Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blogging is evil, and other thoughts

In one of my favorite novels, set in nineteenth century England, a certain Mr. Collins is appalled that his relations would ask him to read a novel to them. Apparently at the time, novels were considered evil, or at the very least a disappointing way to occupy one's time. One could be doing something useful instead, I suppose, like higher mathematics.

These days, if a kid is reading a novel we celebrate. Hooray! The boy will grow up to have a mind and a job and be clever and thoughtful!

I have heard, or heard of, much backlash recently against new and modern ways of occupying one's time. Apparently at this time, blogging and other forms of social media are evil. Or at least a disappointing way to spend an evening when one could be doing something useful.

I disagree.

Yes, just like reading novels, blogging can suck up all one's time and leave little left over for other important aspects of human life. Like going pee. (My bladder hurt a lot after reading The Hunger Games.)

But like reading novels, blogging can improve the mind and make one clever and thoughtful.

Or something like that.

I don't get many opportunities to write for pleasure, but I can blog. And (a few) people even read my blog. Now. Not in the distant future when I am dead and they are sorting through my things trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away. You can tell me immediately that yes, that is a good idea, or no, that is totally wrong, or even point out that I have repeatedly used the incorrect spelling of "role". Whereas I read the words written by my grandmother, who is dead, and wish I could ask her why she didn't fight Grandpa harder about living in the cabin as a newlywed. Did it not occur to her that it was her right and her duty to negotiate living circumstances with him? Or did she only learn that after fifty years of marriage when the memoir was written?

Not that I'm only writing here my memoirs for posterity, or anything -- just like I don't always read 19th century English literature for pleasure, although it makes me sound smarter if I pretend I do.

Certainly blogging is healthier than reading vampire romance novels, for example. And I can say that, because somehow in the last several months I have read more vampire romance novels than you. And one werewolf romance novel too, to boot. (In my defense, I have recently moved myself off of that particular book recommendation list. But before doing so, I did read all those novels. I did. And then I pictured Mr. Collins reading them to me. And I felt some empathy for the man.)

Blogging. You put in the work. You get something out. You write to make yourself a better person, to deal with stresses of life, and just to think about something else for a brief period of time.

OK. That's enough mental stimulation for me. I'm going to go play video games.

1 comment:

Soul-Fusion said...

Love this. Love the novel comparison.