NOT INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, OR TWITTER – Marilyn Armstrong

I used to look at the posts that came to me. There was stuff to read. Thoughtful pieces full of ideas, humor. Whimsical material. Ideas to ponder. Often heartfelt pieces about personal tragedies, working through issues, finding answers to important questions.

I didn’t read everything. I never could get all of it in a day, but at least everything I read had meaning. Even if it was about a travel day or examining ancient rocks. Mountain climbing, dog-walking, memories — there was a heart in it and a bit of soul.

All I see these days — with some obvious exceptions are lists of supposedly personal (but not really) questions, riddles, games, and really bad short poems.

When I say “I don’t like poetry,” that’s not really true. I love poetry. I love good poetry. I love poems filled with emotion and humanity — or humor. Not just rhyming for the sake of making the final lines match. I used to read poetry. Amazingly, I even bought books of poetry and memorized it.

About the writing. Maybe it’s me, but with the aforementioned exceptions — people who have been writing for a while and know the difference between flipping off a “meme” or a comment and a post worth investing time into — where have they gone?

They’ve left, is what has happened. They got tired and went away. Between the crazy software and price rises … and now, one MORE price rise … and the resulting loss of quality … why bother?

Some people began writing but gave up in favor of puns, puzzles, and games. None of which are particularly inspiring for readers. They may be fascinating to those who write them, but for me? How many times do I need to find out all about the same person I read about yesterday? How many times does the same person need to answer supposedly “intimate questions, the answers to which are not intimate, but essentially identical to the previous?

Questions and answers are fun sometimes — but that’s not a post. It’s not for thinking. It’s not even worth getting to the bottom of the page before abandoning the piece. I have stopped adding a “Like” to the bottom of these pages because I don’t like them. I should stop saying I do.

So many of the people who used to write strong pieces have left and I don’t blame them. What’s the point in writing meaningful material if all that’s left for you to read are nonsensical puzzles and a dazzling array of Q & A?

This isn’t blogging. It’s gaming and after a couple of weeks, it’s also boring. The lack of thought and ideas is mind-numbing.

I put a lot of time into my writing and photography. I’m not the world’s best writer or photographer, but I work at it. I write, rewrite, edit. Republish when new facts are available. Even when a post isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, it’s never “tossed” off. I do the best I can and hope that I manage to connect, even a little bit. However it comes out, it comes from the heart. I’ve put time into making sure that it says something.

And a merry whatever you celebrate to one and all.

As WordPress gradually destroys itself, I’m sure I’ll go down with it. I’m losing the will to push on. The more I read of the “new stuff,” the less I feel compelled to keep writing. It’s not that I don’t get read. It’s that there is so little worth reading for me.

I keep hoping that someone will realize puzzles and Q and A is not interesting. It has no center, no concept.

This is not a rant. More like a moan. I feel so sad about this and I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

Yesterday, I went looking for something worth reblogging because if someone else has written it, there’s no need for me to try and do the same thing. Let the original author speak for him or herself. I discovered I’d already read, commented on, and plucked out the best of it. And it was surprisingly little.

Blogging isn’t only about “self-expression.” It’s also supposed to have some value of its own. You know, legs to stand on. If the stuff you are churning out has no value, why are you bothering?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

52 thoughts on “NOT INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, OR TWITTER – Marilyn Armstrong”

      1. I believe I know what you’re saying. Cutting past the “Word Press” issues to the content of what’s written. I think, and, I’m just a-guessing here, people are so fed up with politics that they don’t feel like writing another piece about Donzo OR — they want to continue venting about 45. Either way, we lose, It’s been oberved in many quarters that the passing of President Bush gave us the opportunity to write about someone else — about our kinder, gentler angels.

        The holiday season, hopefully, will offer opportunities to write about childhood memories, joyous, sad and bittersweet. I hope to contribute but I’m also adrift in the political malaise. Maybe it’s a tipping point to begin the long procrastinated “book”. Maybe. You’ve certainly given me food for thought. Thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. This made me chuckle and also sad – You’re replying in writing to your wife’s posts…. I think I see why. It’s the same with my Hero Husband. I can talk to him but I can never say all my proper feeliings about anything that ‘occupies his mind/bothers him’!!! That’s a + for writing too….

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        1. I think all the nonsense with WordPress has knocked a lot of people off their moorings. I had to make a clear decision that I’m not going that way. I won’t do it. I don’t work this hard at writing to become a spammer.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly! I agree 100%. WordPress knocked me off my moorings when they derailed me after I’d finally had an audience and was interacting with ppl which is obviously the fun part. I’m glad I have you and Martha and Elaine.

