Frankly I think my blog is having an identity crisis. This year is the 10th anniversary of my blog. What started as a totally unknown blog (I mean unknown to the people I know) has become quite a easily searchable blog when it's something about the Dharma. It's amazing I lasted so long, actually. My posts used to make up 50% on Dharma related stuff and 50% on food reviews or home cooking with some personal posts in between about anything under the sky. Now it seems that it's mostly about dharma related stuff I post (I got too lazy to write about food) and I write mostly about personal thoughts (who would be interested in my personal stuff, really?). Also I have not been blogging consistently for the past year. It always depends on my mood, because that's what a personal blog is about, isn't it?
I'm not the same as the mainstream social media bloggers who have a focus, either it is usually a food blog, or beauty/fashion blog or travel blog or photography blog. And their presence are more known while I prefer to be low profile. There are only very very few bloggers who write about the Dharma, and they're almost all not from Singapore. Plus I hardly mix around with the current 'generation' of bloggers many whom I have known online for years. Irony much?
I do love to write Dharma-related stuff because my life revolves around it. And I still receive emails from readers who are very supportive, especially dharma friends. Most of them want me to continue writing. Yet I feel I'm absolutely not qualified to broach deeper into any specific dharma topics. I only share about events and the great teachers I have the fortune to receive teachings from. I am only able to share my own experience as a Buddhist practitioner yet I am totally incapable of advising readers on particular areas, aside from the usual mantras and certain practices and deities. I'm not sure if I am benefiting and helping more people.
I've been thinking of changing the blog's direction and name to focus solely on Dharma, yet I'm unwilling to stop the musings on my daily life, my thoughts, my emo moments, my special occasions, my food reviews etc. I'm unwilling to drop all these. I would like to change and adopt a simpler name for this blog or perhaps rename it simply as 'Stumpbo's Tushita', for Stumpbo is my online moniker anyway. Fellow bloggers know me as Stumpbo. Not many remember the actual name which is 'Life of Lopsided 8' (or LOL8). No one knows why it's named thus, and it has been shortened by some to being 'lopsided' blog (!!!!!!!). Also, maintaining my Stumpbo Facebook account and LOL8 page is time consuming and driving me nuts, as I'm more active on my other actual account. More decisions (*pull hair*).
The thing is, my real life friends in my other actual FB account seldom post stuff apart from a few. 90% of them are almost dormant. I gather they mostly like to check out and stalk others but not enthusiastic to post anything themselves (most are concerned about online privacy or they prefer to be low profile/secretive/conservative). Quite preferential and selective cliques. Most do not usually bother to click 'Like' or comment, but however, when they meet you, they do remember your posts and might be curious about them. Also, their once-in-a-blue-moon posts would only be if they have taken photos with, say the President of the United States or some special VIPs. This makes my timeline pretty boring (apart from informative posts by FB pages). Hardly earth shattering. In comparison, Stumpbo's friends, being active in social media and bloggers, are used to posting updates constantly, sharing photos and news on a daily regular basis. There's friendly sharing. That's how I get instant news about the happenings of anyone, anything, everything. I appreciate our online interactions, something which my real life friends will never understand.In my actual account, I sometimes feel like a bozo who always share photos and stuff. These are just precious memories to me for keeps (plus it's easier to search for old photos if need be). But I often wonder if my friends feel that I'm showing off or I share too many links/posts or if I'm hoarding their timeline. They may not post anything but I know they are constantly surfing Facebook. Ironically, it's in Stumpbo's account and online friends who make me feel more normal. Although I've started to consider deleting Stumpbo's account off and adding closer online friends to my real life account, I am still hesitant of abandoning it.
Of course it is entirely each individual's freedom how they would like to behave online. And although many may feel Facebook is just another social media platform and nothing that important to be concerned about, I beg to differ. In order to sustain the popularity of an app, there must be something useful it can provide, daily news, sharing and updates of friends, keeping in touch etc. Otherwise it will die off sooner but other new apps will emerge and still mushroom. I've always been one of those pioneer users of any social media apps when they first launched, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Posterous, Tumblr, Whatsapp, etc... The cycle is never ending. If you can't stop them, join them. Recently I have an unusual increase of strangers adding me and sending me overly friendly messages which I totally ignore. Privacy is never an issue to me because there are security settings I can manage. Likewise, we can manage our online relationship and interaction with tact, and still maintain friendship both online and offline. There's nothing to be fearful about.
Maybe I've become jaded to a certain extent that I crave change. Often I take the high road in normal situations. I would not be coerced to write stuff I don't feel anything for. I also don't care too much of any mainstream social media events. I hardly socialise. I hardly advertise for any commercial products or services. I hardly please anyone for the sake of pleasing. Sometimes this doesn't sit well with people. But as long as I stick to writing and doing what I feel is right, I'm not bothered.
Anyway it's times like now that blurs the line between online and real life. My online life has become an integral part of my life and it is important enough for me to put more serious thought into when I settle this momentary identity crisis of this blog. Or maybe, just maybe, it's time to pack up and call it a day, and stop writing totally.