Someone once remarked,
“Blogging is the new poetry”.
I do not agree. It is much more than just that. While poetry is/was the pastime of an elite few, blogging is fast becoming a revolution of/for/by the masses. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it is fast becoming the de facto mode of expression for the current generation. From sharing shopping lists to intellectual discussions about the enigma of life, from seeking advice about love-life to a platform for displaying one’s talent, from being a medium to vent one’s emotions/frustrations/anger to being a harbinger of social change, blogging has become an integral part of our lifestyles. Obama’s campaign, imitating efforts by L.K.Advani, AB’s limelight hungry trite, the PCC may be a few of the more heard of blogs but it is the common people, like me and you, who are making blogging the avant garde of the Information century.
Blogs are fast becoming our shadows, our alter egos in the virtual world. I am happy, I blog…I am sad, I blog…I am irritated, I blog…I am sick of blogging…I blog. To quote Lorelle, “Your blog is what you say when there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to do.” This casual nature of discussion is what makes blogging a hit among people who otherwise feel unomfortable expressing their opinion on a formal platform. I needn’ t dwell upon the delight of one’s blog being read and commented on by other people. But, this can sometimes start a mad race. Rather than holding our own views, we start publishing what people want to hear, to sensationalize trivial issues, to act like the AAJ-Taks and India TVs of the blogging world. This can often land one into a soup, as happened in the case of C.Kunte vs Barkha Dutt. Where do we draw the line? Should blogging be accepted as a new form of journalism or is it just an accumulation of whimsical essays written by people holed up in their cubicles, having nothing better to do, taking out their frustrations on the world as a whole? There is no objective answer available. Also, the need to keep one’s blog interesting for the readers is driving people to use all kinds of tactics, from writing erotic stuff (at someone else’s expense) to posting semi-nude photographs. Do we require a code of conduct for the bloggers?
Now that the inception phase of the blogging revolution is over, as is common with any form of development, newer conflicts are emerging everyday. A lot of bloggers are struggling to define what lies in their private domain while what spills over to the public. Its like every blogger has become an over-night celebrity (atleast among his/her readers) and is now faced with the privacy issues which celebrities often face. Some people know how to handle the duality, but a large majority ends up in a muddled state. Suddenly, the ability to handle criticism has become the most important quality required to blog. One of the blogs I used to read quite frequently has gone into a comma because of the over-critical attitude of the peers (due to the excessive popularity of the blog) which was affecting the personal life and mental peace of the author. On the other extreme, a lot of bloggers have created a parallel universe for themselves on the blog where a nerd like me is a super cool guy, and an average housewife is a sex-bomb. So, are blogs becoming another manifestation of the virtual world escapism like Second Life? Are blogs becoming the new pain-killers? But ofcourse, they have side-effects.
We often use the cliche’, ‘With power comes responsibility’ to criticize politicians, leaders, celebs etc. Now for the first time ever in the history of human race, the power is in our hands. Can we rise up to the challenge?