On Blogging

Ironically, I never really got into LiveJournal. It was a fun place, but it didn’t have the feel as my first blogging home. In fact, no place has felt as comfy and homey as my first blogging space.

I joined Xanga back when it first started, waaaaay back when. I created a few blog spaces there, some for more intimate and personal things, some for writing experiments, and others, just for fun and style. I became a life member even. Xanga was a part of my life. My kids growing up, my marriage, the loss of that marriage, numerous moves and experiences.

Sometimes, most times, I would post multiple times a day. It was on my computer at home, at work, anywhere I could access it. It became my ongoing diary. I made friends there, friends I still have and follow on other social media platforms. I remember the formation of the White Light Express, the cliques, the “Cool Kids”, and everyone in between. It was a great space to learn about other people outside of yourself, their lives, their experiences and learn outside your own eyes.

Blog sites now are all about monetizing words. The majority lack substance. Most of them are regurgitated articles that the rights were purchased from. (I know! I belong to a site that I could easily just copy and paste articles from to here, just to monetize this blog!) The authenticity of humanity and real emotions have left the blogging world, making it this hollow place to churn and generate traffic to sell something.

I find this movement sad and disappointing. Blogging used to be people being their most human selves, using words and phrases unique to them and their lived lives. It was about reading into the lives of others who you would never know any other way. It was learning how to meet people where you found them and seeing their journey, offering advice, support, or even just a “hi”. It was more social than the social media sites that have wiped them out and made them marketing tools.

In the same vein, I learned how to write about myself, my life, my experiences in such a way that I could read what wrote, step outside myself, make an assessment without being “too close to the source”, and take in the advice, support and ideas of others. At one point, I didn’t know what I was thinking till I wrote it down, to steal a phrase from Flannery O’Conner. It helped me process myself, see the common threads and characteristics, see where there was maybe a flaw, and get outside assessment as well.

When you open up your life, your thoughts, your feelings to a blog, magical things do happen. If you create honest, thoughtful, meaningful blogs that are there to simply exist for someone else to read and no other reason, blogs become an amazing personal tool to evaluate yourself.

It feels like with social media, we not just lose ourselves in the throng of opinions and thoughts of others, scattered deeply among algorithmic ads, we also lose our flexibility to have discussions, speak thoughtfully, and look at other points of view. When we can easily shut down other people without any risk to our deeper selves, we lose so much of our humanity.

I’m not saying blogging is the perfect form of communication, but it does allow us to complete a thought without someone screeching at us that we are somehow wrong and unwilling to learn something new, or discern for ourselves what our truths are. So many people on social media want to yell at each other about “doing the research”, “be free thinkers”, “stop being followers”, not to mention all the truly shitty things they say in relation to these things. I wonder if they were presented with other ideas in a blogging format, if that would change. I wonder if they were in a spot to bare their thoughts and selves first, and have people react to it, would it change the conversations we currently have?

Social media often reminds me of those “blipverts” from Max Headroom. It’s all too easy to toss out a 30 second thought that probably should have just been let go than posted somewhere. It’s even easier to get defensive when someone points out that thought should have made it to the circular file than expressed, mostly because there isn’t as much invested in that brief thought than there is in a blog. In a blog, you get to start on a topic, write about it, maybe do some free form writing, like I often do here, and see where that thought takes you, if it was worth having and if other people agree with you, or provide a different position that you can then mull over and respond to, or not.

I feel a lot of thoughts and opinions expressed on social media are flippant and made simply because it sounds right without that deep introspection that thoughts sometimes require. I also feel that there are certainly people that are putting information out there that is blatantly wrong and even harmful because they know that the majority of their audience won’t do this deeper inspection of what they read other than to have an impulsive knee jerk reaction. I wonder if blogging and using it as a tool to become more self-aware would have prevented the huge division we are facing currently, at least in America.

I think that is why I’m so disappointed that blogging has simply become a monetizing tool. Yeah, money is important, but what is more important is that we have a way to process ourselves, learn about how we think, the processes we use to get there, and the interaction of others to help ascertain if that is a good or bad way to do things. Yeah, info blogs are useful. Single topic blogs are good to get ideas. But when you want the human experience, blogs seem to have ceased to be that go to place to meet humans where they exist: in their minds.

I hope this blog helps others to learn about themselves through my writings. That my getting back to my old ways gives you the space and comfort to do the same. To give you the desire to dive deeper into yourself and become more self-aware, question yourself and those around you, and find those human connections that let you know, you aren’t alone. That is what blogging is to me. That is its purpose and I hope I become a good representation of that for all of you.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s