personal, writing
Comments 103

Has the new visual media stolen me from WordPress? Our online community has changed so much

Hello everyone, thanks for dropping by; I know it’s been a while since I was in your feed.

I’ve been blogging since 2008, and this is my fourth blog. Like Sandy in Grease, I was ‘totally devoted’ for a long time, and relished my sense of community and connection here.

Some of you were with me from the beginning, when I holed up in an old Barn in the South West of France, blogging to stay in contact with my friends and family, giving my son ‘ThenOnly15’ a taste of life away from Australia (I wrote one of my favourite pieces there (please click that link), as the countryside changed around us).

Some of you have survived my many romantic adventures, from the highs to the lows (this blog evolved into an online dating report for a while…), and have been so generous with advice, support, and deep caring when I sank into the challenges of losing my Mum to dementia.

I thank all of you for being here; for being witnesses to my life in the written world.

So what’s happened? To all of us. There seems to be much less engagement here, and fewer comments. At least three-quarters of my favourite bloggers have either stopped altogether and disappeared, or else just post once a month or so.

My morning routine- a source of simultaneously great comfort and creative inspiration- was to sit in bed with my laptop and a pot of peppermint tea at least twice a week, reading/commenting/writing on WordPress.

Now I take a quick flick on my phone app if I’ve got nothing else to do, read a couple of blog posts, and perhaps comment… but I’ve noticed I’m watching a lot of compelling Instagram reels instead! Of course, I’ve also become super-busy again as the world has opened up post-Covid, with various gigs, shows, gardening and travel adventures.

What do you think? Have you too been seduced by the evolution of ‘reels’ and Tik Tok? Has WordPress lost its shine for you? I know so many of us here truly love words; can a clever catchy video REALLY replace a well-written blog post? Am I just being lazy?

I’d LOVE your thoughts in the comments below,

In gratitude for self-reflection & community, G xO

103 Comments

  1. I generally find things with value take a little longer to ‘consume’ than an insta or tiktok post/reel. People’s attention spans are getting shorter, but like most things, you get out what you put in. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future, if that’s what you choose.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks Ruth. Yes, I’m still an avid reader, but seem to prefer books to blogs, and definitely enjoy the ‘quick hit’ of an Insta reel sometimes… I’m curious about my evolving attention span, now that I’m 56! Thank you for commenting, G 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tik Tok gives a high Dopamine rush and will result in the viewer becoming sated and too lazy to read. Words give less Dopamine but are more valuable and better for us ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I noticed with COVID many bloggers dropped off. Now, It seems like a lot of new bloggers are coming on board, but as you mentioned a lot of the old timers have not come back. I think with COVID there wasn’t much to say being in quarantine, not traveling, not eating out, etc. So… we are all navigating a new world, a new way of interacting with people. My opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes! Totally agree with these observations, and I admit I was delighted with some of those hilarious reels of whole families learning dances in their PJs during lockdowns- I think that’s what got me hooked. Maybe I need to find and follow some new bloggers…? Thank you for commenting, G 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I get that too. Perhaps because we all spent so long on zoom during the pandemic, we have lost some love of the computer screen? I definitely turn to a good book rather than a long blog nowadays 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s a personal preference, but I do have friends who blogged on WordPress now using Insta instead. I went from one blogsite to another, but stayed on WP. Reels leave me reeling, so I’ll continue reading instead of watching. ✨

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t do any other social…no tik tok, reels or whatever. I like blogging here because it’s easy…I write, people comment. It works for me. But everyone has their thing…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I am still very much on WordPress (https://justbearwithme.blog/), where I mix a lot of words with some audio and visuals. And – if you will permit some self-congratulation – I absolutely nailed the 2022 US midterm elections in a series of weekly essays beginning on Labor Day (https://justbearwithme.blog/2022/11/07/2022-elections-update-final-projections/). In fact, I might even write a book about it…just as soon as I write the three or four other books I plan to write. 🙂

    As for visual media, I flirted with Instagram – mostly to market my Interrogating Memory book – but now find it boring. I leave TikTok and streaming to our young adolescent children and Senator-elect John Fetterman. YouTube, however, does provide excellent video essays, especially on topics like film, which almost demand it.