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  1. I blog, almost entirely for me. Self centered as that sounds, it is the truth. I commend you for your standards and I sympathize with your inability to find worthy content. I try to make my blog have some organization to it. Saturdays, for example, are more about me. I post a “Share Your World”, which although falls into the category you disparage is one of the favorites by my readers who know me in real life. I don’t dare skip a Saturday, or I actually get fussed at (lol). Most Saturdays I also share “Six Words”, usually a link to something I found interesting or inspirational. Some times I wax on about it, sometimes I let it speak for its self.
    Wednesdays I save for my writing. Although I don’t post much poetry any more (maybe I need to get back to that…again…for me). Most of the time I only participate in Friday Fictioneers on Wednesday. The other days I share my photography. I know I am not as deep as I was when I began blogging but I am not sure I am sorry about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, but you actually WRITE. I always did “Share Your World.” It was ONCE A WEEK, not five times a day. Fun is good, but it’s not everything. I have no problem with people who make an effort … but so many people are NOT making an effort. I don’t sense they are trying to connect with anyone, even themselves. And that’s sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And you are good, too. The effort DOES matter. Not giving in to becoming a gamer using WordPress as your platform MATTERS. But you know, the people who really do publish nonsense most of the time don’t think they do. It’s always the people who really ARE trying who object. Which is pretty funny. You’re fine. I wish there were more of you.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am especially fond of photo challenges because it gets me to actually delve into my gigantic and often forgotten archives. There used to be good writing challenges too, but now, they are totally trivialized. A lot of it is the fault of WordPress, but some of it is us. Because we got stuck in their mud. We LET ourselves get stuck in their mud and I had to make a clear decision that I haven’t been doing this all these years to throw it away on crap. But it wasn’t an easy decision. I didn’t know if anyone would even bother to read me anymore. Ironically, my stats went WAY up just when I thought they’d go down.

          You just never know. It seems that writing well — taking good pictures — does make a difference. Trying harder MATTERS.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, I have lots of photos that I can share and one of the things I hope to do more of. Living in England and learning about photo composition was great fun. I’m still stuck with the monotony of Texas vs England, but learning to photograph what is close at hand. I just need to get into a better routine of posting here too.

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            1. My granddaughter was a good photographer from childhood. She always said “Look for the smaller stuff. That’s where the pictures are.” I have learned to “look small.” There are many things in tiny places 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you. I take pretty pictures. They aren’t as good as they could be because I don’t have the time to work on them any more than they are already worked on. They could be much better, but I have to admit, at 72, I lack the will to work any harder than I’m already working. This was supposed to be fun and when it starts to feel like work without pay, I balk. Writing for me is always just — what I do. It’s like breathing. I write because I need to write. It’s not just what I do. It is who I am. I know for others it’s a harder slog. For me, writing is a joy and if I can’t blog, I will have to find another way to do it because it’s the one thing I really can’t give up.

              Liked by 2 people

    2. I don’t believe blogging is worth something to a most of people who are jumping into it. It’s just diversion without any thought behind it. MOST of the new people post for fewer than 3 months, then abandon it. Blogging is not for Tweeters or Instagrammers. It requires thought and effort and CONTINUITY. WordPress is making it hard for those of us who went in for the long haul. They think “the kids” are going to settle down and write. They won’t. They have neither the time nor the intent to do it. Most bloggers are older, more settled — and often retired. It’s time-consuming, too.

      They won’t. Writing, even nominally, requires thought and perseverance. You have to actually THINK about it. Not a whole lot of thinking going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like a lot of bloggers are in it for the clicks, and games, puzzles, awards and the like are an easy way to get clicks. I too, usually try to write something meaningful and it takes me a long time to plan and execute a post. there is no better feeling than creating something you are proud of!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad you wrote this. I had noticed a rise in the number of Q&A posts too but put it down to the fact that I had started following a few different people after the Daily Prompt stopped. As has been mentioned before suddenly lots of people were posting prompts and maybe some of this Q&A stuff is the same. People trying to compensate for the loss of guidance from WordPress. I generally don’t do them. I have always done Share Your World but answering up to 20 questions is a lot of work and not a lot of fun to me. There are some things that I prefer not to write about too. I don’t know all the people who post Q&A. I guess some people enjoy it or they wouldn’t bother but it’s not really my cup of tea.
    I will keep blogging on and I’ll probably pay to keep my Domain name for another year although I have a nagging feeling that if I renew it now I’ll have lost about six months from this years subscription so it’s not really getting a free year.
    It does seem as if WordPress is trying to become more like the other social media sights which is sad because they are full of trivia mostly.

