This here post is gonna try to answer that age old question:
it’s not really age-old…
…. considering blogging is a relatively new phenomena…..
I spend a fair percentage of my very limited free-time working on my blog,
— and I’ve been asked several hundred times why I do it…
I could be doing much more constructive,
or otherwise DIFFERENT things….
I enjoy it.
But more than that,
I have a need,
that blogging somehow fulfills.
sublimating those creative and aggressive drives that would otherwise be expressed in less …
friendly or socially acceptable ways.
My sense of humor can be a lot like a bad doggie—-
if I don’t give it a sufficiently large back yard in which to run, it tends to yapp on incessantly, gnawing upon the furniture of my personal life, tearing to shreds business relationships, and generally making itself quite a nuisance to the unfortunate residents of my real world.
A leash — what most people would call a filter, is completely lacking in my case,
…..and in face to face communication, I’ll make a joke regardless of ‘appropriateness’ , because I simply have never convinced myself that I’m really not all that clever to begin with.
With a blog, I can consider all the attributes and liabilities of what I’m saying, before I say it……
I still usually offend people, just not as recklessly.
I can take my time, say what I want to say, (sometimes what I NEED to say).. and thoughtfully (or NOT) choose the tone and verbage that suits the WAY I want to say it.
I have always been an introvert – what some students of psychology would call a Promethian personality type –
….and as I have matured, I have found myself lacking in many of the finer points of social interaction, to the point that I really had to work hard on it – and I have started to open myself up more to people.
This has had both positive and negative consequences – but has certainly been illuminating and interesting. As far as my social interactivity is concerned, I have improved a good deal – I am now functioning at about a 9th grade level, instead of where I was about 10 years ago -( let’s just say it was almost pre-school level. )
I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them… and a lot of this is because of what I have learned from blogging and online interaction.
but it is as personal or impersonal as you make it…
face to face communication is actually easier— because you have the benefit of visual and aural cueing, via body language, inflection, facial expression, tone and volume, etc.
You also usually share the same space, acquaintances, or interests, so you have something in common that you might not have online.
But, the diversity of people online, and the variety of potential experiences, make it a worthwhile effort.
In real life, I’m one of those people who loves to provoke a reaction in people I first meet….
– I’m ‘acquainted’ with too many people already – (so much for being THAT open, right?)
thus most of the time, I start out not caring whether they like me or not –
so, I will usually say something that I think will cause a reaction, and then sit back and watch –
often, their reaction is predictable and downright boring –
it’s when someone reacts unexpectedly that I’m particularly interested in them and what they have to say.
when someone responds with a comment or question, or especially when someone comes up with a sharp observation or witty insight,
I am reminded of just how much FUN blogging can be.
Self expression, self-improvement, self gratification – certainly it has a very selfish aspect to it –
–no one ever said that blogging had to be a public service –
but it does serve the function of allowing people to understand each other better- and that is a good enough reason to do it – even if it wasn’t enjoyable and fulfilling.
…. extremely valuable in an era where the individual voice is usually drowned out by corporate claptrap, political correctness, societal propaganda, and the din of the crowd.
So, here’s to the noble BLOG – the vox populi !
Lecture over…. you’re free to go!