My blogging here has been light of late, and my perusal of other sights even lighter. I could give you any number of reasons for this, many of which would be partially true; however, in reality, it all boils down to the rising nausea I feel whenever I think about the Bloggernacle. This sickening feeling is made even worse by the fact that many of the things that gross me out the most about the Bloggernacle are things that I’ve done, felt, or been a part of. So, before you start typing your accusations of hypocrisy, I’ll beat you to it and plead guilty.
Some of you have probably seen the American version of “The Office” on NBC. In one episode, the sycophantic and power-hungry Dwight is given the task of overseeing the weekend work calendar. Dwight immediately lords his new-found power over his co-workers, one of whom remarks, “I’ve never seen such a small amount of power go to someone’s head.” This remark perfectly sums up what I find so nauseating about the Bloggernacle. Let me explain.
Now, I’m not one who subscribes to the “It’s just blogging, it doesn’t matter” thesis. I actually thing blogging does matter, because it affects — sometimes dramatically — people’s lives, and people matter. This is nowhere more true than when people are blogging about their spiritual lives. While I don’t labor under the delusion that the reach of the Bloggernacle is great, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not important. If one testimony is saved — or ruined — via the Bloggernacle then it’s important. Honest and earnest discussion, carried out in good faith and with courtesy, is great. Same goes for lighthearted discussion of common experiences. These things are important for the reason cited above.
But the importance appropriately assigned to these things often spills over onto related things that simply aren’t important. And that is gross. What are some of these related but unimportant things? Competition among blogs and bloggers and commenters, for one. Personal rivalries. Internecine warfare. Gossiping, power-grabbing, back-self-patting, excluding others, caring about being excluded, giving and taking offense, self-absorption, sulking, adulation, sycophancy, self-imposed exile, leaving in a huff, and so on. Such behavior is never excusable. It is, however, a bit more understandable when it arises in situations where more is at stake than, say, who will have the most popular blog aggregator in the Bloggernacle. That’s really gross. It grosses me out that I’m even writing about this. Ewwww.