Getting to become an old man of 75 got me thinking about whether I should be doing this malarky. I’ve been wondering if there is some kind of upper age limit beyond which blogging becomes inappropriate, like online TikTok performing. Oh, and it also appears that being male is apparently a disadvantage too, as, for some reason, like life, everyone looks past your missives, but with acres of thirty-something female ‘lifestyle’ blogs I think it’s time to redress the balance.
Some might say that age is irrelevant, but if that is the case why should I even mention it or write about it? My age is part of me and who I am, it gives me life experiences that I can impart to readers, not available to younger people.
Of course, I understand that ageism is still very prevalent in many industries, and I know that having been made redundant when I reached 50 and having become self-employed some 20 years ago, I have had the luxury of being protected from this. But, without that burden, I don’t keep my age a secret or shy away from mentioning it, when it suits me to do so – like now.
We can still write when we are older, we don’t lose the ability to communicate just because we are in our 70s, not our 30s, fortunately for the likes of me, I don’t have to contend with anyone telling me I’m too old to do the job, or to fit in with the younger cool kids, and I know that makes me very lucky.
Men can blog too, of course, there will be some subjects that will appeal more to one gender than another, so maybe I should start writing about football and cricket, or the 101 uses of a garden shed. But just by saying that makes me think there could be a post in there somewhere about lawnmowers down the ages.
Maybe blogging really is a female-led world? If you go to Top 100 London Blogs and Websites, the list is taken from thousands of blogs on the web ranked by traffic, social media followers, domain authority and freshness, CabbieBlog is at number 48, even top London blogger, Diamond Geezer only makes it to number 26, and yet 33 out of the 75 listed are lifestyle blogs, all by females, mostly about beauty and fashion.
To be honest, I found that to be a pretty dispiriting exercise. It did leave me wondering if this blogging lark really wasn’t something I should be doing. But then I thought ‘sod it, it’s my time I’m spending on it and people can choose whether or not to read what I write.’
The age and gender of the writer are irrelevant to me: it’s what they have to say which is of interest. Of course, their writing will reflect their life experiences, but why should I feel odd if I choose to read them, simply because I’m older or younger, male, not female? Actually, I don’t – if you have a problem with this then I think you need to take a look at yourself and why you blog. Be honest with yourself, it might just surprise you.
Is reaching the grand old age of 40 some kind of barrier? Is it a milestone, beyond which everything changes? Judging by some of the posts I’ve seen, some in their 40s appear to think their lives are in a downward spiral. But even we poor disadvantaged males have a life expectancy in the UK of double that – people, your race is barely halfway run, and you have much to look forward to.
Maybe we need a Post 70 Bloggers website? Or Post 90, or any other age you care to choose? Age shouldn’t be used in a divisive way – ‘I’m not that age so that can’t be for me’ – but people put others into pigeon holes. It’s a form of prejudice, of discrimination – don’t be ageist, please!
We’re all different and have our own uniqueness – I don’t want to be categorised as part of a ‘target market.’ I choose what I want to read, not what I’m told I should read. I would prefer people to read my posts because they enjoy them, find them interesting, believe them to be a good use of their time, and that is how I approach the blogs I read.
People seem to be taking this a bit too seriously and are losing sight of the enjoyment we can feel from reading or producing a well-written piece. Surely, the pleasure we can derive is reason enough to be involved in blogging, without any other need for justification? Simply by putting something out there, we are offering an insight into ourselves – my blog is me, like it or lump it. I don’t mind what your age or gender is, you’re very welcome here, and I hope you feel that it was worth your time and effort. In saying this, I recognise that there are many reasons why people blog, one of these being commercial: I often have some comments here about monetising a blog, but they feel out of place. Maybe another time . . .
Believe it or not, but I set myself quality standards for what I post, and creating a schedule is the best way I know of maintaining the quality of my output.
Reading some of the posts I’ve seen recently makes me think I should somehow be feeling guilty for being male, older, slightly right-of-centre and regular in my postings. I don’t. And I won’t ever apologise for that.
Maybe there is far fewer male than female bloggers, and maybe older bloggers like me are very much in a minority. But if we choose to be here, what we have to say is just as valid to us as anything said by others with different demographics. Don’t lose sight of that, or us. Who knows, you may even find something to like about us.