Bloggers, especially mom bloggers, have taken a lot of heat. We’ve been accused of neglecting our children so that we can go online and post how-to-make-tutu guides on our frivolous, silly blogs. We should get our asses back into the kitchen and tend to our kids! We should turn off our pink lap-tops and stop trying to pretend we’re important. If we want a job, well, we should go out and get one.
To be honest, I don’t quite understand why anyone would get their hackles up over blogs about tutus, blogs written by women, or blogs written by Russian spammers, for that matter, but the New York Times is famous for dragging bloggers through the mud. My best guess is that they’re lashing out at the New Media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and using it for page views and free publicity. You know, all of us who write our rebukes on our own blogs that link to that article we’re so furious about?
Anyway, it’s all bullshit. You know it, I know it, and the New York Times knows it, or they wouldn’t be writing about it every other week.
A couple of weeks ago, I sat in the keynotes at BlogHer, listening to all of my friends up on the stage, reading their words aloud, and realized how important what we do is. Their words were more moving to me than anything I’d ever read in the New Yorker or the Atlantic, because they were real and they were honest and they were true.
I hugged some of them later, amazed that my own friends could write such beautiful words. Words that moved me, words that inspired me, words that made me laugh. I was so proud to call them my friends.
Later, I sat with some of my infertile and baby loss friends, who had raised money, supported and loved each other through many of the procedures necessary to produce the very children I cuddled on my lap. They’d all met through the Internet. It was an honor to call them my friends as well.
When Amelia was born sick, my life was upended, all my neat plans were tossed aside as I flipped into survival mode. Part of what happens when a family member becomes very ill isn’t just the immediate threat of losing someone you love. It’s the change in dynamics of all of your relationships, and I do mean all of them.
People who you could normally count on to lend an ear or shoulder suddenly become harsh or distant or “can’t deal with you right now, Becky.” They say things that maybe they cannot recall, but you won’t forget. Everything is irrevocably changed.
In the midst of the chaos, I was so fortunate, though, to have the one thing I could count on: my band of Pranksters. You.
Maybe that sounds silly, saying that when my daughter was so sick, The Internet held my hand and made it all better, I don’t know, don’t care, but it’s true. It was amazing to know that people thousands of miles away were praying for me, holding my hair as I puked, and sending me love. It was what I needed. I’m honored to call you my friends. All of you.
So when I hear people mock blogging, I just laugh, because it’s clear to me that they have no idea what they’re talking about. They’ve never sat up at night, frantically trying to Google “blogs and prepartum depression,” desperate to make a connection with someone who might, just might, understand what they’re going through.
We don’t have coffee clubs* anymore. In my neighborhood, I’m the only one who stays home with my kids. I can’t find a mom’s club to save my life. My best friends all work big girl jobs in the city and have no children. During the day, it’s Your Aunt Becky and the tumbleweeds on my block.
That’s just the way it is now. Connections aren’t as easy as popping over next door for coffee and a chat. We have to seek out friends and confidants.
But I hope that none of us ever forgets that we are more than simple words on a computer screen. For every comment you get, there are ten people not saying a word, reading, learning, connecting with you, and though they may never speak up, they are there. Your words mean something, dammit, every single one of them.
And to anyone who says that blogging isn’t important, I say, with all due respect, “Fuck you.”
*what the fuck is a coffee club?
Incongruently, my Toy With Me post is up! It’s pretty hilarious. Sex toys and conservative in-laws, anyone?
So, Pranksters, what do YOU think about why blogging is important?
I’m putting up a Mr. Linky in case anyone wants to respond in a blog post.