To Blog or to WhatsApp?

My friend Octavia has been away for five weeks and is due back tonight. I’m hoping to see her tomorrow if jet lag doesn’t claim her. It was Celia’s birthday on Friday, mine tomorrow, and we are meeting up with a small group of mutual friends to have lunch in a local, unpretentious gaff at Borough. Yes, there are unpretentious places at Borough if you know where to look. I took my cousin-in-law to the same place for lunch when she was over with Food NI last month, and she loved it.
While Octavia was away, she sent me WhatsApp messages with photographs of stunning views. I suggested she start a blog. After a few days she said that it took her minutes to WhatsApp some photos, whereas it must take me much longer to write a blog post, (I assume she meant the type of post I am writing now), and when she had time to spare, she wanted to relax, not write.
Fair enough.
It did get me thinking though. I use WhatsApp sometimes to send photos too. I think it’s a great medium for quick communication. But as a record keeping app, it’s lacking. It became quite frustrating getting tiny photos to see on my ‘phone when I should much rather look at larger ones on my laptop screen.
If Octavia were to simply post the pictures with the same minimal text in her WhatsApp messages on a blog it wouldn’t take her much longer. Yet she would have a photo diary online of where she had been, her immediate impressions, commendations and so on, and I and the others she sends them to, would also have that record, as well as pictures rather larger than a postage stamp to enjoy. We could refer back to the pictures whenever we wanted, and use her comments when planning a similar trip. Those pictures won’t survive on my phone, I don’t have enough memory to keep them, and if save them to my picture files, well, they’ll be just pictures.
I suppose it’s a question of how you view your audience. I am an audience for older blog posts of my own. I love the way I can go back to a particular time and see where I was, what I was thinking. With a blog you make memories. WhatsApp is a fleeting moment. I think that’s why I’m still here on WordPress.
I didn’t manage to keep up with everywhere I went and what I did on my NZ trip last year, but my posts from then are already proving happy reminders of people I sent time with, things we saw.
So I think I shall try to persuade her to start a photo blog before her next trip, to install the app on her ‘phone, to make it a private blog if she wants, and then, selfishly, I shall be able to enjoy her impressions and memories for years to come.
I’m still thinking this through, so if you have comments or observations that may help me clarify my ideas, please don’t hold back.

10 thoughts on “To Blog or to WhatsApp?

    • She gives a short commentary when she posts the photos, and they are places I should be interested in visiting. The photos alone are beautiful, but I want the text too.

  1. To my mind, one texts a photo as a way to stay in touch when far apart. One uses instagram to record an event or image for posterity, and one blogs to engage in communication whether using photography or prose or poetry – or all three.

  2. Blogging has become an important way for me to journal, allowing me to connect with others who resonate with what I write and to save for my children when I pass on. Just maybe through these journal posts I will answer question they wished they had asked but didn’t really care at earlier stages in their lives. Like you, my previous posts are enjoyable for me to visit to jog my memory. I have written posts that I enjoy rereading because I worked hard on them and they expressed where I was in a moment and time. And of course my blog is where I choose my best photographs to share and to weave into stories that are generic but specific to time and place. As years go by I tend to delete many of the photos in my files that I didn’t use in posts because my posted ones are the best. And I also value relationships I have built with people like you, where we enjoy what each other writes and the photos that are shared. Please keep on blogging.
    With the huge number of bloggers and the search abilities of computers, I would think that as time goes on what we post will be a goldmine for people doing historical research specific to time periods.

    • Thanks Pat. I shall keep blogging. I pay a small amount each year for my page to support the photo content, and I wonder when I stop if the page simply vanish from view. Like you I use it to explore ideas, make connections, reflect. Future social historians will have a huge bank of materials to mine if our blogs last (or if the planet does).

  3. Nothing compares to blogging. It’s the best way to record whatever you want for your self or others and visiting bloggers worldwide for a glimpse into their world is amazing.

    • As you know, I don’t blog as much as I used to, but like you, I enjoy the discipline of recording certain events, my and others’ reactions, and increasingly I enjoy the archives. I don’t comment as often as I used to. I read people’s posts and sometimes I click like, sometimes I just nod to myself.

      • I don’t blog as often or as enthusiastically but there are a few people I love to visit. When I retire I hope to devote more time to it and writing again 🙂

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