A few months ago, one of my colleagues told me about Get Off My Internets.
I have mixed feelings about sites like this one, but like anyone else, I have rubbernecking syndrome. When someone points out the train wreck, it’s hard to ignore it. Plus, some of the actual criticism by the site owner/s is spot-on, and well-written, even if the comments section is sort of black vortex of cattiness and vitriol. I would argue, of course, that most comments sections anywhere are.
(Except here, mainly owing to the fact that I don’t get a whole lot or write about anything controversial.)
And though I don’t agree with how they take some people to task, for the most part the criticisms are centered around the fact that there are now dozens and dozens of bloggers who make real money – and take reader support – from their blogs and therefore ask to be held to a higher standard, whether it’s complicit or not. You can debate as to whether that’s the main crux of the site, so your mileage may vary, but I agree that the monetization of blogs has changed the landscape.
Then I found the forums. OF COURSE there are forums. I hadn’t really noticed them before, but I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprising element to a site like GOMI.
Yesterday when I was poking around I found a thread completely devoted to “Old Skool Bloggers.” Immediately it was a trip down memory lane, filled with people I spent a good deal of time with, even if it was “only online.” Names of people and journals I hadn’t even thought of in eons, and, not surprisingly, a lot of gossip and speculation about some of those folks. But for the most part there was a lot of just regurgitation of old stories, and questions about “whatever happened to so-and-so.” All of the normal stuff you’d assume pops up when people are reminiscing.
And then I saw my name.
Only one person mentioned me, and specifically my old Lose The Buddha blog, and that she missed it. Then two other people chimed in to say that I was still around, but it only felt like I wasn’t since I was still here, still “cycling” on the same weight loss/low-self-esteem stuff. One of them called it “tired.”
I’d be lying if I didn’t feel sad and get a little figurative kick to the gut about it. No one likes it when anonymous people casually toss off comments like that about you, but it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve stumbled on strangers gossiping about me as a result of this site. And when giving more thought about it, if the worst someone can say is that I’m still talking about the same things I’ve always talked about and they find it irritating, well, so be it. I’ve seen worse.
One of the things that I’ve learned in the past year is that you can’t really control what people bring to the table and how they perceive you as a result. I own that all of the weight-loss/body acceptance/self-esteem stuff remains a prevalent theme here, but I can’t help if it leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth, especially if they’d rather I just get over it already. I can also see how it would annoy some people. The most I can say – and did in that particular thread of the forum – is that I had a lot of bravado a decade ago when I launched Lose The Buddha, and I did foolishly think that if I was just plucky and honest enough and, of course, lost the weight, that I’d be a beacon of triumph in the world of weight loss and self-acceptance. Those were halcyon days, to be sure.
But I was also in my twenties and in a less-than-ideal relationship and was faking a whole lot of my life online and off.
In the subsequent years, I suppose things changed and I have cared less about the content of this blog and really just turned to it when something was on my mind. I like writing about these topics and I know a good deal of you all like reading and talking about them too. And since I long ago stopped caring about being a popular blog, or wanted to do what other people did to become a popular blog, I just wrote about what came easy.
When I became pregnant with Abigail, and especially after I had her, the changes that happened in my body as a result of it all was absolutely something I was interested in writing about. You add to that the subsequent months of getting back into shape and not letting old demons get the better of me or my daughter, it’s not surprising some folks would take issue. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so criticism that I’m still talking about the same “crap” is valid.
I just don’t put much effort into this blog. I write about the easy topics. I don’t really take the time to ruminate much as to whether that makes me seem “tired.” It’s not a priority with everything else going on in my life.
Reading that short little mention of my blog, however, absolutely did put into perspective the fact that this blog could use some more effort. That if I don’t want to be perceived as some sad woman with low self-esteem (of which I am absolutely not), who obsesses over such things, I could stand to write about other things that interest me (of which there are many). This isn’t to say I’m going to stop talking about weight loss and body acceptance when the spirit moves me, but I will work a bit harder at talking about something else and more often.
So thanks “therealsally and “SherBear09.” And to “Katheteria?” Looks like you can crawl through some of the old LTB blog posts here and here, but it’s truly a crapshoot as to what you’re able to find.