In the spirit of comradely debate, I reply to a post by Miles on blogging and political activism…
It has often been said that blogging has changed the nature of political activism – allowing grassroots campaigning and the almost immediate debunking of deception.
Conversely, it has been argued that blogging saps the energy of activists – that all of the time spent posting and commenting could otherwise be devoted to the cause.
There is truth to both positions, but I feel that the supposed negative aspects of blogging – that is to say, that it is a waste of time – ignores the benefit that is gained from the distant discourse of the internet.
If one was to eschew blogging then the types of political views you would encounter would be limited to your colleagues, friends, family, and comrades. The diversity of opinion is far greater in cyberspace, and because dialogue is not instantaneous, “speech” can be more considered and concise.
This said, I do take on board Miles’ views. But the time that I devote to blogging would otherwise be spent reading, watching soap operas, or quarrelling. Honest.
I will leave aside my political affiliations and activities, because I doubt they would be affected were I to cast aside the computer.
For many years I kept a journal, in a vain attempt to develop my skills as a diarist to the level of Samuel Pepys. As it happens, I’ve never been as humorous as Joe Orton or Bridget Jones, or as tragic as Charles Pooter or Anne Frank.
And because the daily routine soon becomes reducible to a simple short form, I started detailing events from the realm of “current affairs” that I thought significant whilst at the same time developing my theoretical knowledge.
This blog has now replaced the journal, and my attempts at artistic greatness, and I feel it is perhaps more valuable than what I was doing before.
Let’s face it, no one is going to read my diaries (or can read them – my handwriting is appalling, for a variety of reasons) so the time I could be wasting is not being wasted.
If this is not a convincing enough self-justification, I will say that I think blogging is good; I enjoy it, so it can’t be all that bad.