There was once a time when random ranting; stories of crushes, broken hearts, workplace woe lists and happy moments were treasured between the wraps of a diary and locked away in secrecy, lest prying eyes intervene. However with a shrinking globe, the life of the common man has become an open book to read, laugh at and comment on. Blogs started out essentially as online journals where users kept a running account of their personal lives. However, they have now become more than just a medium to communicate and connect with the world. They have become instant portals for bloggers to capture a moment in time and reflect on life. With blogging steadily gaining popularity and with several bloggers garnering extensive followings, discussions on social issues and world events soon became a part of mainstream blogging.
Blogging over time has become a fashion statement. It has become a medium for celebrities to market themselves as it allows fans across the globe to have an almost real time interaction with stars. With celebrities picking up stands on controversial issues and sparking the famed blog-wars, the essence of blogging has started disintegrating.
Blogging has had its share of controversies, with bloggers being sued by employers for disclosing trade secrets. There were also defamation cases being filed by ex-lovers et al for the bloggers' open discussions about their love lives and bitter experiences. Blogging has had unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas as blogs are much harder to control than broadcast or even print medium. Personal blogs have become an issue of the freedom of expression versus the blogger's scant regard to protect their employer's rights or the anonymity of their real-life associates.
The line dividing mass media has started blurring, with blogs gaining increasing notice and coverage for their role in breaking, shaping, and spinning exaggerated news stories. (For the first time in the history of modern journalism, the financial and political goals of the U.S. – Israeli relations are being analyzed in depth by the common man!) Bloggers sensationalise news items commenting on them with a sentimental point of view with scant regard for the accuracy of detail. This in the long run, will have detrimental views, for blogs have a greater say in shaping public opinion than any other medium currently available.
Blogging has elicited mixed feelings. On the one hand blog addicts glorify it as an instant connection with the world while most others have started feeling ‘too connected' as they have to grapple with check in messages, posts and tweets at odd hours. Bloggers need to see the absurdity of giving blow-by-blow accounts of their monotonous and routine life.
The growth of such ambient intimacy is making blogging more a form of modern narcissism taken to a new extreme – the ultimate expression of a generation of youth who believe that their every utterance is fascinating and ought to be shared with the world.
Jayamary is a II Year, Chemical Engineering student at Coimbatore Institute of Technology