My first steps on the internet were in the 90’s. For an introverted, curious person it was a fantasy world with endless possibilities, unlimited information and like-minded people and felt an opposite to the judgmental, money driven real world. I could find information and knowledge I didn’t know even existed. People were approachable and their online homes self-made but inviting and cozy.
I discovered online journals and started to follow a few and ten years later finally started my first own blog. I wrote my thoughts, published them and someone actually read them. The atmosphere was generally quite warm. There were heated discussions but I genuinely felt the cruel world was still somewhere outside. How silly and naive that sounds another ten years later. The lack of both empathy and common sense we can see online these days is astonishing. People don’t hide their dark side, internet is the place to let it all out.
In the end digitality didn’t make our social life easier than it was before. People who are outgoing and find it easy to be with other people are that also online. For quiet and shy current digital interaction is as difficult as any interaction. Constant liking and commenting is exhausting, most of the serious talk happens in closed discussions and private chat groups and people outside them feel as lonely as they do in real life.
Information is easily available but quantity goes over quality. The line between professional and amateur is blurred even on news sites and instead of getting properly written, well-thought pieces we often click ourselves to hastily written reports or social media overviews. Online comment spaces are full of hate and intolerance. People don’t seem to care each other. There’s too much pressure, too much distraction, something new to adjust every day.
How can we protect our sanity, mix different elements and make everything work in a sensible way.
Keeping our lives as real as possible. For me it means both focusing on my home and enjoying possibilities to open my front door and step not only to my garden but also further away. Traveling, seeing the world. Enjoying different events live, meeting people face to face, putting things into perspective. Coming out of my regular comfort zone, doing new things.
Accepting that social life can be as difficult in digital form as it is in any form. Not giving up our every social media account – even that’s what we often want to do – but our expectations instead. Using social media on our own terms. Ignoring the pressure it creates, letting ourselves be free that way. Consciously avoiding negativity, strengthening positivity. Taking the instant information offered, giving people possibilities to approach us, approaching them. Sharing exact information. Sharing something honest because in the end authenticity is what we all look for.
Using elements that fit our personal needs and feel natural for us to use. I like traditional, written blogs even the concept seems a bit old-fashioned next to vlogs, podcasts or Instagram pictures. There’s still something empowering in written words. Blogs are our online homes, portable little houses people build up and use time to take care of and feel safe in.