Friday, July 01, 2011

Sorry, McLuhan: The Message IS The Message, Not The Medium

.:“Blogs Aren’t Special, Unless The Blogger Is.”:.

There was a time that bloggers were relegated as a bunch of sad sacks who hide behind their keyboards and rant about all that was unfair in the world. I still keep a LiveJournal, though, so I kinda realize that’s still very much true.

I was a blogger way before it got too mainstream. You wouldn’t understand how it was back then. It’s too deep for you.

Anyways, given how I’ve gone through the growing pains of this medium from 2002 to this very day, and I’ve seen the first ever “blogger event” happen in 2006, all these things that bloggers now take for granted, a certain level of clout and even the mere awareness of what the word “blog” means, are things that people didn’t just achieve overnight. If you’re militant about it, you might say that over time, we earned these things. If you’re more laid back about it, you’d realize that some excellent people, who happen to be bloggers, earned it for themselves, with some of those benefits trickling down upon everybody else.

What I’m trying to get at is: this doesn’t mean we were ever entitled to any of it, even if some of us do manage to reap these benefits. If any of these boons go away, the last thing I’d expect a reasonable person to do is to whine about how “unfair” that would be.

The superstar blogger, Rico Mossesgeld, recently shared a very biting article about blogging, and how we seem to confuse the respect and esteem people have earned through the medium as respect and esteem for the medium, regardless of circumstances.

Quite frankly, I don’t really understand where this entitlement complex came from, because when it comes to treading new ground, blogging hasn’t really done much of that, to begin with. That’s no knock against blogging: that’s a stone cold reminder that sometimes, we put a little too much value in blogging in and by itself when we actually shouldn’t. I know we’re all hung up on Marshal McLuhan and all that “the medium is the message” hullabaloo, but in the end, the message is still pretty damned important, and telling everyone you’re a blogger can only take you so far before you have to prove your mettle as a person and not just a statistic.

Here’s where you need to begin examining yourself, and contrasting it to your inflated sense of self-worth: what message are you sharing across this so-called new media that makes you believe you’re worthy of special treatment? Or are you just so vapid and self-absorbed that you really think the world revolves around you and your non-sensical ramblings over your 344th brand of skin whitener? Do you really think that throwing in some vestigial words towards some vestigial cause for the sake of pretending you’re some kind of vestigial activist makes you any better than anyone else? Or do you think pontificating about the wrongs and ills of the blogosphere makes you some kind of moral paragon worthy of emulation?

I make no claims of being a role model, and let my track record speak for itself. Furthermore, I’m pretty aware that the fact I write autobiographically means I won’t attract as many people to read my blog as others could. I’ve accepted these things as a matter of course, and I know my worth as a person is not tied to my worth as a blogger.

It would do well for others to recognize the same for themselves, before they realize that having a blog isn’t as glamorous as they imagined, as they labor over copy-pasting press releases and feeling shortchanged that they couldn’t squeeze invites from their PR friends who don’t see the point in inviting them to a cause-oriented event they clearly have no interest in beyond the buffet table and goodie bag.

If these notions disturb you, and make you wonder “is that me?!?” then maybe you should look at yourself a little more closely and recognize that your blog is not your ticket to fame and fortune and free gift packs, rather, it’s your goodwill towards other bloggers and the people who deal with bloggers, be it by your social graces, or your compelling blogposts.

Preach it, Rico! Some anvils needed dropping, and boy, this one needs to keep getting dropped day in and day out until certain people get the hint.


Rico said...

Great stuff! You've actually concretized some of the points my rant was trying to hit. :)

Marcelle said...

"@Rico: Ya don't say... heh. I dunno. Maybe it was just a coincidence. :P