Within the last several months I have become…how shall I put this…a follower of several mild online sensations. Bloggers and vloggers. Not bloggers of the class to which I belong. I write for family and friends because I like to write and like to read what I write, and I know that sometimes they do too.
The people I’m talking about are different, and besides often enjoying what they create, I’ve become fascinated by the fact of their existence. They sit in their houses and apartments and bedrooms all day writing and editing and drawing and tweaking and filming and trying. Then they click a button that says “Upload” or “Submit” or “Publish” and what they have sometimes spent hours making zooms out to meet an audience which hovers somewhere between fanbase and friend group. They are really the maker’s people, his race of Joseph. These people spend five minutes watching, twenty minutes commenting, liking, responding and re-enjoying, then they go back to their own lives with a smile on their face and a nice, new thought in their head. Until next time.
It’s a really unique relationship, I think. By no means an ideal, but there’s something wonderfully affectionate about such an interaction. The audience knows nearly everything worth knowing about their friend. They know his birthday, the names of every person in his family, the layout of his entire home (because often they’ve seen it themselves), his most minute fears, every expression he makes, and entire story of the time his dog threw up on the carpet. They know this because he has opened the doors of his life and let the internet stream in; he is sharing his humanity with the world, in the most entertaining way possible, in case anyone cares to hear. His people love him for it. A few clicks of a mouse, and there is that familiar face of a friend doing their darndest to make your day.
The creators themselves, on the other hand, know very few of their people personally. They read comments, they answer emails, they take suggestions, they give hugs, pose for pictures, and are delighted to be shown around hometowns. Yet they know that there is really only one way to reciprocate the friendship so lavishly offered in nearly every comment. They have to keep creating. They have a responsibility to all these priceless souls with silly user names to continue to throw open their doors every day or every week and find something funny or thoughtful or weird to present to their people like it’s show and tell all over again.
I admire these people for their commitment to creativity. It must wear them out to be so funny and likable habitually, to concentrate their whole self into a blog post or video on a regular basis, to meet such a demand and be a friend to so many. Regular, responsible creativity is a frightening thing to me, as well it should be. It is one of the reasons I don’t want to “grow up to be a writer.” I would have to dig and strive to do something I loved at a time I didn’t feel like it, and in a manner I wasn’t comfortable with.
BUT. Inspired by the workaday creativity of these familiar faces, I’m challenging myself. Not hugely, because I’m a student who needs to keep up her GPA, but a little. Starting now, I’m going to post a coherent, well thought-out post once a week until the end of the calendar year. (After which I’ll reassess and all that…) Okay?
Now, I’d like to introduce you to some friends of mine: the Green brothers, Allie, Charlie McDonnell, and the Loerkes. Or maybe you’ve already met?
You know, Alice, it makes me happy that you have discovered the wonderful world that is out there on the Internet, but I am glad you didn’t during high school because… well, just because it’s too complex of a thought process to explain. I will check out some of these blogs and vlogs… Confession: I have never really watched a vlog. I miss you a lot, but I am glad that you have this blog and that we can call and voicemail and maybe at somepoint if either of us feels like it right letters. You are the greatest. And I am glad we are still friends since fourth grade. You put up with my sleep-deprived frustrations and my many obsessions. I LOVE YOU!