Perseverance of Individuality

Blogging. Hm – what do I know about this encroaching phenomenon? Well for starters, I know that public relations companies seek their approval and alliance (this summer having spent countless hours looking up “hot item” blogs to try and pitch fashion items to). I also know that my overeager aunt sends alerts to everyone in her email contacts upon updating her personal blog. And I know that I have admittedly pondered the idea of starting one myself. However, this “knowledge” if you shall call it has resulted from only a surface level (at best) analysis of what blogging is, what it represents, and how it reflects our society. In a world with a multiplicity of short-lived trends, there must be some underlying communal need among people that has pushed blogging to the forefront of written expression and made it stick. Lucky, I believe Andrew Sullivan has shed some much needed light on my muddled understanding.

Conformity – although we all may like to brag about how free and self-willed our lifestyles are, the reality is that society dominates much of our day to day thinking and actions. If you don’t believe me just think about what you’re wearing, what posters are hanging on your wall, and what brand of laptop you are using. However, like any modern, 21st century individual, we like to push limitations. I find it way too interesting to be ignored how over the past couple of years outlets of self-expression similar to blogging such as twitter, pinterest, and instagram have increased in popularity dramatically. Is this a backlash against conforming societal opinion? Are people feeling more passionately about having an independent voice in a plethora of unheard people? Maybe – just maybe- we subconsciously want to feel like our opinions actually matter to others.

Regulations – talk like this, walk like that, wear this, date him not him, oh how the list goes on and on. One of the most striking comments Sullivan discussed was how blogging “is the spontaneous expression of instant thought” and how the “deadline [for blogging] is now.” Honestly, this spontaneous expression is downright daunting to me as I am sure it is to many others. My whole life I have worked towards always thinking rationally and patiently, and now words like impulsive and erratic are becoming mainstream? No thank you! Yet, at the same time I envy those who find little difficulty speaking freely and openly. I often feel that my reliance on what is accepted and ultimately my deterrence from the unknown has often times hindered my creative capabilities. I love Sullivan’s metaphors – particularly his comparison of the similarities between blogging and extreme sports. He explains that, “blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive.” Although blogging may result in a level of vulnerability, we ought to take the risk, we ought to feel “alive”.

Think, be free, no restraints, let go. This shall be my motto for the upcoming semester in our writing course. Lastly, when in doubt always remember that if the girl below can express herself, so can you.


Thanks for listening,



3 thoughts to “Perseverance of Individuality”

  1. Alexis, I really admire your truth when you talk about feeling “alive” with the risk and vulnerability of blogging – 100% real stuff that we’ll all struggle with at some point moving forward. Doubt is a frequent mud hole on the road. I already feel encouraged!

  2. Alexis,

    I thought you did a great job categorizing your blog post into three categories: blogging, conformity and regulations. I too, think that Andrew Sullivan shed a new light on what it means to be a blogger, and how it’s changed the writing platform. People today, seem to have this desire to share every thought that crosses their mind, and who says that’s a bad thing? You’re so right…when in doubt always remember that if the Kristen Stewart hater can express herself, so can we!

  3. I really enjoyed your take on blogging. In so many ways, it really is antithetical to our 21st Century mindset. Conformity and the social regulations you referred to seem to be dominant in our way of thinking. You make a really good point when saying that blogging–as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram–has given a broader spectrum of people the opportunity to express their voice and opinion. Like you, my writing and thinking is done rationally, with reason and patience, so I was similarly ambivalent about blogging. But Sullivan made some great arguments for blogging’s importance. There is certainly a place for it, and it has given the common person a voice. The extreme sports metaphor was terrific like you said, and I thought him comparing blogging to Jazz was also fascinating and spot-on.
    It’s great that, though you are comfortable and confident in your current writing methods and habits, you are eager and willing to try something new this semester and take a blogger’s approach to writing.

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