Today, while breastfeeding or something, I was perusing my Twitter feed, as is my wont.
I follow Judy Horacek, an excellent cartoonist, because I am a fan. She tweeted about @grogsgamut, who has just released a book. The book is about social media and blogging as political reportage – “the Fifth Estate“. @grogsgamut was to be in conversation about his new book, tonight, at @AvidReader.
On a whim, I decided to attend. Whims are in short supply for me at the moment, as I have a two year old, a five month old, and a hard working husband. But as it happened we were able to attend, along with my mother, who is also interested in politics.
As someone who is interested in politics and has a degree in journalism, and has started blogging again, tonight’s event was right up my alley.
I went and was reminded that the world is not built for women with prams and small children.
I managed to irritate the staff by trying to park my pram in front of merchandise. We compromised, happily.
I ran into a few people I knew. One, like me, had heard about the event over social media – Facebook, this time. Another had read my blog post about optional preferential voting, to my surprise.
The event was otherwise a bit of a disaster for us. Kids and political engagement are difficult things to mix. So we left early, to our disappointment. I didn’t even get to buy the book.
But the little of the conversation that I did hear made me want to reflect on why I had decided to blog, and why I wanted to blog about politics.
I have been interested in and involved in politics for a long time. Until parenthood, I had many outlets for political debate and discussion. Now, it is much more difficult.
As tonight’s events reminded me, it is hard enough to leave the house at night with kids, let alone go to a public event without irritating people, or perhaps just wrongly believing I am irritating people.
Blogging is a way to get things off your chest, to ventilate your opinion without having to convince someone else to publish it, and to add another small voice to the blogosphere cacophony.
Maybe it is delusional to blog and think that anyone will care about, or read, what you write. Perhaps a blog is a manifestation of narcissism, though with social media becoming normalised as part of everyday life, it is getting hard to judge what is narcissistic, or, at least, what is unusually narcissistic.
In trying to examine my own motivations, I think that I blog because it is a way to engage in politics without leaving the house, at a time convenient to me, such as right now, when everyone else is (finally) asleep.
- Is online social media just a narcissist craving for attention? (davidhenderson.com)
- What does it say about you to use online social media? (boomercafe.com)