One of the benefits of having Netflix is that you can skip super easily to the end of a bad movie--or of a movie that you only want to know how it ends. I find that with many movies today, all I want to know is how it ends. That's how it is with the one I'm listening to right now. It's called Ask Me Anything. And I did just hear a very wise section of dialogue...
The scene has a young woman and an older man (much older) who owns a bookstore. He's giving her advice about how to move forward with her life because she's been having an affair with a married man. They are coming out of the store when she says she hasn't been reading, but that she's been writing--on a blog. His response? Well, he's not pleased, per se. She thought he would be. He goes on to explain that he appreciates writing as an expressive, creative means of communication, but that her generation (millenials--teens and 20 somethings) is addicted to attention. The young girl (who's about 19 or 20 years old) replies that they want to be famous even though "they aren't good at anything". To which the older gentleman replies--exactly.
I suspect that in fifteen years we'll have a better idea of how blogs and social media are shaping who many--not all--young people are. They are shaping the older generations too. One friend explained to me that an extended family member came over for a recent visit and sat on her phone the whole time. I was sad for the woman when my friend explained to me that it is what she's doing on her phone that makes her feel important--that she matters.
A few scenes later in Ask Me Anything, the young woman ponders whether she could stop blogging--whether she could live her life without thinking of how to describe everything--to live and become a better person and-- really live. Then, she asks the question of whether people can really change their lives. And then she disappears.
The young woman was playing with fire with the choices she was making and something happens to her. The movie is not based on a true story, but is rather a realistic fictional narrative based on a book.
So, could I stop blogging? I review fewer books now. A few years ago, I regularly had a stack on my desk of ten to fifteen books that I needed to read and write book reviews for. And then, last summer I stopped being a part of a large review program I had been a part of for ten years. I still post occasional reviews of books that I love (because I still read very fast--a book in a day or less than a day) and I love to share about good books that I discover. But, when I read now, it's just because I want to--not because I have to.
Over the years, I've asked myself many, many times, "Why do I blog? Is any of my identity wrapped up in blogging? Have I gotten caught by the notion that I need to describe what I'm living in order to make it meaningful?"
No. I blog because I like to write. That's all it is anymore. I love to talk and blogging is a form of talking.