Or is [insert alternate social media platform here]?
Follow up question: Or, is Facebook (et al) just killing the comments to your blog?
Would love to hear your thoughts. My sister and I got into a discussion about this a couple of months ago. Also, I gave up Facebook for Lent this year, which was a nice reprieve and an eye opening experience in some ways. Here are some bullet points from my brain:
- It is so much easier to comment (or click 'Like') on Facebook than it is to leave a comment on most blogs that I think most people have gotten used to the ease of Facebook (and Instagram, etc.), so now leaving a blog comment feels like a huge pain with all those indecipherable code words to type to prove that you're not a spamming robot. (Hilarious when you think about it. Oh, how times have changed. How did we all survive when communication involved stamps and dialing?)
- I do not think that blogs in general are a dying breed, but watching blogs I have loved over the years come and go, it seems that those of the true "mommy blog" variety are the most likely victims. I think this is because posting pictures to Facebook (et al.) is so quick and easy, as is writing one liners like, "Georgia lost her first tooth!", so a lot of former mommy bloggers (circa 2005-2010) have moved on to just posting everything on Facebook. Blogs with additional content or narrative seem more likely to still exist.
- Exception to this: Die hards like me who for whatever reason just feel committed to keep going with what I've started. There are a few reasons I prefer to keep up with the blog that I can think of right now: (1) I like having one chronological record for our family -- this is like our ongoing scrapbook, (2) I like the fact that I can print the blog in book form, and (3) My big mouth and over-sharing of pictures. If I feel like writing for pages or paragraphs instead of just something of Tweet length (not that I'm on Twitter...), or if I feel like posting 50 pictures instead of 5, then I can do so without feeling bad about it. This is because anyone looking at this blog sort of chose to come here, whereas with Facebook, I feel like whatever I post is getting put in everyone's faces. (Not that they don't have a choice in the matter to unfollow or 'hide' or whatever the "you're annoying me go away!" terminology du jour is, but still, in my view there is a certain etiquette that should be observed when using other forms of social media that I don't worry about with the blog.)
- Another thought regarding family blogs is that it may have a bit to do with the children aging. First, as Beth pointed out, there's the simple fact that recording the family's fifth trip to the apple orchard may not feel as critical as capturing the first four did. Second, as my friend Heather, (who recently realized while trying to compile a photo calendar that she had taken no photos of her children during the entire month of October), pointed out, older children do not change (physically, maturity-wise, or otherwise) as rapidly as wee ones. Her eleven year old seemed roughly the same to her in November as he did in September, whereas at Waylon's age huge developmental milestones and physical changes may have occurred during that time span. Third, for some bloggers, depending on how much of their family's lives they had been sharing online in the first place, they may no longer feel comfortable for privacy reasons discussing intimate details about their children as they get older. (This applies to me with Georgia I would say. Something about turning five, I guess. I still share a lot and try to paint a relatively accurate portrait of our lives, but I hope all readers know there's probably more to any blog that is left out than is included.) I have felt shocked to hear of impending divorces of bloggers I thought I knew so well, and thought were living in happy-marriage-bliss-ville, which just goes to show that even the most open book blogs, well, aren't. [Note: OMG, no this is not some kind of secret message foreshadowing. To my knowledge Joe and I are not getting divorced. That was just an example!]
Also, if you are my blogging friend, please do not stop blogging, because I so enjoy reading your blogs much more than Facebook.
Okay, bye. I have to go check the book of the face now. Something may have happened in the last five minutes.