I’ve been subjected to a little gentle knuckle-rapping of late for being somewhat remiss with my social network activity, and rightly so, as it’s been, well, non-existent for the best part of a month. I’m also aware the excuse of my broken finger is wearing a little thin… So I’ve been psyching myself up to get back into the saddle of the blogosphere, to hoist myself up into the branches of the Twitter tree again and to resume leafing through the Facebook pages. The show must go on!
The fact of the matter is that social networking and, most relevantly here, blogging are not only new but admittedly extremely scary concepts for me. Venturing into this new domain has been like suddenly discovering a strange underworld co-existing in your spare room – or stumbling across the parallel universe under the streets of Paris as in Luc Besson’s French classic Subway.
Firstly, there’s the fear factor relating to exposing yourself to any number of strangers who may be looking on, or listening in. And let’s face it, it’s not necessarily a little select club of like-minded people who are enjoying your ruminations on life as you see it. It’s potentially the whole big faceless, voyeuristic, judgemental world, billions of them, all narrowing their eyes, furrowing their brows and checking out what it is exactly that you’ve got to say for yourself. Being a rather private kinda girl, any sort of divulging of my personal opinion, serious or frivolous, through a blog or a tweet or a Facebook post has the potential to leave me feeling awfully naked and dreadfully scrutinised! Not to mention terribly indulgent. Is there really anyone out there who wants to read you waxing lyrical about an avant-garde bisexual female furniture designer of the 1920s or trying to express the near physical frisson the presence of big powerful woodworking machinery instills in your soul? But we’re told we all have to do it. We all have to put ourselves out there and spout forth on all these fascinating ideas of ours that will captivate, scintillate and be of utter inspiration to our reader, or follower or friend. You must admit it’s all a bit weird! Pretending we’re all experts or pioneers or raconteurs or… god forbid, writers! But that said, one huge shock to me on stumbling around in this new realm is just how many bright, interesting, clever, funny, fascinating and original bloggers there are out there! There is some massively good stuff to be had once you get a feel – or even instinct – for where to look…
One other near vertical learning curve in this whole social network business has involved my trying to get to grips with all the idiosyncratic terminology or jargon (or blargon – yes really!) tied into this incredible and fast-moving cyber development. I’ve barely got my head around text-speak, so there’s a lot of twitter talk and blog lingo that are still fairly indecipherable to me. I can speak a number of foreign languages yet it transpires that not only my 10-year-old niece but also my 70-year-old mum are more au fait with and fluent in the vernacular than me. How did that happen?!
But then again, I have to admit that I am very much one to celebrate the extraordinary dynamism of language. I love the way it bends, shifts and at times buckles with the often fickle winds of linguistic change. It strikes me as extraordinary not only the way we seize and embrace the words associated with all the new technologies but also how we all seem to get a feel – collectively – for very subtle shifts in our everyday language, we just somehow seem to get the loaded nature and/or hair-splitting nuances of the vocabulary.
A funny example of changing times, linguistically, that springs to mind in my own world of furniture-making is the word modern. How is it that that word now sounds old-fashioned (modern furniture, oh no!), except of course if you say New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and then it sounds cool. But modern, largely, is no longer modern. Contemporary is. Luxury has become a bit of a no-no too, reserved for such things as Tesco’s Finest range! Luxe, or de luxe (separate words absolutely!) is far more de rigueur!
And wood as an adjective is obligatory, as wooden has gone the way of pine!
But that’s a whole other blog for another time!