Me: Today is the two year anniversary for the blog.
You: Hey, Congratulations!
Me: Thank you. This is actually the third blog of mine, but is the first to last longer than 10 months. Of course, since I have taken breaks from posting several times during the two years, I can call it a win, but not an accomplishment as such.
You: That’s not true. Most blogs don’t even survive their 4:20 warranty.
Me: 4:20 warranty?
You: 4 posts or 20 days. The internet is littered with abandoned blogs. Over 95% of all blogs are effectively abandoned.
Me: 95%? Is that a real statistic?
You: According to a 2008 Technorati survey. I made up the 4:20 warranty though.
Me: I had a feeling.
You: Sadly, the original source page for the survey is gone. I know how you find that important.
Me: It is important. You can’t trust other people to cite information properly.
You: Not all of us have the pedantism to get a PhD, but you’re right. Everybody has a bias. If you want to formulate your own opinions, go to the source.
Me: That’s the least of it, but I won’t lecture. … Not today anyway.
You: Good. You lecture people way too much for someone who gave up on education. So has your blog been everything you’d hoped it’d be?
Me: That’s an interesting question. I think so. Like most bloggers, 90% of the time I just want someplace I can put my thoughts out to the world. I understand that ultimately, I am flushing them into a virtual ocean of information. One or two people, which may or may not include myself, will read my words and then they turn into digital jetsom forever sinking under the next digital layer.
You: Wow. You sound depressed.
Me: Ha! Not at all. I’m just not delusional about my place in the universe. There’s an Urban Myth that (for some reason people believe) there are more people living now than have ever lived. This is ridiculousness. I have read estimates that the total number of people who have ever lived is between 80 and 120 billion. Here’s a recent survey that comes up with 107 billion. Because of evolution, definitively answering the question “when was the dawn of man?” is not easy to answer.
You: You said no lectures.
Me: Sorry. As I was saying, I accept my place in the universe. More specifically, human history. If we accept the estimate of 107 billion people having lived, how many of those people can you even name off the top of your head? A few hundred? How many are even named in history books? A few thousand, maybe a few tens of thousands. that means less than .0001% of all people to have ever lived have made any impact on history what-so-ever, and the rest, impact or no, will never be remembered.
And yet so many people dream about having 15 minutes of fame? Why do you think crappy reality shows are so popular? Most claim it’s a guilty pleasure. The truth is, deep down, most people know their impact on the human condition will be insignificant. Watching a bunch of no-talents tempermentally act out at the behest of a director gives them hope they too can be remembered. After all, if you can’t be legitimately famous, you may as well be repugnantly infamous.
You: That’s bleak. You sure you’re not depressed?
Me: Really. I’m fine. Just because I’m not filled with blind hope and unrealistic optimism doesn’t make me a negative person.
You: I think it might. Either way, I’m not sure I fully accept your premise. Not all reality television revolves around the negative side of the human condition. There’s shows like Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, and American Idol. Well, if you ignore the preliminaries. But if your premise is true, what’s to stop the millions of reality TV viewers from running out the front door and becoming the next Bonnie and Clyde?
Me: You mean aside from morality, ethics, and an evolved penchant for communal survival? Or can I just use that as my answer?
The truth is, most people want to be famous and enjoy the concomitant benefits without having to deal with the negatives. Yet paradoxically, the biggest benefits to being famous are also the worst negatives.
You: What’s that?
Me: Expectations and responsibilities. When you’re famous, others have expectations of you. Most people love being adored, though there is a constant pressure to live up to whatever made you famous. You are expected to go beyond those boundaries and are expected to somehow be magically qualified in other areas as well. After all, if you’re special, you must be special in every way. It sounds ridiculous, but that’s what people expect whether they realize it or not.
Since most people look to avoid unnecessary responsibility, they wouldn’t be able to handle being famous or expert in anything. The truth is, most people can not even handle the expectations and responsibilities that are required to become an expert, let alone to actually being at expert. And as such, they will never approach fame or infamy. You can take that as the principle reason so many blogs fade away even before they’ve begun. Almost anyone can get a bur under their skin and feel compelled to write a few times. The self-imposed expectations and responsibilities to reproduce and surpass those results are usually more than they can endure. So they quit.
You: You must think you’re something special for making it two years then.
Me: Yeah right. Being in the top 5% is so special considering we’ve already discussed that less than .0001% of us will ever make an impact. As I said in the beginning, this is my third blog, so I’m only a two-time loser. Actually, based on the Technorati criteria of not having posted in a four month period, this blog has already died twice and been reborn. That’s better than…
You: Don’t go there.
Me: Fine. What I’m getting at is this: I know this is it for me and I’m okay with that. I write and blog because I enjoy it without obligation. I’ve tried to use this site as a platform or vehicle for my writing, but after two years I’ve come to realize that’s not me and probably not what I want. I’m fine with what I have and what I do. I’m pretty sure I don’t want all the expectations and obligations of actual fame.
I’m still open to infamy though.