I remember when it was kind of cool to be a blogger. You’d walk around with a swagger in your step, a twinkle in your eye. Now it’s just humiliating. Blogging has become like mahjong or needlepoint or clipping coupons out of Walgreens circulars: something old folks do while waiting to croak.
Did you see that new Pew study that came out yesterday? It put a big fat exclamation point on what a lot of us have come to realize recently: blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the Internet. It’s even uncooler than editing Wikipedia articles or having a Second Life avatar. In 2006, 28% of teens were blogging. Now, just three years later, the percentage has tumbled to 14%. Among twentysomethings, the percentage who write blogs has fallen from 24% to 15%. Writing comments on blogs is also down sharply among the young. It’s only geezers – those over 30 – who are doing more blogging than they used to.
Here’s how Pew puts the bad news:
While blogging among adults as a whole has remained steady, the prevalence of blogging within specific age groups has changed dramatically in recent years. Specifically, a sharp decline in blogging by young adults has been tempered by a corresponding increase in blogging among older adults.
They even have a chart, just to rub salt in the wound:
When I blog these days, I feel like I should be sitting in a rocking chair, wearing a highly absorptive undergarment, and writing posts debunking some overhyped new bunion treatment (iPads?).
Yesterday I was out taking a walk and I happened to pass a group of tweens congregating on a street corner. I heard one of them say, “Hey, that guy’s a blogger,” and then they all started throwing their empty energy-drink cans at me. I had to take refuge in a Starbucks. I spent a half hour crying into my double-tall.
I hear that in middle schools “blogger” has become the most common term of abuse, playing roughly the same role that “wuss” used to play:
“You’re such a blogger, Derek.”
“You’re the blogger, Sean.”
Blogger jokes are turning into the new big thing on college campuses:
Q: How many bloggers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Who cares?