When I was on vacation last week I mentioned that I put my weight on the blog on Wednesdays because public humiliation works for me. That led to a discussion about the point of blogs. Strangely I mostly stayed out of the discussion and it ended up mostly between the husband and my mother – neither of whom know much about blogs.

The husband defined blogs as an online diary that you let anyone read (except people who know you in my case) and then let them comment on. My mother could understand why anyone in their right minds would want to do that. She also didn’t think that anyone really read them. The husband said they were popular. I said that my blog was really small but I average around 100 readers a day. That shocked my mother. She must not find me that interesting. I said that there was a much smaller group of people who read it fairly regularly. I didn’t even get into RSS feeds and subscriptions because it seemed to be so far past her point of reference.

It got me to thinking though. Why do we blog? For me it was a way to express myself. I’m very reserved about telling my feelings to people I know. I just can’t do it. So if I want to talk personally about something it was easiest to write it. My glib answer to why I let total strangers read the blog and not people I know is that I can’t write about them if I know they will be reading. But it really means that I won’t self-censor. I don’t worry about how people will react to my religious choices or political opinions or anything else.

I also live with a very expressive husband. The man talks nonstop about everything that comes into his head. I can’t get a word in edgewise. He wants me to discuss things like political opinions with him. But if I disagree with him (and we both know I will) he will attempt to change my mind and that will just make me mad. Better not to go there. That sounds really stupid written down but it is how my brain works.

What have I gotten out of blogging? A religion for one thing. When I started in 2004 I was searching for what I really believed. I was using TBlog. It had a browse feature that let you see what other TBlog users had written recently in each category. I was writing about religious searching and saw in the religion section that another person was writing about paganism. I thought, “Isn’t that cute? She thinks she’s a pagan.” But I started reading her blog daily and realized that her beliefs mirrored mine. That led to following her links and learning more and more.

Blogging has exposed me to lots of new ideas and new people that I would have never met elsewhere. When Israel and Hizbollah were fighting I watched the news thinking of bloggers I read with friends and relatives in Lebanon.

Blogging can make conversation a bit awkward. I hope I’m not the only person to every say things like, “I know this person, well, I don’t really KNOW her…” I’ve been in stores and seen things that make me think, “Oh, so-and-so would just love that! Too bad I can’t email to her.”

So why do other people blog?

6 Replies to “Why blog?”

  1. I’m catching up on reading blog posts I’ve skipped when I was busy.

    I have been asking myself the same question. I started blogging to my friends because it was easier to keep up with old friends that way rather than sending out mass e-mails. The more I blogged, the more comfortable I was with being myself with religion and politics. Then, I got others who commented and shared their opinions. So, I guess now it’s for feedback and conversation and general expression. I can’t rant about people I know since they are possibly reading. You are smart for giving yourself that luxury. =)

  2. I am one of your regular readers, even though I don’t like commenting because I have to type in my email address and I am getting more spam. Your reasons for blogging are exactly like mine. (except for the religion bit.) It also helps me to get feedback and support. If I am feeling down, it helps that others care and wish me well. If I am doing or thinking the wrong way about something, or if there is a better way, I would like it if my fellow bloggers let me know.
    I do self-censor though, in that I avoid talking about other people, except in a passing way. It helps maintain their privacy, and if they ever do find my blog, then they won’t be angry with me about something I said about them.

  3. I blog as a way of venting. I also think truth is stranger than fiction, and my life is very strange. I hope I am sometimes a bit entertaining at lest. I don’t have many readers, but it is still a good way to share a little bit of myself with the world.

  4. I’ve tried to keep journals over the years, but I couldn’t stick with them. The reason? What’s the point of writing if no one is going to read it?

  5. My feelings exactly. My husband thinks I just post my personal business for the world to read. I’m always saying “I have a friend . . well, not really a friend, but someone I know who blogs . . ” Drives him nuts!

    Like you, every time I bring up something to my husband, my idea is immediately knocked down and I soon wonder why I try to carry on a discussion.

    I think blogging has saved my sanity!

    Judy L.

  6. LOL I so know what you mean…. I’ve been known to comment about other people’s blogs about once every two weeks. Like “A friend of mine said, well, she’s not really a friend I just chat with her online, well, it’s more like reading each other’s blogs….” Or referencing my own blog when I tell a coworker what I was just commenting on that morning. Of course, then these people don’t know what I’m talking about because THEY don’t read my blog, or those of my blog-friends. LOL

    I agree with you for reasons of blogging. Not that I really talk about my spirituality on my blog, but there are so many other things I can’t talk about to family or coworkers (don’t really have any friends who aren’t coworkers) like politics, religion, even ranting about family. I know my middle sis reads my blog, and I hers. That’s how we stay up on each other’s lives (and the occasional emailing/phone-calling when we get around to it). My Mom, Dad & baby sis don’t know I blog. And I’d prefer to keep it that way. Someday I may tell my Mom, but I don’t want Dad or baby sis to know, because alot of what my blog is, is space for me to rant about them (and my niece). LOL

    It’s kinda like having a diary that you can get feedback on. Instead of saying “Lisa, read my diary & tell me what you think,” you can say “well, here’s my blog, if anybody finds it or wants to follow my link & read it, they’re welcome to comment if they so choose.” And since I don’t know anybody (except my sis) IRL, who reads my blog, I don’t have to be worried about if these people half-way around the world (or just up the street, unbeknownst to me) think I’m totally loony-toons.

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