10 Years of a Blog

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A snapshot of this blog from 2013

Today is the 10th anniversary of For Cinephiles by a Cinefille. I had no idea when I started this blog with zero fanfare and one loyal reader (my sister) that it would still be limping around 10 years later.

I created this blog when I was 16. Yes, 16. As I sat at my parents’ old desktop PC and tinkered with a Blogger account, I built something that seemed like a cool idea.

In 2005, while everyone I knew had a MySpace or a LiveJournal, blogs were a new concept. Practically no one had laptops (at least not in my house). At the time I was about to start my senior year of high school and I was a know-it-all film snob who realized that my obsessive interest in cinema could make people notice me. I felt somewhat isolated in a small, conservative NJ suburb so my blog became a necessary outlet for me. Although the domain has changed a few times and I ditched Blogger for WordPress, my blog remains the little space on the Internet I carved out for myself.

Overtime, I’ve written a lot posts, many of them are unremarkable. Yet this blog evolved and new people still stumble upon it from time to time, though I honestly have no idea why something I wrote about Skins five years ago remains popular.

The differences about myself from 2005 to now are astounding. This is true for anyone who has a public record of how they wrote and thought about a medium as a teen, college student, young adult and now, an old young adult. Back then, I wrote with a sense of urgency, driven by misguided cockiness. I also didn’t know what I was doing. I had no clue how to source anything or how to write well. But I fervently believed I knew everything about film, until college and life showed me that I didn’t and would never. The so-called real world knocked more than enough reality into me.

As a result, I’m more hesitant to blog than ever before.  I approach media in general from a significantly different lens. I’m more self aware. If I have an idea, I’m less likely to commit to the exhausting writing process. Recently I started and stopped and eventually deleted a potential essay on Rachel Dolezal and performing racial identities out of my fear that what I wanted to say wouldn’t be good or intelligent enough or well-received.

A driving force behind this blog’s initial existence, if you haven’t gathered, was combating my sense of self-doubt. It’s a feeling that developed intensely after a lifetime (in this case everything that happened to me before college) of being compared to the kids I had been in school with since the age of five. And I was told, often, I wasn’t as smart or as talented as my peers. Those comments from teachers or classmates, which probably weren’t intended to carry as much weight as they did, shaped my insecurities in profound ways. I reacted by starting this blog and eventually finding a better sense of self in college.

Since college, I’ve struggeld with newfound insecurities that come with being in your 20s (or what the internet tells me about being in your 20s). Sometime around 2013, this blog fell into the rut that I can’t quite escape. The daily grind of maintaining an internet presence became less fun. I’ve spent the past 18 months or so actively reducing how much time I spend blogging, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter. Because if people aren’t really reading what I write, what was the point of shouting into the void?

So I blog less now and that’s fine. I still enjoy my little corner of the Internet.

I’m also consuming digital media at a slower rate than ever before. (This is more than ironic… I’m working on a Masters in Media Studies.) I’ve returned to an old habit of reading three or four books at a time, meticulously finding classics in the public library that seemingly haven’t been checked out in decades.

It’s the public library that nourished my love of cinema before blogs and Internet forums ever existed. As a kid,  I’d load up on free VHS and DVDs every day during the summer. In a few hours I’ll be sitting a the dark AV room in the community center where I run a classic film screening. It’s another thing I’ve been doing since I was 16. There’s even embarrassing proof.

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I don’t watch the movies I screen anymore; either I’ve seen them before or I can’t focus on the film while one woman constantly speaks at a deafening whisper. But the job is easy, the extra income is good, and the weekly company of the regulars, some I’ve known since my awkward high school years, is nice. Even the guy who shows up blasted every week isn’t too bad.

Since 10 years of blogging is worth noting, I dug through my archives (1,938 posts in total). These are some posts I wrote I kind of like. Mostly they are the posts I remember best.

Now I should probably conclude with something like: “Here’s to another decade of blogging!” But let’s be real: blogs won’t be a thing in 10 years. 

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