    Then there is the third path: audio. Now that the elections are (mostly) over, I intend, once and for all, to record IM as a series of podcasty things. The key question is if and how to add the 70+ photographs and illustrations.

    The point is, it is not either/or, it is both/and. I still prefer long-form essays (I never *blogged* in the traditional sense), but will make audio and video versions as need and opportunity present.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you are indeed an essay writer, & I appreciate how you’ve introduced visuals & audio. You’re right: we each have to find the blend that suits us, as we evolve creatively. I always value your thoughtful comments Matt 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely spend tons of time on Instagram! But I don’t post much there either, choosing instead to have a more private side to life. Since changing to teaching, I lost my routine of blogging in the mornings before afternoon starts to jobs. But I’ve also felt the loss of community and my favourite blogs. The motivation just isn’t there anymore for me…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know you feel similarly, as you’ve posted the same way recently, which set me thinking… perhaps we just rode a certain wave of blogging, and created a certain type of community, and now there’s a new wave but we’re not in it? I know there’s a lot of bloggers out there still loving WordPress I’m sure xx

      Like

  7. Welcome back! With at least 60 million blogs on WordPress, I like to encounter new blogs outside of my own social media loop. I do love my loop of bloggers and readers and I also like the tasters of similar blogs that WP Reader supplies. But social media change, we change, our interests and situations change. For me, blogging is one happy corner of my life. I’ve dropped other social media platforms: real life rules.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have definitely been drawn in by visual media, and find myself mindlessly scrolling through FB and IG’s endless videos, but those tendencies have never replaced blogging in general, which I’m glad of. In some ways, WP is a social media platform in and of its own, and the networking is funner than the rest. Anyway, welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have noticed the same about blogging here. Most I follow aren’t posting much or at all anymore. One of my blogger friends died last February and I’ve been struggling with her loss as well.

    It doesn’t help that I’m not inspired to write as much as I used to and that I haven’t found any new blogs to follow. I need to get on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree re so few posting any more… your blog is one of the oldest I’ve been following, & yes, much less posts from you as well. I guess Covid changed a lot of things…

      I find it very hard to find new, interesting, well-written, age-relevant, engaging blogs!

      Like

  10. I read my WordPress feed every morning. Fewer posts show up, but that’s OK because I am also reading French, Spanish, and German through LingQ. My own writing has shifted to poetry, which is a surprise and wonderful, for I’m publishing work! I am still working slowly on a SimLit long piece on my blog, and I know I can just turn to it whenever I want. My only Social Media is WordPress and discord (which I use for gaming and a writing circle I’m in). I prefer disconnecting from Social Media. But I think it’s most important to do what you enjoy and fits your life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello 👋🏿
      Good on you for reading every morning that’s great. And yes, so fewer regular posts hey? Your new direction sounds exciting though, I look forward to seeing it here perhaps? 😊 G

      Like

  11. I can share from my vantage point that there has been a kind of cohort effect going on. I avidly tuned into WordPress 6-7 years ago when I was preoccupied with dating and some love life turmoil. I found many bloggers here who live-journaled about this topic as well. it was a great, safe community. And I have had the joy of watching many people in this community, myself included, grow and learn about themselves. What has often happened is people, myself included, have grown out of this phase of dating-and-love-life-turmoil. Some people have found great relationships. More just have a more centered relationship with themselves and no longer follow the script of their own telenovela or that of others. Some bloggers, like you, have shifted the focus of the blog to the things that matter more, but in all cases, there seems to be less of a need to spill / share / exhibit, and write, star, and produce one’s own telenovela. Which in many ways is healthy (although way less entertaining!). Anyway, this is just my perspective…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Not to say that your newer focus is less entertaining! I should have said, less salacious, which is just one form of entertainment. I gobble up everything you write and am humbly inspired by the thoughtful and open-hearted journey you are taking through life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, all this! Thank you 😊
      I so miss all the blogs we used to comment on every week, remember? I used to love your comments! That online community really WAS a certain time in our lives wasn’t it? It’s nice to ‘see’ you again here, albeit briefly 😊❤️ G

