Dumb Blogging, Phatic Communication, and Me

Okay, you’re going to have to just go with me on this. I know that I’ve been trying to figure out this blogging thing since 1996, and the conundrums of social media starting around 2005. I don’t know that I ever will because, to be honest, it’s a whole set of moving targets. The internet is constantly changing. Ask anyone who used to hang out on MySpace. Come back in five years and see who’s still on Facebook, if it still exists in anything resembling its present form. My personal needs are in flux, especially as they relate to health care. My business is growing, so my interactions online have to adapt. It’s a hot mess that’s not going to go away.

So I read this blog post by Kari Gee about dumb blogging. Not dumb as in stupid, but more along the lines of not having an agenda. They just sort of exist for their own sake. She links to another post by Danah Boyd about pointless babble and phatic communication. That’s fancy talk for expressing yourself social and emotional purposes, rather than trying to convey any sort of useful information. You should go read those posts, if you’re so inclined. They’re thinky, but they’re cool.

Allow me to cut to the chase. My business mind knows that things that I’m selling need to be useful. My creative expression, and the self-expression that I consider to be important to my own self-care, doesn’t have to be that. It’s phatic. I can rant and ramble until the cows come home. My desire, in this space, has been to try to connect with people. The dumb blogging thing is clearly the way to go.

I’m going to continue my plan to write structured posts on Mondays and Thursdays, resuming the current series next week. The caveat is that I’m going to reserve the right, as I did this week, to switch things up based on my needs. Deadline looming? No formal blog post. Chronic pain flaring up? Nope, no post. Mental health issues need to be dealt with? Zip, zilch, a well-researched and thoroughly edited post isn’t the priority.

In between, though, I will probably cut loose with some dumb posts. If I’ve got something to say, I’ll just drop it here. This goes all the way back to my original intentions to use the blog as a substitute for the social media I’ve fled. Try to think of this as a space to kind of hang out with me now and again, and it’ll all be fine.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I love the blog form, and I love writing short expressive pieces. I totally agree that they help one’s focus and can aid self-comprehension.

    On the other hand, I look back at my archived blogs and I see in me the same behaviors and complaints over and over again. So for me those unhealthy cycles need to be devalued … and become something I don’t write or think about, in favor of new and better ways to behave.

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