Two Andrew Sullivan’s (an English author, editor, and blogger) written pieces give us completely different point of view about the same thing. One text was written in 2008, while other in 2016. Unbelievable, but the difference, that eight long years can make, is undeniable.
In the first text “Why I blog” Andrew Sullivan introduces us to the very early beginning of an online era. Blogging becomes a completely new form as the Internet becomes a new platform for journalists and writers to manifest.
Sullivan exhaustively explains what blogging means and what benefits it brings to our lives: “Every writer since the printing press has longed for a means to publish himself and reach—instantly—any reader on Earth.” However, he adds that there are some disadvantages as well. He writes that online readers are completely different from print readers: “They were more brutal than any editor, than any copy editor, and more emotionally unstable than any colleague.”
“From the first few days of using the form, I was hooked”; Sullivan writes in “Why I blog”. And, indeed, he was hooked.
Through the time, the story continues. In his second piece “I used to be a human being”, published eight years after “Why I blog”, Sullivan confesses: “For a decade and a half, I’d been a web obsessive, publishing blog posts multiple times a day, seven days a week, and ultimately corralling a team that curated the web every 20 minutes during peak hours. I was, in other words, a very early adopter of what we might now call living-in-the-web. And as the years went by, I realised I was no longer alone.”
During this period of time Andrew Sullivan jumps from praising blogging to a serious online addiction: “I tried reading books, but that skill now began to elude me. After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard.” He adds: “We almost forget that ten years ago, there were no smartphones, and as recently as 2011, only a third of Americans owned one. Now nearly two-thirds do. They could not live without one. The device went from unknown to indispensable in less than a decade.”
It is clear that we become prisoners of the Internet. In“I used to be a human being” Sullivan mentions: “We were hooked on information as eagerly as sugar.” And he is right. The rest of the text is a story about detoxification and bringing back yourself to reality.
We don’t have to be sufferers. This life is still ours and we can live it as we want, either online, offline or both. “You are where your attention is”; Sullivan writes.