      Like

  12. I admit I’ve been spending more time on Youtube since I began making my own videos. That said, WP is still the place where my friends are so it will always be ‘home’. Words do take time though so I hope you come back to the fold when life settles down again. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’ve only joined you since your latest blog, but I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Your honesty and clarity are refreshing, I think! Personally, I resist the “reels” and Tick Tock, because I know they are designed to be addictive, and not in a good way. I think the beauty of blogging is the sharing of ideas, the meeting of people all over the world, and the free exchange of ideas. So, I’ll stick to it, even though I’ve also noticed a decline in others who are blogging. I guess I just believe that things that are worthwhile are sometimes also a bit of work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ann- I love having you along- yes, I do get drawn in by ‘shiny new things’ like reels etc I admit. Perhaps I’m just being a bit impatient? And I do miss some of my old blogging buddies I started with in 2015 on this blog… but thank you for being here 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I think blogging is still a great supplemental tool, but it’s one of many. It’s not a main source of reading/entertainment/story telling anymore. But I still think it’s incredibly useful so you can still own, and control, your content.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I absolutely agree, thanks for commenting Beth. I think I’m having a nostalgic feeling… but I do appreciate owning all my words here, that’s very true ✔️

      Like

  15. I have been away from WordPress for a while and when I came back, I noticed that blogs that used to post frequently no longer do so.

    I enjoy reading random things and wordpress is where I always go. I have never watched TikTok because I don’t have the time to sit down and watch it. They say that it is addictive.

    I am happy to find your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I recently took a 16 -month break from blogging, then picked up again in August this year. I agree that things are slower. That said, I still have all my same followers, and a few more since starting again this year. I post once a week, more or less. I first thought that things were slower because my focus has changed a bit, but I think it’s also because people are writing and commenting less- I agree with you. I don’t like the ‘click-baitiness’ of TikTok and similar, so I won’t go there. WP not perfect, but I will continue here. I love the exchanges of hearts and minds that still happens here, and I love reading and commenting, whether I post or not. Amanda 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amanda, thank you for confirming my experience that yes, people are writing & commenting less. I must admit I also find WP harder to use since they ‘improved’ it, & although I’ve learnt the new system, it still bothers me, & definitely stems my writing flow sometimes. I do agree there is a lovely exchange here still, when it happens 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Since the recent update in April 2022, traffic has slowed significantly I noticed. Now, I mostly get bots or sites that follow my blog but don’t interact with me which is annoying. Idk if this is due to that update or if people have moved on to the latest, shiniest thing. In this case, I guess that would be TikTok. As a Millennial, I absolutely refuse to make an account on TikTok.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, I have also refused to make a TikTok account! But gee those young folks are clever & funny 😘
      I am getting more bots too- out of 1400 ‘followers’ I probably get genuine interactions from 50 at most 😬
      Thank you for commenting 👍🏿

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s surprisingly easy to still access these kinds of videos, even without an account. If I am not careful, I could spend hours scrolling through my feeds. 🙈

        Today I learned that TikTok videos in China are geared towards productivity and success, whereas the videos here in the west are not….

        Yes, that statistic sounds about right! Not a lot of people interact with me either. It’s nice to find like-minded people on WP! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Very astute observations there G. I’ve noticed the same but for me, the big change was when I became partnered and monogamous and I found it difficult to sustain my blog about midlife dating. Then I lost my son, and Covid hit, and it was pretty much the end of my interest in WordPress. I only follow 4 blogs now, yours included and I’ve noticed the same. The international online dating blogging community we had for a couple of years there was brilliant. I also try to limit my social media and since getting WP on my phone, it’s harder to make comments. Love your words and perspective though ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! You were one of my fav blogs- we had quite a gang back there for a while, all of us up to mischief… and yes, times have changed, on many levels haven’t they? I’m glad you still read my blog, I’m honoured 🙏🏼♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I have not had any real interest in tik tok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. My love affair has been with only WordPress. I’ve met some wonderful people. Here alone is where my writing creativity has grown.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s fantastic to hear; I’ve always been a bit of a ‘taste tester’, sampling all over the place. I was very dedicated to WordPress for a number of years (definitely since 2015), and it improved my writing and blogging skills exponentially. Enjoy yourself, and thank you for commenting, G 👍🏿

