‘Representation of self is drastically changing. And of course on Facebook it’s all embellished, stylised selves anyway. But my popularity on the internet has to do with the fact that all of these fake selves somehow recognise each other and have some unifying sensory organ for authenticity.’
– Werner Herzog, in the Guardian, 2016.
Your first objection might be that I do not have popularity on the internet. Rather, I have 63 followers on twitter. But I do feel sharply the lack of any good self-representation online, my other social media being, frankly, kind of boring. My solution? Write a blog, stake a claim, buy my own name as a .com domain. I am a fairly self-assured person in real life and it seems reasonable to be like myself in my online persona(e) as well.
Yes, my desire to impress prospective employers is part of the motivation: hi, New Yorker editor (s), try not to spill cointreau on my keyboard while you offer me a contract?! As that most predictable of student organisms, the arts student/ aspiring journalist, I know I have to ‘show my passion and commitment for writing’ & I have the benefit of no editorial restrictions here. Plus nobody wants to see kilometres of tear-stained diaries from 2014 as proof of my interest in jotting stuff down.
For several years I’ve used fear of blogging as an excuse to not start a blog; the endless bold sentences to add emphasis, the hyper-casual chat, the buckets of passion spilt over every web page, the ENDLESS affiliate marketing courses, the monetisation of one’s personal life, hobby & relationships. Some fussy and dictatorial online social media guru, with a long-term lease in my frontal cortex, spends a lot of time telling me I’d be legally obliged to adopt this style, should I ever try my luck in the blog-o-sphere. When I devoted more than 15 seconds analysing this, I came to the profound conclusion that, oh, erm, I guess I can write however I want, because … NOBODY IS READING THIS YOU BIG-HEADED PEACOCK.
The actual trigger for the creation of this blog was my mum’s suggestion that I write a blog on my year abroad, to bring joy and entertainment to the masses.* I’m working for two small NGOs in La Paz, Bolivia and then studying in Lyon, France and plan to travel around as well. If I’m totally uninteresting, at least these places will excite.
I don’t have a grand theme for this as such, so posts will be based on topics according to my curiosity / voyeurism, and repeated assurances that No, I Haven’t Been Bitten By a Mosquito Yet.
I really appreciate your time and attention.
*the masses being a) my Dad, a.k.a Prof JB; b) the assorted family friends and relatives he peer-pressures into reading florabowen.com, c) approx. 2% of my instagram followers and facebook friends.