I have been online since 1994. I have been WRITING online since what seems like shortly after that. Blog entries, short stories, poems, wrestling promos, daily bullshit, and one fairly long term website about the beginnings of my battles with mental health. I wrote short entries that would make Seth Godin weep with joy due to how short they were. I wrote long entries that would make Homer proud – The Greek author, not the cartoon character, although I probably wrote some stuff he would have enjoyed as well.
I wrote about everything, and nothing, and in between. I wrote about my day at work, or about something that happened that day at school, or I wrote about a song I had been listening to that I liked. Ups and downs, highs and lows, good days and bad, things I liked, things I hated. I didn’t care. I wrote it all. I can only assume I would die of an embarrassment related heart attack if I ever put my name or any of my website names into The Archive.
Now that I have ensured that you want to go do that, go ahead. I can wait…..
Done? OK, good.
I know for a fact, that 90% of what I posted, ON THE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INTERNET, for all to see, was never seen. I do. Virtual guarantee. Even back then there were pageview counters, website statistics, and other ways to know if someone had visited your webpage. Same as those things exist today.
How do I know nobody read what I put out? I checked my logs, I checked my stats, same as anyone does today. The difference is, back then, I didn’t give a shit. The mere idea, that even if the information was public, that someone else gave enough of a crap to search me out and read some nonsense I was writing was absolutely preposterous to me. Frankly, it still is. There are some of you out there who I have known since back in those days, and plenty of you I have known since after. Back then, and honestly even now, I had such low self esteem that I pretty much figured that anything I was writing, publicly or not, was just for me, and nobody would care to find it.
That was fine with me. Until one day, it wasn’t.
I wish I knew what day that was, so I could find a way to strike it from the record, and to forget that day even happened. It may not have even been a specific day, it was more likely a gradual thing until it just finally clicked.
I cared. I cared, DEEPLY. I stopped writing if nobody looked. My style changed, my subjects changed, it was all different. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and occasionally, months turned to years – this specific blog included. Other blogs came and went, and several are just urls, with nothing there, because I had an idea, and then didn’t care enough to do more than a single post. I cared. Nobody read. I stopped writing. Still have no idea why.
Today, the internet is tremendously large, it is ridiculously larger than it was back in the mid nineties when I first began making an ass out of myself on it. Back then, there was absolutely no reason to believe anyone would read anything I had written, no matter what. Nowadays, there’s so much out there, that no matter what I am writing about, there’s someone out there that would want to read it, or someone out there who wrote something similar. Nothing is done for the first time on the internet anymore. That’s all the reason more to write it.
But I don’t. I don’t know why, either. I truly don’t. I wish I knew why I cared so damn much.