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Sarah Blain says

    I find that nowadays that I spend so much more time on Facebook, watching videos, or looking at memes, I waist a chunk of my day doing this, and even when I don’t mean to. Like you, this is my 4th blog, I’m hoping I can make this one last and be my final one. Thank you for sharing 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for commenting Sarah; it seems we have similar bad habits 🥴
      I used to blog twice a week here, such a good discipline, you just have to make it a habit… until you grow out of it like I seem to have? Good luck, G 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Visual media will always have an advantage over literature in that it can be taken in all at once. Reading requires intention and commitment. I don’t use Twitter, or Instagram, or TikTok for fear of being seduced into spending more time in the cyber world. It’s harder and harder to remember the days before home computers and cell phones, when my partner and I woke up and talked over coffee.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Jean, you are so right in those observations. I am an avid reader, but I also like to get away from the screen, so it’s a double-edged sword- I think the pandemic made us all much more screen-dependent, so now I want books or the garden more than WordPress (once I’ve had my stupid dopamine hit of dancing family videos etc)

      Like

    • Yay, welcome! Yes, the euphoria of exploring is wonderful: enjoy. And no doubt you will find your own community here; I’m just acknowledging that mine has changed/moved on/disappeared. Thank you for reading & commenting, G 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Interesting blog post Bone & Silver. I have to say I value words and I really won’t succumb to the reels and videos I see on other social media platforms such as Instagram. WordPress is my favorite and I love it , writing a blog is great, it encourages bloggers to be committed in writing instead of the use of videos to make content that is no longer blogging but vlogging.

    I am glad you still blog after many years of blogging, 2008 was a long time ago, I was in 7 years old I think😂 a kid basically

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for the post! I got rid of my Instagram post-covid and all other social media, and started a new blog, and I also started to read books again, and do my watercolour painting. There’s so much more to do than waste my time with social media. I’ve not looked back!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve noticed a couple of things over the years … when my engagement with blogs I usually follow drops off, so do my ‘visitor stats’. I guess it’s a case of what you put out you get back 😀 … and the other thing is that my interests have changed and I seek out blogs and on-line communities that reflect those interests. I was an avid reader/viewer of RV-ing blogs/YouTube channels when we were adventuring, but now almost of them have fallen away.
    Another case of art, (and blogging is certainly an art 😀 ) following life, I suspect. 😀
    Oh, and just to fully embrace my crochety old woman persona, I absolutely refuse to watching anything filmed in portrait aspect! 😀 😀 😀 … almost absolutely. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yes, go the crochety old woman vibe I say!
      Yes, I have noticed the same, but also experiment with commenting a lot sometimes, & still feel like I get less engagement & follows than I used to. Maybe my ‘product’ is not as appealing? That’s fine; I love my real life & friends. I was just feeling nostalgic I think. And ironically, this post has had SO many more views and comments than normal, and for me 10 new followers- who guessed it? Thanks Widds, hope you’re nice and warm and settling in 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m a newbie. But I can totally understand what you’re saying. The attention span of the average human seems to have gotten much shorter. And let’s face it… not very interested in reading. It’s sad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very true, & at 56 I’d think I’d be immune to silly TikTok videos but some of them are so clever/funny! Thank you for commenting & welcome 😃 G

