What feeds us

loops_gold

I consider the Parent Hacks blog and the 10+-year community, conversation and book that came out of it to be my proudest achievement as a writer. The friendships that began here sustain me to this day.

But as my kids grew and my focus shifted, my day-to-day life evolved beyond that space. So did the conversational and info-gathering tools available to new parents. That’s not a bad or sad thing — it’s a reflection of Parent Hacks’s natural lifespan. I feel about that arc as I feel about my own kids’ growth. Kids are meant to outgrow their childhoods. That’s a joyful thing.

What I didn’t notice during this natural evolution was a creeping emptiness. I’m not talking about mourning the loss of parenting little kids (I am so much happier as the parent of teens) or even the waning popularity of blogs. I’m talking about how, as I unconsciously shifted my online time to social media platforms, I began to feel more and more lonely.

It’s counterintuitive, because social media brought more voices I care about online. Friends from childhood mingled with family members and blogging pals and parents I knew from my kids’ schools.

As my social stream spilled into the quiet spaces in my life, I fell out of the habit of staying connected to my friends in other ways.

Social media was fun at first, profound even. I got to share this magical Internet with people who never would have started blogs. But the endless stream of voices coming at me from multiple channels grew into a din.

As my social stream spilled into the quiet spaces in my life, I fell out of the habit of staying connected to my friends in other ways. The other day I put down my phone after a “harmless” bout of social media scrolling and realized I hadn’t made a coffee date with a friend in months. I love my friends! I love coffee! What’s wrong with me?

For me, blogging started as a way to write. It unexpectedly became a way to connect. But today, right now, it has the potential to be something even more.

Blogging gives us a way to share our stories and invite conversation online that doesn’t hollow out life offline.

Blogging provides a sane alternative to the never-ending social media stream…a feed. What I write waits for you, whenever you feel like dropping by, even if that’s a month from now. There’s no rush, no missing something because you weren’t online that day, nothing to respond to unless you feel like it. No algorithm deciding which posts you see. This is just a place we can hang out and talk about stuff.

Blogging gives us a way to share our stories and invite conversation online that doesn’t hollow out life offline.

This morning I fired up my old feed reader — how I used to follow all the blogs I loved. It felt like returning to a favorite old haunt! Not surprisingly, most of the blogs I used to follow were silent. You can’t go home again, and I’m not trying to. But I am wandering the old neighborhood to find new places to hang out.

I’ve been meaning to start blogging again for a while, but I got stuck fretting about blog templates and navigation bars and … who knows what else. It kept me from blogging even though I’ve had plenty of thoughts I’ve wanted to share over the last couple years.

So I’ve decided to follow my own advice and I’ve invited all my old blogging pals to start writing again. If you’re intrigued, I hope you’ll give blogging a shot, too. No expectations. No timeline. If you wonder what would I write, start with what you currently post on social media.

If all of this sounds too hard, just leave comments. Comments are what turn blogs into conversations.

We can do this.

LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH!

I’ll email you once a month with new posts, podcast episodes, and other goodies.

stars_gold