Why write a blog? Do I have anything to say in a blog that could be remotely interesting to anyone else? God forbid that this become some sort of public diary because, humiliations aside, does anybody really want to read someone else’s diary online…?
At first I would say absolutely not, but then I have to stop and think of the burgeoning blog sites written by ordinary individuals, read by many just as ordinary individuals, and of the plethora of reality TV programs featuring people I hope aren’t so ordinary (surely some of them are a bit left of “normal” aren’t they?).
Why is that?
I recently read an interesting article on “Learning from Reality TV” written by Jock McGregor from L’Abri in Rochester. He speculates that reality TV is tapping into the deep hunger for authenticity, honesty and reality (that lies behind a post-modern questioning of the motives behind any communication) and a longing for intimacy (claiming that with the “breakdown of community and family, the incidence of individuals finding themselves isolated, lonely and emotionally starved is greater than it has ever been”). And so we spy on the raw vulnerability and emotions of others, which we would normally not get to see outside the privacy of real, close relationships.
I think you could translate a lot of that to blog sites. Are we all really blogging because we want to share something with others, and hope someone out there will listen, respond maybe, and connect with us somehow…? (I just thought it was high-time I learnt to operate a website, but I could all too easily get sucked in.)
Jock McGregor’s article goes on to discuss some of the problems with this modern approach, not the least of which is “are we finding a vicarious intimacy in Reality TV, rather than breaking through the isolation of our culture and building relationships? Are we taking the quick and easy, cost-free, commitment-free, emotional kick rather than looking for that legitimate desire to be met in relationships which ask for effort?”.
Well, maybe. It’s an idea worth remembering as I sit in front of my computer, 1,000 kilometres from the nearest immediate family member, missing good friends, and write a blog to no-one in particular…
(That gave me something to write about anyway.)