21st century life is a strange beast. We’re a generation so accustomed to living life online that it’s practically second nature. When we meet someone cool, we Facebook friend them the next day. If we want to get the latest on a news story, we check on Twitter. Job seeking, apartment hunting, shopping, dating, food ordering, and just about everything else is done online or through an app or in some sort of virtual world that doesn’t involve actually going anywhere. Everyone blogs or Tumbles or shares personal playlists on Spotify or contributes to crowd sourced Flickr streams – doing any or all of these things doesn’t make you stand out, it makes you part of the crowd.
With all of this said, it can make blogging both a very rewarding and a very challenging task. I love to blog – I’m not particularly good at talking about my feelings or concerns or fears in person but for some reason, I’m happy to expose my insecurities and anxieties and small moments of triumphs with my wonderful world of Internet friends (and people who find me with really strange Google searches). The sense of community and connection that can build out of something so small as putting a few words on the Internet about how life in your 20s can be terrible and awesome all at once is pretty incredible.
But it’s not always as easy as it seems. I find myself culling not just my personal experiences but the experiences of others for blog fodder. Whenever I’m having a conversation with a friend whose struggling with a job hunt or freaking out over a cross country move or drowning in financial uncertainty, my mind often starts drafting blog posts in my head. Conversely, when I write a really personal, honest post about my own failings, I hesitate to put it out there too much, worried what my friends will think about me when they see me in the flesh. Am I tapping into a vein of shared misgivings and misadventures or am I truly the one screw-up in the bunch?
I’m coming off of a couple of pretty good weeks – I’m hitting a stride at my job despite still having way to much free time, I have a great group of friends, and I’ve even had the chance to do some guest-blogging. But all those fears and anxieties and uncertainties don’t go away and whenever someone I know confesses they share that fear, it takes everything in my power not to rush to the nearest laptop and start transcribing our conversations. So, consider this blog post an apology of sorts – for my friends, I’m sorry if things we discuss occasionally end up on this blog and I promise to never purposefully share your stories without your permission.
For my readers, I’m sorry if sometimes I hold back on the really juicy real life examples until I can ply my friends with booze and promises of low readership into granting me permission to help illustrate that we’re just hot messes pretending to have our lives together online.