks and learning German on Duolingo and hanging out with the pups. But I’ve still been traveling. Why haven’t I been writing?
Honestly? I can answer that. It’s because it takes a lot of bloody work. Not just the actual writing and finding of the pictures, but the editing too. I worry that each comma will be scrutinized by some troll who thinks the Oxford comma is the end all, be all. Or that I miss word (see what I did there?). Or that I misspell something. And you know what else? It’s pretty scary. Putting anything out into the interwebs is daunting. I realize there are maybe five people who read my blog, but it feels so vulnerable to push publish. What if someone steals my oh-so-professional photos? What if someone hates it? What if I hate it?
But I don’t want to have a dead blog. Or a dead Twitter account. I want to carve out my little niche in the digital landscape, and post my silly stories, even if my mom and her friends are the only ones who read them. And if you get something out of it, great; if not, there are still lots of condescending bloggers with active accounts to follow. And Rick Steves. He’s pretty funny.
So I’m going to try not to worry about poor grammar. Or the trolls. Or the snarky McSnarksters. I’m going to post those entries I wrote months ago. I might also treat you to some wonderful German phrases I’ve learned, such as, “Ich bin keine Banane.” And hopefully I can get you up to speed on the last few trips and the one I want to take next. #wheretonext
#UPDATE: After writing this post, I came upon this little nugget. Apparently, social media usage has gone down for the first time ever. It’s a fascinating read, even if you aren’t into digital media strategy.