I’ve no work for the next few days, which means I can let down my guard for a few days and feel my emotions. Emotions put me at risk of expressing myself. I do not dare say what I think when I am at work, that is not what they pay me to do. As you might imagine, it is hard work for me to remain completely emotionally detached during most of my waking hours. I manage it though!
There are a few blogs I read regularly. The people writing the blogs are different ages, live in different areas and do not know one another. They are modest, balanced people who focus on sharing who they are, what they know and what interests them. They describe lives that include the young and the old and everyone in between. I find their approaches to life varied and balanced. But is very hard to find a balanced blog!
How do I perceive balance in a blog: focus beyond self and self-promotion.
Most blogs I bump into are clearly written by the Millennial types, see below. Of course such a category based on age is a gross generalization and merely leads to agist finger pointing. There are living people born in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that are every bit as focused on money, image and fame as those born after January 1, 1982. What I have observed is that the MEDIA has been increasingly promoting money, image and fame, and is reaching further into the socialization of children with biased communication modes; first Radio, then Television and Telephone, Computers, and beyond into the mind shaping technologies of FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and the like.
Still, some of the most unbalanced blogs I bump into are written by young mothers born after 1982, not all of them, but a lot of them. None of these young women seem to have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any kind of community beyond their own few friends of “other mothers” and nuclear family. Most of them are selling their “expertise” via classes, self-published books or “consulting”; they are trying to sell “expertise” that is plain old, every-day common sense for a lot of people. Frankly, I doubt there is much money, image or fame coming their way. However, “fake it till you make it” seems to be the order of the day. It is painful to watch, boring to read.
“Millennials—those born after Jan. 1, 1982—are much more likely than Baby Boomers (now aged 50+) to value money, image and [I would say OR not AND, all equally odious] fame than things like self-acceptance, community and the environment, suggests an extensive new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”
Here are a list of what I consider to be the red flags of social imbalance on personal blogs:
1. Reference to offering expertise by means of “teaching”, “courses”, “counselling”, “consulting”, “instructional self-authored and published books” and the like. This is not the same as “show and tell” which I regard as healthy “sharing”. I do read some blogs where the blogger is selling self-authoured, self-published book(s), but these are people with years of experience, a balanced approach to life and a lot of humility.
2. Re-presenting information/misinformation from other sources, without references, as factual or even original material. It is an “urban myth” nightmare out there!!! Health and nutrition are particularly infected topics.
3. The blog title sports a popular buzz word, like “homestead”.
4. Representation of “family” as consisting only of the author, spouse and children. This is mediated when the author actually has no parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles…
If you would like to add to this list, please submit a comment for consideration.
Wind:NW 9 km/h
“There is the satisfaction of providing your public with a vision of true beautology, true sytlisity, – how can I put it? – true glamorositude.”
Miss Piggy the Muppet
Great entry. I had not thought to try to date this shift in emphasis (ie ‘millenials’) – certainly I know some very cool people born after 1982 – but there is a general unpleasantness about this shift. The younger adults I see represented on TV shows tend to be ultra-smart and sophisticated, and ‘on top of their game,’ but cold and brittle and lacking in compassion. Maybe humanity is in the cracks and flaws?
No doubt many of their generation have looked at their parents and found them (us) wanting, and decided a razor-sharp approach is what’s needed. One day they may find something is missing. Or not.
I smiled when you spoke of the bloggers referring to books they’ve written, for what was my last entry, but look-see-a book! (Not self-published, though. 🙂 Hopefully, I show a wide variety of interests, and I’m not obsessed with money, though I do admit to pondering what I’d do if I won the lottery, etc. Don’t play the lottery, though, and I’m probably money ahead for that.
Steve Paul, having been through the parenting thing, and having a daughter in the millennial cohort, I can honestly say I think the increased influence of external, compassionless media is the key element in the shift. Our millennial girl is big-hearted, generous almost to a fault and is a real child of the heart. The pressure and bullying she endured to march to the beat of her own drum was formidable!
I don’t think our millennial girl finds us wanting in any way, and this includes you who were there as a friend times of need.
As for the other millennials who are true to type, they probably don’t think about us at all. They seem truly oblivious to the legitimacy of people outside their immediate and small circle of interest.
Joan, so glad you smiled, because you are definitely on my reading list of balanced blogs, have been for years and years. Your book is wonderful, thank you for sharing your passionate interest. Congratulations on such an accomplishment!
Thank you, Maggie! We’ve been journalling for many years, since the 90s, and I’ve enjoyed reading yours all these years. (Hmm, auto spell check doesn’t like the word ‘journalling’. It doesn’t like ‘journaling’, either. [It would like ‘blogging’, though.] I am so ‘old fashioned’, I still call them journals. 🙂
Interesting blog, Maggie. At one time I kept a journal, but my fingers don’t type well anymore. I miss it. Thank goodness for spellchecker because even this short entry had at least 10 typos in it. Very frustrating. Keep up the good work.
Hello Ava, so glad to hear from you! I remember your journal, you are such a good writer. Sorry to hear about your fingers, the spellchecker is one of my favourite inventions! Are your previous writings still online? Personally I feel that what we write is important for posterity, because our journals reflect what is really happening as opposed to the formal media that report what those above us want us to hear. We are the private face of communication, while formal media is the public face, and I include FaceBook, Twitter and all those rigid, and what Steve Paul described as brittle, modes of communication.