On Saturday evening I made my first ever visit to Johnnie Fox's pub, despite having now lived in Wicklow for a sizeable portion of my life. The food was great, the service was excellent and the craic was mighty. But I'm not here to sing their praises, they do well enough already.
No, what made the night interesting for me was the sight of a couple, tucked up in a wee snug snug whilst a trad band was belting out tunes and the place was thronging, staring - not at the band or lovingly into each other's eyes - but at a laptop screen. I don't think I've ever seen anyone, aside from one or two lone businessmen in quiet hotel bars, use alaptop in a pub before but I figured they might just need to send or check an important email. However, they were still at it 20 minutes later. So I leapt to two swift conclusions, based on appearance and demeanour:
1. They were American 2. They were blogging about their night.
I can't be certain about either of these things but you shoulda seen them.
Now, I'm hardly in a positionto sit and sneer at people for choosing to recount their experiences through the medium of a publicly accessible weblog, but does it have to be done live? I've only been in the blogging game a matter of weeks but I do find myself thinking about what I might write about a situation even as it is still unfolding. I imagine every blogger does. Yet I feel that any blogging over the length of a couple of lines needs to be done with hindsight. This couple were not really engaging with what was going on around them, they were just snatching glances, then typing it up.
Perhaps they fancied themselves of travel-blogging's answer to war journalists:
"As I survey the desolate scene in front of me I am confronted by the sight of literally dozens of people indulging in their second, or in some extreme cases their seventh, pint of Guinness. there has been a vicious outbreak of singing in one or two quarters and a strong suspicion of merriment in one area. Yet the merciless bodhran-ing of these citizens continues unabated. Further afield, many folks sit huddled at tables with their loved ones, anxiously awaiting news on whether or not the swordfish is available this evening..."
Perhaps this is the future and I'm already an old curmudgeon but I'd like to think that if I ever catch myself blogging about the experience I'm having rather than just having it then whoever is beside me will give me a mighty slap and throw my laptop into the nearest lake.