My blog turned five years old this past summer. But aside from a celebratory cupcake, there’s not a lot of self-affirmation going on at Snackish headquarters. That’s not really my style.
I think five years is an interesting milestone because in internet years, that means I’m probably much older, maybe twenty or so. I’ve made it through puberty so I think I know a thing or two. The angle I took when I decided to launch a self-hosted blog back in my zygote phase—circa 2006—no longer strictly applies. I’m not as new to the city, broke, or clueless about CSS, photography, SEO, and other things.
The food world has changed too, at feverish rate. Looking back five or six years ago, I don’t remember this hysteria about oysters, ramen, craft beer, small plates, mixology, pork belly, gourmet food trucks, Neapolitan pizza, rooftop-to-table restaurants, underground dinner parties, or twee, artisanal Brooklyn foodstuffs. We didn’t have a Smorgasburg, Edible Manhattan, the David Change empire, or a Whole Foods in every neighborhood. And when exactly did everyone start eating kale and doing juice cleanses? I know it was already well underway but food, and talking about food, has become astonishingly trendy.
I blame our constant dinner companion, the iphone. I also blame its conspirators: Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook. I blame food bloggers too, to an extent. It seems like since we all got our hands on smartphones we’ve been hyping food all the time. In a way it’s awesome. You can usually get a sense if someone is genuinely interested, even if it’s through a screen. Social media has been an invaluable and painless way to connect with like-minded people, find inspiration, document experiences, and test drive off-the-cuff ideas. It’s very easy to soak in the instant approval and move on.
But I enjoy the challenge of creating a fully formed opinion, and in that regard social media presents more of a distraction than an opportunity. I guess that’s why I still have a blog. I don’t know if food will continue to be my sole subject. But I do think that the slower publishing process, rumination compounded with the occasional technical problem, forces me to be more creative than I would be otherwise.
Unless I go back to writing letters and long emails, that is. Maybe I’ll save that for my mid-life blogging crisis.