This is my first attempt at a political blog, and it has quickly become clear to me that it is probably a bad idea. Here are five reasons why:
1- Welcome to the echo chamber.
Writing a political blog means you are now a part of the bloviating, snarky, hyper-partisan political landscape. Say goodbye to neutrality, for you are now part of the toxic tribal discourse that incentivises point-scoring in politicians, and partisanship in the public. One of the occupational sins for politicians is that they speak in vagaries and deflections. One of the occupational sins for bloggers is that we write with too little restraint, because:
2- Hyberbole generates page views, despite being super-duper pure fucking evil.
It’s a crowded blogosphere, and we think our views are
important true and right. Well, there’s one effective way to get your view out there, and maybe be the next Cameron Slater; be outrageous. Spit bile. Misrepresent people who disagree with you. Make a few snarky cracks, or compare them to Hitler. Nuance and balance requires a lot of words, and is thoroughly unspectacular. If you are lack talent, it’s tempting to go hack-ish to get support from the mega-partisans. But this has impacts:
3- Becoming politicised is a sure way to lose friends.
Once you start putting your opinion out there, you soon find that a lot of people you care about, good people, don’t agree with you. And when you make your identity primarily political, then politics ceases to be just one small part of your relationship with others, and can become a-make or-break. All of sudden, you find so-and-so and doesn’t like you because of something you said on the blog.
4- Blogging preserves your stupidity for posterity.
Like me, you’ve probably had incredibly stupid thoughts that, thankfully, are not written down somewhere. In a GCSB and NSA world, is it really a good idea to have your political thoughts out there for states to examine at their leisure? But perhaps the surest sign that writing a blog is a terrible idea is:
5- Blogging eats time and shits self-importance.
There is something narcissistic about putting your opinions out there for the whole world to (hopefully) read. Firstly, you have to think that your opinion worth something- perhaps that it is unique or unarticulated. Secondly, you have to value writing these opinions over other, more social activities. This is true of writing in general, but it seems worse for political blogging. For the most part, we are not creating anything beautiful. We are enabling conflict.