The world has changed. I’m not sure about the exact time when it happened. It is hard to pinpoint this historical event. Was it when “WWW” became the new idea of the electronic computer? Or did it have it origin when the first programmable computer was build by Konrad Zuse in Berlin-Kreuzberg in 1941?
IBM took up the idea in 1946 and we haven’t looked back since. Now, I can’t do without my PC and my Blog. My wife thought the PC was only for playing Free Cell. Once her niece gave her the idea and I showed her the ropes, she took to it like the proverbial duck to water. She is blogging now, full steam from early in the morning till late at night. She has a readership that spans the globe and has left me for dead in the numbers of publications. Has anybody given blogging as a reason for divorce? Just kidding.
When blogging, we are opening our minds to the world and let other people take part in our thinking processes. But haven’t writers done this all through the ages? They have been ridiculed and revered for what they had to say. Charles Dickens, whose 200th birthday was yesterday, probably would be a blogger now. Or, what about Tolstoy? He could blog to his heart’s content and reach millions of people espousing his ideas how the people of the world should behave and function. In his time the Russian peasants were mostly illiterate. Today the Russians are the masters of the cyber world. What an audience he could have! Perhaps Putin would put him in jail for being subversive. The celebrity he was, that would make a splash around the world.
What about Shakespeare? Would he be a blogger? To be a blogger or not to be a blogger, that would not be a question for him today. Of course he would be a blogger. Weren’t his plays about the ideas he had about people and events? The audience was very much involved at the theatre. Alas, they were all born too early to be bloggers. But other people blog about them and so, their ideas are kept alive.
Most writers were copious letter writers; but person to person only. The letters were carried by Post and now the written word is carried by the internet via the oceans and by satellites to many people at the same time. Only the kind of transmission has changed, not the writing. When Humboldt wrote to Schiller we had to wait a long time to share their thoughts. Now we can take part in the conversation of various people almost instantly and not wait fifty or hundred years.
The Internet and the blogging demand our full attention. We have become addicts. We communicate with hundreds of people, taking in words and spitting them out again in a new combination. When my grandfather was seventy and retired he was sitting at the kitchen table for long hours of the day and did crossword puzzles. He raked his brain for words and I rake my brain for words. He tried to fit those words into a pattern. I try to fit them into a pattern that looks like a readable sentence. Granddad only wanted to see whether his brain could remember. I try to say something that makes sense.
Does it? You be the judge.