Ten years ago today something happened that was going to change my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined – and it all started with an email from a friend, inviting me to join something called a blogging and social networking site…
I didn’t know what that meant, but decided to check it out. Ten years and a few weeks later, social media is pretty much where I live and I can’t imagine living without it. But back then – social media wasn’t a thing really, blogging was in its infancy, and I took several weeks to even get started after signing up because I was still on dial-up so loading any web page took so long that I’d go make a coffee and come back…
So 12 June is my preblogversary, and 10 July is when I really started blogging – somewhere in that in-between period I got to the point of giving up on the ancient, creaky laptop I’d been using and buying a new one, and then finding that I had to change to Broadband because the new laptop couldn’t handle a dial-up modem.
Which meant that suddenly I could start really enjoying the internet, and, joy of joys, I could explore that site my friend had invited me to – a small one called Multiply, which never really took off big time, and eventually ended up closing down, but it’s where I learned the basics of blogging (and html code!), and got into this whole world of talking to people online, building friendships, having discussions, sharing cat videos, and all these things that are so totally part of my life now that I’m nearly inseperable from my smartphone and have to exercise tons of self-control to refrain from instagramming every waking moment…
Why did I take to it so well? There’s lots of different factors that went into the equation. One is that writing, in one shape or another, had always been my thing. Sometimes poems, sometimes short stories, every now and again an attempt to start writing a novel – and once in a while just a kind of rant or rambling, scribbled on a sheet of paper with nowhere to go… I mean, what do you do with that kind of stuff unless you’re a journalist?
Blogging was invented for people like me!
The fact that I get on well with computers was obviously also helpful.
And being an introvert means I really value this opportunity to talk to people without having to leave the house! I can have so many more conversations this way! This meant a lot especially when I was struggling with deep depression, when getting out of the house felt like climbing the Everest, and I could sit here and type through tears and get emotional support from friends online. And ask Christian friends to pray for me. It was a real God-send. Literally.
These days I’m getting out of the house more, and social media feels less of a lifeline – and now that I have a smartphone I can actually do social media when I’m out and about! Yay! A lot has changed in ten years – Multiply closed down, Google Plus was born, Instagram is a thing, Twitter has started to grow on me (took ages, because I’m so not a natural at short and pithy!), smartphones became so rife that even I eventually succumbed and bought one… (even I, not because of being a technophobe but because of being a shoppingphobe – am terrible at choosing from a massive selection of gadgets…)
Also, somewhere along the way I discovered the joys of photography, and then the joys of photo editing, and I find it super awesome that I can now do this on my phone, and easily share the fruits of my creation on social media.
And Bible verses! I now have a Bible app on my phone and it lets me create an image with a Bible verse and share it – which kind of takes me back to the beginning… When I first signed up to Multiply back then and started to explore it, I remember the exciting moment when I realised: this site gives me free web space, and I can type whatever I like and anyone in the world can read it! So I started sharing Bible verses. And writing about my faith.
I met someone recently who, when I told her about my blogging and explained what blogging actually is, said: well, to do that you’d need to feel that you have something worth sharing with the world.
Well, duh. I have Jesus!
As long as there are people out there who haven’t yet been saved, I have something worth sharing with the world. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”