Down with blogs

by Beacon Staff • February 2, 2006

About a year ago, I joined the fad. At first it started as a joke, then I took it kind of seriously.

Now I hate it.

It's the online world of blogs, journals or whatever you want to call them. Blogs, short for "Web logs," provide a forum for people to share their thoughts and opinions online. Nothing is off-topic.

It seems that every day, more and more people log on and sign up. Society is suffering because of it.

There are blogs that are politically themed, published by pundits. Others are used by bands documenting a tour, or by aspiring writers and artists, who use them to post their unpublished work.

There is nothing wrong with these types of online publications.

They provide easy access to information and have an audience that they cater to.

Unfortunately, anyone with a computer can go online and sign up on a hosting site-two of the most well known being MySpace and LiveJournal-and blog away.

The problem? The medium has become diluted with amateur journalists, who tend to mostly be in the age range of 17 to 23.

You know who you are. You just can't wait to refresh your browser to see if your BFF made their daily entry. Your day isn't complete until you post about how horrible your day was.

It might go something like this:

"OMG! My life sucks soooooo much right now. Billy [the obligatory boyfriend who is the subject of most posts] didn't meet me at Starbucks today for coffee because he said he was busy at band practice. We are totally fighting right now.

"Then, after having to deal with that drama, my teacher gave us a pop quiz on the reading I clearly didn't have time to do because I was busy telling you how pathetic my life is. I'm going to go cry and write some poetry while I listen to Radiohead."

(Don't forget to insert some sort of animated face conveying your precise emotions.) Such sites aren't so much blogs as a cry for attention.

Do you really think your life is that meaningful or exciting that people want daily updates on what you ate, whom you talked to and how much you partied over the weekend?

My favorites are the passive aggressive bloggers who know that people read their posts yet write about them anyway.

For instance: "WTF! My roommates never do their dishes! I hate them!"

Unless you manage to keep your public online journal a secret, that evil roommate is going to read it and take the hint.

This allows people to avoid confrontation while saying what they feel, and the roommate gets the satisfaction of knowing the person making the entries is a complete loser for not being able to directly communicate with them.

People who spend hours a day on MySpace searching for long-lost "friends" or transcribing the insignificant happenings of their day in hopes of connecting with or being read by other people need a severe reality check.

The bigger issue here is the blogger's disconnect with the world they so frequently write about.

Instead of calling friends to tell them you had a great day, those friends are now expected to read each other's personal entries and comment about it at a later point in time.

If parents want to know why their child is so depressed and angsty, they can just read their online journal and all answers will be evident.

It's more of a sin to not read someone's entry than to commit this act of volunteer voyeurism.

Blogs can be useful in many ways, but the manner in which many college students use them is more destructive than constructive.

Got a problem? Talk it out or get professional help. There's enough crap on the Internet already.

Neil Evans is a senior writing, literature and publishing major and a contributer to The Beacon.