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        1. I think it’s an automatic thing with most companies. If you renew in advance of the “due” date, it just gets added onto your official year. Occasionally, if you are are on a “free” test, they don’t do it that way, but if you are a paid subscriber, I think that’s how all the subscriptions work, no matter what you are subscribed to.

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  4. I’m guilty of the quickie, the Q&A and participating in the games and the silly stuff. Because at this time of year? That’s all I’m capable of. I’m so sad most of the time that it’s difficult to even see the point of getting up at all. My voice is still during the holidays – for the most part. All I end up doing if I try real writing as maybe you’re used to seeing on my blog (if you read it) is turning out something so dark, it’s difficult to see the point of posting it. I’m discouraged, I’m soul sick (deeply), I miss all the glory that this time of year used to bring me. I’m faking it and tap dancing as fast as I can. And you’ve given me something to ponder….whether I should take a sabbatical right now. Except for Share Your World. I made a commitment and I take that one seriously. The rest of it? I’m just too depressed to make a good effort. And you’ve pointed out that the dreck I am churning out isn’t worth the time. Thank you.

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    1. I think you need to write. Maybe not publish all of it, but writing is one of the really great ways to work your way through dark times. I swear to you, it saved my life more than once, at times when I was in such a dark place I never thought I’d see the light. AND when you post, you get FEEDBACK from living human beings and that ISN’T being along. You may not be face to face, but you are far from alone. Repeatedly answering the same questions isn’t going to lift you up. It’s also got to be boring you half to death. You’re a smart cookie. Throw those smarts into thoughtful writing. if it seems too dark, put it away and look at it again later. It’s as good as any shrink and just having done it will matter to you, if not right this minute, then a later, down the road.

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  5. I really don’t know why I blog, perhaps to express myself in music or art. I recently entered a writing contest. Don’t know how that will work out. I might try doing a little writing at my site.
    Leslie

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      1. Thank you Marilyn. I do get a lot of ideas from others. I have also collaborated with a lot of very talented writers and photographers, yourself included.
        Leslie

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        1. There are good reasons to blog — and collecting ideas has always been big with me. I can’t tell you how many of my best posts started out as comments until I realized — “Hey, that’s a post!” I’ve learned a ton about photography and learned about things that interested me, but I never knew where to find information. History and politics, poetry and music, art and painting and just about everything!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm. I’ve missed all the games and puzzles. I’m afraid I’m still really addicted to blogging but I also realize it is distracting me from other writing. At the retreat, my friends tried to convince me I should get back to writing my book. We’ll see how I do with that. I just like the discipline of writing a poem a day for the blog.. and Cee’s flower prompt. And a few other photo challenges. Oh! That reminds me. Sunday Trees!!! And I have a good one…

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    1. Consider yourself blessed. And in so many wonderful ways. That’s why I like your poetry. You’re GOOD at writing poetry. You don’t just make words that rhyme. Your poetry has heart and wit. So does your art and your writing and these days, no matter what you claim, your photography is hugely better than it was just a year ago. You are at the top of my admiration chart 😀

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      1. Aw, thanks, Marilyn. I appreciate both your work and Garry’s as well. I think I’ve followed you longer than anyone else who is still blogging. You are correct. Lots have fallen away. Do you read Jane? I think her work is very strong, as is Jan’s and Laura’s… and a number of others whose names are not readily at hand.

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        1. I bought the little chopper for my son’s Christmas present. Now if he doesn’t hit it so hard it gets crushed, it’ll be fine. He is kind of strong and I’m not sure he realizes HOW strong.

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          1. Are you talking about the Vidalia Onion chopper? Did you get one for yourself as well? I remember your saying you got one. I love mine. Main problem is getting yolanda not to stow the little rake away from the chopper! Such problems.

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  7. Honestly, if YOU stop blogging my world will crash. ….. Really! Your posts are always nothing short of remarkable and even your frequent rants are always thoughtfully and convincingly formulated. Not that I can read all of them. But the ones I can and do, are fantastic. As I’m not a blogger myself (I care more for exchanging with a few but in a personal and intense way than ‘churning out’ as you say) and therefore I’m spared the a.f. mentionned games/etc.
    What bothers me more is the large number of ‘new to me’ blogs noted here…. 😉 I can’t and won’t ‘take on any more’ as my viewing time and energy is limited (bad eyesight and thus restricted computer time – which is basically just as well as I’ve other occupations aplenty) but there sure is plenty of read-worthy stuff in these comments!

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