Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My First Blog

That’s right. I’m a virgin. And I’m nervous about my first time.

Disclosure: I was raised by the technologically averse. Mom and Dad didn’t get an answering machine until I went to college in ’96, which is when I got my first computer. Cable wasn’t even available at my parents’ house until after 2000. The blogosphere? What?

I can’t help but share some of the aversion – I’m afraid to chat online, because I don’t like the idea of conversing with strangers I can’t see or hear. In a blog post, your words are naked, and your naked words are your intellect on display. No hand motions to get your meaning across, no inflections. Naked. In front of the world. AND people can make comments to your “face.”

Can you blame me for being nervous?

Despite this, blogging intrigues me because of its dependence on the written word. Although methods of communication change, written words remain central to the way we express ourselves. The blog allows us not only to express, but to connect our words with others, to link to each other in a virtually tangible way – the words are like webs themselves. The addition of music, pictures, and video to our lines is like modern illumination. Genius, really.

As a writer and editor, my highest aspiration is to add to the long, sacred tradition of written art, no matter the medium. I hope to contribute to that tradition with my blogs, and to encourage other first-timers to get started - the blogosphere is wide open territory, and we should all grab a piece.

Whew – I made it. That wasn’t so bad. I’ll work on linking next time.

1 comment:

Anna Lena said...

Me too, Sarah! In fact, this comment will be my first-ever. I was also a reluctant computer-user. When I started college, my school had just gotten email for everyone; we checked it on those old green-screen computers. I even resisted word-processing--I went so far as to type a couple of papers on my old Smith-Corona. As the papers got longer, though, I gave in and spent hours in the computer lab.

That first year, one of my professors made us contribute to a primitive bulletin board as part of our grade. I hated it. It seemed so artificial, and I darkly predicted that our communication could not be as effective as a real conversation would be. I was right that time--our class got pretty contentious on the boards, straying from discussion of ideas to endless quibbling. Of course that kind of thing still happens all the time, and I am still wary of email's lack of ability to convey tone and the dangers of clicking Send too soon. But I think that, parallel with developments in technology, our collective knowledge of how to communicate more effectively online is increasing.

In some ways, I'm still as wary of the online world as I was back when we used those green-screen computers. But I have fallen in love with certain podcasts, and I feel really excited about using other media here on our lil blog.