I struggle regularly, but especially when talking about this blog in real life, with explaining why this is on the internet. Why do I have a blog if not to in some way pose for my audience or perceived audience… and that is in some way true or at least I always thought it was. But I’m going through something of an examination of self lately and a lot of the ways I understand people or words and language gets somehow lost in translation through my brain. So some of ways I describe myself haven’t always meant what I assumed they did.
The thing is I don’t approach this blog or social media the way I suppose I should or as people tend to? Or the way people tell me they do in any case. I don’t sculpt this blog for the likes. I like to imagine that if I did then an almost twenty year blog might have an audience exceeding Chinese/Russian bots and a couple of mates. I diarise. Even the way I use Instagram is diarised. Now that isn’t to say I don’t take multiple photos and then select the best ones and I absolutely do use filters though I try to use them to express mood not just to make me look good. I do try to minimise dry skin, spots and wrinkles cause I’m as vain as everyone else.
But the thing is, I grew up in my sense of art and the everyday, in the 90s. What remains the single biggest impact on my sense of art and visual media is my trip to Sensation in my teens. I grew up when Reality TV was emerging in its murky and terrible creativity as part of the mainstream, as an acknowledged genre. When I did A-Level art I studied Rauschenberg. My first experience of a webcam was Jennicam and oh I loved (and still do) Jennicam, for me it was just an extension of a Combine (Rauschenberg’s sculpture/painting format involving every day objects).
When talking about art, when thinking about it we are to my mind engaged in a conversation about the relationship of artist and viewer, I see everything as relational, my spiritual ideas, my emotional ideas, it all comes back to the relational. It all comes back to Indra’s Net.
So the first thing to know when it comes to me and my blog is that I believe that the everyday is art and art is the everyday. So I do this because this is art and so on some level it has to be real because that’s the sort of artist I am – I predate Reality TV with polish, I’m still stuck in Documentary and Rikki Lake territory and always always always coming back to Jennicam, to Lifecasting.
The second thing is also about how I use Facebook. I have a terrible memory, I am very fond of scrapbooking and the act of scrapbooking actually fixes things in my memory. So I began to use Facebook photo albums in exactly the way I use real world scrapbooks, to fix times and situations in my mind. Honestly the Facebook memories feature really helps with that. Now my Facebook status is absolutely curated and far more than thing blog, more people see it for one. One example of this is the amount I would not let myself link songs that seemed like they were reflective of my emotional state post last year’s break up – if it came on the radio I’d post it unless it had lyrics that could be taken as accurate to my emotional state or I reckoned might be perceived as a passive aggressive dig. That’s absolutely something I’ve learned since starting my blog, that my words can be taken as having extra meaning to people around me. I may have thought I was going a bit far by not posting my favourite Les Mis song but post Empire I am being emotionally honest with the songs I’m posting. Not that I think my ex’s care particularly (see at least one of them being over me by January and the other struggling to still like me in February) but it’s leftover assumption that people read into things back from when this blog had an audience and half of them were writing all kinds of things on LiveJournal.
So I seek to be honest with my blog as regards myself, I don’t like to polish too much, I don’t try to expose myself to really hard stuff but I double down on trying not to hurt or embarrass the people I talk about after having done exactly that quite a lot in the early days of writing this. What mostly happens is I write an entry every day as part of the therapeutic process I’m engaged in but if it mentions other people then it stays as a draft until I’ve edited it. One serendipitous (maybe?) result of this is that some of the emotionally complex and vulnerable entries end up being bounced off the front page quite soon after they’ve arrived there as it’s taken me a while to edit them. I fully anticipate this may be the case with this one.
The subscribers get all the entries of course but the casual viewers tend to look at the front page and then bounce. I think I maybe have one or two friends who occasionally read something and then get into other more interesting things. That’s the thing, I diarise and honestly there are not many people who want to read the dull intricacies of another persons thoughts, we’re well beyond LiveJournal and teenage gossip here. And I’m not writing for my audience a la filtered “proper” social media bloggers. I’m writing because there’s an audience and I’ve always struggled to articulate why that motivates me because it does. Blogging, social media generally kick me into doing the things I want to do. I’ve described myself sometimes as being attention starved or an attention whore who doesn’t care if it’s negative or positive attention, put it down to some weird effect of emotional neglect on my brain.
But it isn’t.
I came across an autistic TikTok person who finally gave me a bit of a missing piece of this particular puzzle. Autistic girls often invent an imaginary audience – yes that tracks, but they don’t necessarily want a real one or want to impress a real one – yes again this is recognisable to me. What it does do is provide a way of kick starting executive function in the same way that having someone present in the room does, or at least in a similar way – oh wait… yes absolutely that makes sense. That’s why I don’t really care what’s popular or how to make this blog popular and acquire an audience, at the base of things, I blog for the ability it gives me to do the things I want to. You as audience are engaged in looking and even if you’re a Chinese not the act of you looking kickstarts me into doing the things I want to.
Thanks for reading im going to go and get my life stuff done as a result.