Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why Do We Blog, Anyway?

Why, I wonder as I enter these words, do people blog?

Face it. This isn't a letter. It isn't personal. On first glance, blogs appear to be nothing more than a collection of random thoughts spilled onto a computer screen in an almost "stream of consciousness" manner. We don't piece together the type of story that gets printed and bound in a book or captured on film. We seldom use our blogs to persuade or inform others. Yet, the Internet is full of these "blogs," and each exists for a reason -- but what is it? Why do we do it? Wouldn't it be easier to pick up a phone or pay someone a visit? And isn't it safer to just write our thoughts down privately with pen and paper in a journal or as a letter?

What is it about us as humans that causes us to create blogs, personalize our "my space" pages, and adopt a slogan or motto we hope is uniquely our own and post it beside our name and photo?

For me, blogging seems an ideal way to explore who we are and what we think (whether we like pink or orange as a background and which book or movie really reflects how we feel about life). I see blogging (and personal web pages in general) as a way of getting to know ourselves, expressing ourselves, and connecting with others, at a time when many folks say that human beings as a society are more disconnected than ever.

I don't believe it. We are as much into "community" as ever. Things like blogs are a clear sign that whether we connect in person or electronically, people always want to explore what makes us tick, as individuals and as parts of a group (whether our families, churches, clubs, or other organizations--live or electronic). The virtual world we've created online mirrors the real one in which we live. It is full of good and bad, happy, sad, and so on... Whether in person or online, people will find a way to form a community and share what makes us unique as individuals and as part of the world in which we live.

So, why not blog?

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