…The title has nothing to do with the post itself, but rather an explanation as to why my first contribution is coming just now.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the Andrew Sullivan essay about blogging. I like how he broke down the word “blog” into its base: web log, and used this to begin an explanation of blogging and why he blogs.
One point that really resonated with me is how, while blogging is a way of commenting on the world, events, society, and time, the author usually ends up writing about his or herself, because, as Sullivan writes, “you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world.”
Sullivan talks a lot about writing in relation to a blog, and how a blog is a form of expression and creativity, a way of “self-publishing” as he says. I think a blog can also be a form of communication, much like the other social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. My favorite piece of writing is by a journalist, Mitch Albom, called, “The Courage of Detroit” – and please read it if you haven’t already – and in it, Albom talks about the perception of the city of Detroit and how the perception doesn’t line up with the reality. I think blogging can, in many ways, help with issues of miscommunication.
I have another blog, a personal blog, that I haven’t written on in months. It’s difficult to keep up with. But my very first post was on this topic (why I blog), and I’ll include a few excerpts here:
My friends like to make fun of me for having a Twitter account (or, as I call it: THE twitter). Either they like making fun of me (which I’m sure is true), or they just don’t see the value in such a tool (which, again, is likely true). So in deciding to write this blog (and I thank my brother Austin’s new video series for the inspiration – check him out!), I had to ask myself if it was worth my while to invest a few minutes each day in yet ANOTHER form of online social interaction. And I came up with this justification:
One of the titles I’ve considered early on for my future novel is “Communication Breakdown.” It’s apparent to me – and I may be way off on this – that many of the world’s problems could be solved simply by communicating better with the people around you. With that in mind, I find it a good idea to embrace to social media as a means of moving toward effective communication.
Communication is something so fundamental, so important to they way we live our lives, that I suppose it gets neglected, or even abused, perhaps. Many of the stories that will form my novel center around a lack of – or just ineffective – communication.
In the age of text messaging and 140-characters-or-less, it’s hard to see the full picture sometimes. Words get twisted, stories get fabricated, opinions are formed, and lives are ultimately impacted, for better or for worse. So there are two choices: ignore it all or embrace it all. I chose the latter. Face-to-face communication is still the best, don’t get me wrong. If I have something important to tell someone I want to do it in person, and I hope that they grant me the same courtesy. But you can’t always be in the same room as someone.