Facebook is what the blogs used to be
I remember when I started using Internet. It was 1997, we were at home. My dad, my mom and I, trying to check the different options for my university studies. I have a clear image of myself not distinguishing between an email and a website. I finally starting studying Media and I moved Tenerife to Seville to live with my brother.
Later, I started using Internet by myself. I had to wait till 18:00 PM everyday. A contract with our Telecommunication provider allowed to connect yourself having a regular fare. If you are more than 30 years old, you probably remember the famous noise of a router connecting to the Internet. And also you probably know which kind of achievement was to just find and download a single song on MP3.
So, some years later, with better connections and starting using the Internet everyday and most of the time, a lot of us were using Blogs to build our digital identities. It was really exciting to explore that. It really felt as if we were discovering a new planet. We all needed to test everything, but specially, the blogs.
Of course, there were some legitimate doubts about the over-exposition of our identities and the doubtful need of being saying things instead of reading them. But it was an experimental period in which we all were testing the possibilities of that universe…the Internet.
If I have to answer the question: Why we were opening Blogs? I think that apart from what I’ve mentioned before, the need of experimentation, I think it because we felt less alone. We felt we could feel closer to someone far from us. And because we had the idea that we were part of a community. Our community. Your community.
And interactions were crucial for that. Now I see some blogs in which no one is commenting. Of course there are still a lot of blogs today. But, where did the comments go? Yes, the spoiler on the title gave you the answer: to Facebook.
Somehow, Facebook has captured the way we were using the Blogs. And it’s not just about commenting something. Or giving feedback easily without so much efforts (Likes). It’s also the way we write. I know a lot of friends with an academic profile or with the need of writing so often, and the most intuitively thoughts from them are posted on Facebook.
But this has a dark side. Facebook is not good enough finding old posts (it has not an archive as Blogger had/has or many of the other weblog platforms). And most importantly, we don’t completely own the contents we post on Facebook. It’s a private platform and it’s a company with their interests. And now, through their algorithm, they show you what they want.
But instead of initiating a presumably failed diaspora to our own servers an blogs, we should start thinking…why do we like to share contents on Facebook? And once we get a detailed answer, we will probably be ready to start using new and independent platforms. We will probably just be needing tools to make us feel less alone. As with the blogs in the early 2000's.