Saturday, December 28, 2019

When Bloggers Die

If you've been reading blogs over any extended period of time, you'll eventually encounter the death of a long-term blogger. It's happened to me a couple of times now.

Most recently a blog I'd been lurking on for close to ten years now had recently died. He was a schizophrenic blogger, who wrote about his struggles with mental illness, but was a very talented writer, a master of dialogue, with the potential I feel to have been a professional writer. But he had a horrible diet, was a chain smoker, and had been alcoholic for many years, so it wasn't completely unimaginable that his lifestyle would lead to an early demise. But he was only in his forties, so because of how young he was it was a bit unexpected.

I guess it's common though, people with mental illness tend to have reduced lifespans, so many factors contributing to that, such as above average suicide rate, higher incidence of smoking, substance abuse, typically poor diet, and not to mention all the negative side-effects and organ damage caused by a lifetime dependence on prescription medication, it's no wonder the mentally ill tend to grow old faster and die younger.

It's weird, you know, if you've been reading someone for years, you feel like you've sort of formed a relationship with them, like you know them, even though you've never met them, or spoken to them face to face, but then when you find out that someone you've been reading for years has died, that there will be no more posts, there's a moment of shock and grief, but then, because you don't actually know the person outside of their blog, in a way when they stop posting because they died, it's really not much different then if they are still alive but simply stopped posting.

The personal blog is a virtual representation of a real living person, it sort of like takes on a life of its own, like a disembodied spirit living in cyberspace, that so long as the blog isn't deleted, it survives the person long after they died. In fact, if you ever come across a blog that hasn't been updated in years, you'll never know for sure if the person just abandoned the blog, or if the person died, especially if they posted anonymously. Which I think is really weird. Either way whether the blog is deleted, or abandoned and never updated again, it's a sort of death, a virtual death.

And likewise if a blog hasn't been updated for years, and then suddenly starts updating again, it's like its risen from the dead. Like years have gone by, and after this momentary lapse of time the conversation is continued as if it never stopped, as if it was just yesterday that we last spoke, and even though years may have passed, it's like in blog land there is no perceivable separation of time. That too is weird. Yeah, however you look at it, blogging is weird.