Why Should I Blog?: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation
If there is one thing I love about RSS feeds is that they help you get a lot of ideas about stuff to think about, and by extenssion write about. I was readingLorrel On WordPress where she was highlighting a post on another blog called “So: Why Blog”. The post was by Dr. Johnson’s Cat and was a reflection on how his personal blog journey has kind of developed. The part that struck me was this statement Dr. Johnson’s Cat made:
People starting blogs only to abandon them within months, or even weeks, is such a commonplace that you’re surprised this hasn’t become a a ubiquitous trope on sitcoms. Where indeed are the reality shows where the participants, instead of holding out to the last “What have we learned?” episode, instead wander off seriatim, not so much called back to real life as completely unsprung by despair.
It got me to thinking about how I personally, a well as those of my marketing demographic, approach life in general. The blogsphere is perfect for me for because I can express my opinion at length about any topic I feel like ranting about. I can say things, criticize people, expound on the mistakes I think government officials make, and complain about how Big Oil has American under a gun, and no one can stop me. And when I’m done, I can go back to life without doing anything to change things, but I feel better for getting if off my chest. This is my generation.
We are the people who keep Starbucks in Business; not because of the quality of the coffee but because it facilitates our self indulging desire to gather and complain about how thing can be changed (All for only $2.10 for a Venit Black Iced Tea, with .50 cent refills). We are the children of the generation that reaped the benefits of the Reagan Years, and taught us that the American Dream is a material goal that you can reach if you work hard enough and are willing to make sacrifices to attain your desires. We are the generation that looks at the state of things around us and say “That’s wrong, someone should fix this,” because that is what we were taught to do. There are people who’s job it is to make things happen, and when it doesn’t happen it’s not our fault for telling them they were doing their job right, they should have know better.
OK, so there is a lot of angst there, I took a breath and I’m better now. The reality is that the world we live in has a lot of things that face each of us every day, and make life hard. We try to set goals, and life spits in our face and prevents us from going on. But we soon tire of fighting the good fight, we are tired of getting kicked while we are down, and we no longer feel any kind of absolution by playing the role of the silent martyr that carries on and perseveres. So where do you go when you want to vent, to the safest place you can go and not have to worry about people getting in your face for expressing your feelings. I’m no expert, but it makes sense that blogs have exploded in number over the last few years, because now it is so easy to create one. And in doing so you create the safe place, that retreate from the madness of the world, to finally say what you want.
This is nothing new. When social web sites first started taking form, and with the introduction of things like on line chat rooms, people realized how freeing it can be to have their identity hidden and express things would not otherwise. Blogs are similar to this in that you can choose to reveal as much or as little as you would like about who you really are, you can hide completely as a different persona or be a different version of yourself. And, unless you encourage them to, the people you know don’t have to know about any of it. Technology is a tool, and blogging is just another part of that tool set the internet offers to people in this day and age.
Give this tool a generation of people who have been told that the world is their oyster to have if they just reach out and take it. The children of the career women who did the impossible and raised a family and had a career at the same time, are now taking the stage and letting people people know that the world is not what they were taught. The people who were taught in High School that the US is the strongest nation in the world, and is a force of good in the Global Community, watch in horror as their friends were sent to fight a war that went from honorable to horrific in a matter of months. The sons and daughters of the Parents that dedicated their lives to a company only to be laid off a year or two before qualifying for retirement, are faced with the truth that dedicating your self to your company will not earn you any job security at all if you cost too much for your company to keep.
These are the people who make up those blogs that have a post here, a post there, and have large gaps in between. These are the people who go to work every day, face the fact that the nation (in spite of fact pointing to the contrary) feels like it is in a recession and they are struggling to survive. Paying the rent, paying the bills, taking care of themselves and their loved ones, coming to a point where the stress needs a release valve of some sort. Then they have a shine jewel placed in front of them that gives them that safe place. No wonder we only blog when nothing is going on, and wish we could blog when we are so busy we can’t see straight. We don’t need to blog when things are going easy.
Why do we blog? We blog because we need a place to vent what we can not say to those around us. We blog to feel like, for once, we have have a say in something and not have to worry about dealing with the consequences of facing that person the next day at work or waking up to them in the morning. We blog because we have nothing better to do a the time. We blog because we feel the need to have our opinion heard. We blog when we have time to express our feeling in this way, which is an interesting commentary on how busy we are if you think about it.
So what I’m really saying is, I blog because sometimes it’s easier to throw something out on the internet and vent my frustration in a safe way that (as much I am ashamed to admit it) doe not required action on my part in real life. So I can be as unbridled and as unrestrained as I and willing to let myself go. Then I go back to real life, having gotten my major issues aside, and function like a normal human being again just like the rest of us who struggle to get by in this really funky world that does not make sense a lot of the time.