Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts on Why We Blog

So, my last post got me thinking about why people blog. For me it is an exercise in putting myself out there, among people. I have been sequestered in my own little world for a period of time, by my own doing. This is partly because I feel so different than most people right now. I feel like a 95 year old woman. Actually, I feel like a 30 year old in a 95 year old woman's body. I don't think I would quite relate to the people at the rest home, but the people my age running around, cleaning their house, grocery shopping, and hanging out with friends like it's no big thing :) - that's a different reality than mine also. Every speck of energy I have is meted out carefully. There are the facts that I am divorced and a mom as well - most single people work full-time and don't have kids. And the married people have husbands and are busy with their families.

But really, the two biggest obstacles are thus:
I simply don't have the physical energy to hang out a lot. And if I make plans, sometimes I have to break them, and hence, friends seem to drop like flies. But that's OK. I think I push them away too. And that, I believe is the significant point. I am busy figuring some things out. I feel good about that. I want friends, but I want the right kind. I want to have the energy to enjoy them. And hopefully I will at some point. And if not, hopefully I'll find supportive people I can relate to anyway.

But everyone needs people. And blogging and other online chatting meets that need in a small, yet potent way. And that suits me terrifically for now!

Here are some reasons other people blog from this website that I found interesting:

Brian Moffatt says he blogs

... because I believe that there is only the particular and singular in life. It's that voice thing. I don't want to beat that to death, but I had this conversation with a blogger the other night. The first I had met in real life. I mentioned to him - a new blogger - that one of the things I really enjoyed was watching someone new to blogging develop and emerge. Seeing their voice emerge. Like a burlesque. Peeling away the layers of clothing, the self-consciousness rising and dissolving, the tentativeness, the self-loathing, the self-pity and then BOOM - there she is!

And then there's the complicated version:
Frank Paynter asks: Why do I blog?

Why Frank, why???

At the onset, it seemed a novel experiment. One had what seemed an offer of new modes of conversation, expression, and sharing -- evolutionary steps toward a new social imagination. The possibility of creative cross currents unevacuated by petty egoisms, status plays, the usual.

...it was the thought of mingling one’s preoccupations and whims, moods and epiphanies, in the vast ocean of other people’s stuff like that. Who could say what might come of it? And not just other people of the present, but of other times. One of the early blog posts I recall producing was a wondering look at how, as the web develops, more of the past will be linkable. The future held the possibility of recovering the past to a greater extent than the present. The past, which had no digital network, was lost to itself as soon as it occurred. This all seemed quite the right thing, and it was before Google, so it was with a touch of awe that I thought of one’s blog as an extension into a stream growing newer and older simultaneously, extending its threads forward and back with inexorable and sticky energy, until, perhaps at its end, it would, through a commodius vicus of linkification, sink deep into the foundations of our moment in time. The web would capture the juicy bug, and it would be, voila, the web.

Or the simplified version:
Gillian Gunson said "My simple answer: I'm a passive-aggressive attention whore"

The insomniac and "it's a small world after all" version, which I agree with:
I blog mostly because insomnia is more entertaining at a keyboard. I've learned a lot about people all over the world, people I would otherwise never get to know. Through their blogs I learn about everyday life in faraway places. We are all so much alike. - Michelle Goodrich

And the version to which I relate most of all:
While I could probably give some long drawn out explanation of why I blog, the truth, as it usually is, is simple. I blog because it extends me in a way that affirms who I am. The affirmation comes from knowing I can be myself and not be alone in my thoughts, dreams, and fears. Plus blogging's got a great beat and you can dance to it. - Jim Roberts


JoAnna said...

The last one is the one I can relate to most. Great question. I'll have to think on that some more and post about it too.

Kara said...

I like the first one, its definately like peeling layers away

Jana said...

I have yet to figure out why I blog. Maybe becuase "everyone" is doing it. Maybe because I think I'm so hilarious I want everyone else to see that. Maybe just to have something to do to pass the time! I really should dive more into this as well. Hey.. maybe you'll see a post about it in the future! Thanks for the insite!

Kathi said...

Well put. You explained it very well from your angle. And the quotes were all so interesting. I just didn't get the 'bloggings got a great beat and you can dance to it.' (jk, I'm sure he's just being colorful.)