It occurred to me during today’s run, that I previously said what my blog was about but I didn’t at any point discuss why I thought a blog was the right medium to use.
Folk that know me well, will know my thoughts on social media. I’m not its greatest fan, although it’s more the Facebook side of things than general social media.
I use twitter as I find it a brilliant source of news & information on topics I’m particularly interested in, and it allows me to share my photo and running blogs.
What I’m not a fan of, is the sharing of every facet of your live, with an active audience of not only your close family & friends, but also folk that are at best a passing acquaintance.
Some of this blog has already touched on things that I’m unlikely to blurt out at the pub with a bunch of work colleagues. Not that I’m ashamed of any of it, far from it. But there’s a social etiquette to how you share such info, and I don’t think Facebook fits the bill.
I chose a blog, as it was aimed at a specific purpose, and each post I publish is tagged with labels that enable anyone who is searching for some reading on running, training, depression or indeed coping with a neonatal death to find it.
I’ve seen plenty of examples of people posting what I consider personal matters as a ‘status’ on social media. Quite apart from sharing sensitive info, it’s the fact that in your 300+ ‘friends’, there may be someone who is affected by a similar matter to the one you are opinionating on. Blurting it out as a status doesn’t really give the reader much warning, and it could affect them in ways you did not intend. I’m trying to be up front about what my blog entails and as such I hope it doesn’t fall foul of this social etiquette. I realise my wife does sometimes link to my blog in her Facebook, but again her followers would need to choose to open my blog before they saw my ramblings rather than just see them in-between all the photos of babies & cats. So I hope this doesn’t seem like a contradiction.
Previously not understanding depression, I was undoubtedly of the mind that “surely you just cheer yourself up if you are a bit down” which is a fairly ignorant but common attitude.
Everyone has seen the social media updates from friends, which seem like minor gripes and moans. Folk can dismiss it as just being a miserable person who likes something to whinge about. It might well be true, but it might also be a cry for help by someone who wants someone else to acknowledge their misery, without them actually saying “I’m really struggling” out loud.
I noticed myself beginning to do this on twitter at one point, and stopped by completely removing myself from using it. You don’t want to admit to the issue, but you do want someone to find out & maybe help.
I even uninstalled the app on my smart phone. Part of me didn’t want to become one of ‘those people’ tweeting “woe is me” all the time, but part of me also realised I was beginning to use twitter in the way that I had always railed against and so it had to stop.
In the end, like most things that become problematic in your life, you can’t fix them until you admit to them.
And so here I am, a few months on I’m able to share things via my blog, I’m using twitter almost exclusively again for retrieving information (and publicising my blogs).
I feel like I’ve just dumped a bundle of thoughts from my head, but I hope it helps explain why I decided to use my blog in the way I have.
The actual run
I’ve had a very trying weekend, culminating in my teenage son having an emergency operation on Sunday. Offspring problems can overwhelm you and when it ends in a hospital visit, it’s almost as bad as it can get. Thankfully this ended well. it did mean however that I’d missed out on some mileage over the weekend, so I opted for 11 miles today. I also didn’t even take my iPod out at all. I plotted a route which took me to Cambuslang then back along the River Clyde, using a pathway far removed from any main roads or streets. It was absolutely perfect. I didn’t feel too bad throughout the run, physically, and for large parts of it I had complete peace & quiet to get the weekend processed through my skull dwelling gray matter. The icing on the cake was the fact that it was above 4 degrees in Glasgow and didn’t rain during my whole run. A victory for the ethos of Pavement Therapy indeed!