      Like

  26. I don’t think you’re being lazy, but I have noticed that, since I have begun to blog again, I have been receiving a tremendous amount of feedback, likes, and comments (more than when I first started in 2014). Even though I took long breaks, I came back and sought out different interesting blogs to follow as well as some of the older ones I used to follow if they are still active. I can see where reels are hard. They’re fun to watch, but I tend to watch them only when I am about to go to bed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’ve been blogging for several years (3 different blogs) but until now, I’ve not expended energy toward communicating with my fellow bloggers; rather, that energy was focused upon Facebook and Twitter. Over the past months, I have begun to realize that perhaps being inundated with photos of plates of food (Facebook) and rants (Twitter) is not a good use of my time. I’ve deleted both accounts, joined the Fediverse (Mastodon) out of curiosity and intend to investigate the richness I have begun to find in the blogosphere. I’m looking forward to finding out how mutually beneficial this approach turns out to be. Ciao!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. My interest has shifted to the New Yorker or some local online newspapers that cover local issues. I don’t mind reading long articles that inform me about things i don’t know about. I like instagram for eye candy. I find bloggers that interest me a few. I follow a few people in twitter mostly to do with covid and local issues. I find i am looking for more depth and professional writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do like the New Yorker- my sister in law writes for them- and yes, a single spelling mistake in a blog loses me I admit. Thank you for reading & commenting here, G

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Sadly yes. New visual media has taken us by storm. Been blogging for over a decade but find myself looking for distractions on tiktok. I am addicted. Love the positivity it brings, the good laughs, the top tips on how to do things. But I miss readings terribly

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, it’s weird isn’t it? I’m such a reader, but there are such clever people on TikTok & the other reels, I like admiring their content. Thank you for reading & commenting, G 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I’m anticipating a surge in communication in the coming year. Many of my “geriatric millennial” friends who are also fans of the written word seem to be leaning into the practice of slowing down. Here’s to your pot of peppermint tea. 🫖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s an interesting perspective- yes, I do enjoy the slowing down that comes with reading blogs… I think I also got seduced by the silly speed of TikTok during Covid lockdowns. Thank you so much for commenting 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’d say that in general, people born in the 1980-1985 portion of millennials qualify, but it is a bit more nuanced than a group of years. It also depends on what you remember from your earliest years. For example: my sister got grounded for racking up hundreds in party line charges in the late 80’s, and book reports still meant going to the actual library to compare references in World Book and Britannica. Some of us had typewriting classes on actual typewriters… Stuff that would not be understood by the younger cohort of millennials.

        Liked by 2 people

  31. The world has changed for sure, always looking for the immediate stimuli instead reading. I am thankful when anyone writes a comment good bad or indifferent. I find it interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank YOU for commenting here. I used to get so many comments- a whole conversation would ensue- and similarly I would comment on so many blogs… now sometimes I don’t even get an answer when I comment- so slack 😞
      I appreciate your efforts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is important to try and keep the communication open between writers and bloggers in general, we can learn so much from each other.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Isn’t a blogger a writer? Since I’m both, I find myself writing and blogging for an audience of one (but am thrilled when I discover someone else has joined the audience)

          Liked by 3 people

  32. I have not succumbed to TikTok but I do find myself wishing there were a better way to filter who I’d like to see posts from. And it’s time! I have not been writing as I used to/should nor have I been spending as much time reading posts–not because I don’t want to but because I’m at a computer all day for my job–staying on at night seems too much. How about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think doing so many zoom classes and meetings on line has moved me away from reading so many blogs on my laptop- I get lazy and just flick through fun reels on my phone- I did notice you weren’t blogging as much Kay

      Liked by 1 person

  33. This fascinating conversation seems to be happening all around the blogsphere. I think this is the third post in a month that has wondered about the decline of blogging and the fading away of engagement.

    I have noticed it at both my blogs, but more at Vinyl Connection as that’s where I post more regularly. There used to be an active/interactive music community who regularly viewed, commented, and shared. It seems to have wasted away.

    My son, who is seventeen, reckons visual soc med like youtube and tiktok have taken over, especially with younger users. But one thing I’ve learned these past few weeks is that if you want a boost, write about the decline of blogging. Flushes creatures out of the scrub most effectively!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I just discovered this side of WordPress 😀 I didn’t even know it existed. When I used to run some other websites, I’d just write posts, tweak SEO, and hope that someone will discover it via Google. Turns out there’s a whole network 🤯 and you don’t need to write long posts either.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s