When I first got into "mom blogging," I was INSTANTLY overwhelmed by the amount of social networking sites utilized by bloggers, and I thought that in order to be a "happenin'" blogger I had to join AAAALLLLLLLL of them. There was Bloggy Moms, Twitter, TopBabyBlogs,TopMommyBlogs, BlogFrog, and Facebook, to name a few, and they're all aimed at creating an online community. Every time I signed up for something I had visions of meeting tons of new people and making hundreds of online friends and my blog becoming a hub of conversation and maybe even a money maker. But after several months of tweeting, and wandering around Bloggy Moms and creating a Facebok Page and putting my blog on Top Baby Blogs, (which at the moment I think is ranked 400-something lol) I began to find these venues to be oversaturated, and I must admit that in my desire to be popular, I got lost, and more than a little jealous at other peoples' success. (If you want to read an EXCELLENTLY FUNNY illustration of this phenomenon, click here when you're done reading the rest of this post). I had a million acquaintances, and no friends, and quite an intimate relationship with my computer while my REAL relationships (the mister and pupuka baby) had to wait until I finished my tweet or stuck this button into my sidebar.
I felt like I was standing in Times Square in NYC, looking around at the crowd rushing by me and saying "Hmmmm....we're all in NYC. We have something in common. I should get to know ALL OF YOU so I can call you all my friends," and then proceeding to rush around and introduce myself to everyone and try to become best friends within 30 seconds while in the meantime, completely ignoring the Empire State Building, Museum of Natural History, The Statue of Liberty and Central Park because I'm so busy trying to create relationships with people who mean nothing to me.
How do you generate a relationship online out of thin air? There are only a few people I've done that with, and we were all making Youtube videos to document our pregnancy at the same time, so we'd watch each others' videos and comment and it was quite comforting to know that there were people out there who were experiencing the same thing as me at the same time as me. And out of that handful of friends, there's only one I know that blogs regularly, and she is by far my best online friend that I've never met in person. To this day, I feel closest to my Youtube friends - maybe because I've seen their faces and heard their voices. They seem so real to me.
THAT is what I want on my blog. I should've known that I'm NEVER the life of the party, but the most meaningful parts of my life don't happen at a party. They happen in my family, and in a small circle of close friends. Perhaps one day I'll have 50 comments on a post, but I want most of them to be from people I know and love who I've built a relationship with over time.
In the meantime, I've stopped caring about my audience, or my stats, or my ranking on Top Baby Blogs. It's just TOO much work to gain recognition in the eyes of WHO??? I have no clue! Plus it makes my sidebars look cluttered. So I got rid of ALL OF THAT (except Twitter, but I'm contemplating getting rid of that too, because it's just not effective for me and I spend way to much time on it). And you know what? I feel so much more inspired to write because I don't care what you think about what I'm writing. I'm doing it because it makes ME happy. Me. If you like it, feel moved by it, have a connection to it, GREAT. I'd LOVE to hear about it and learn from your experiences...because I still like comments :) and I STILL want to get to know you, but I don't want to take any shortcuts. I want REAL conversations, REAL opinions, REAL advice, REAL relationships. At the end of the day, isn't that what we all want?