You know how there are times you feel the need to put the proverbial stake in the ground? Maybe you've gone round about a thing for quite awhile, not sure where all the puzzle pieces will land, and then a dawning of understanding breaks through your thickness?
Where social media is concerned, I've done my fair share of digging in the heels. Like most folks, I'm ever evolving in the way I think, the way my opinions line up with the greater values that shape who I really am. For me, it all evolves from who I am in Christ, and so much more importantly, who He is in the world. So, yes, my thoughts and opinions do change over time. As the years come, hopefully, I gain better understanding of who He is and why that matters.
Still now, for what I think is good reason, I choose to stand on the anti-social side of the lines of social media. I do not Facebook. I do not Tweet. I do not Pin. I have a hard time checking my email and voice messages, and my phone is, decidedly, not smart. But this is not about the moral wrongness of any of those things (indeed a case can be made, and has, that checking email and responding in a timely fashion is good and moral etiquette!). This is not about how these social outlets curtail real relationship, either. I do have my suspicions, but I don't really know if they are right. I simply haven't mastered, well enough, the art of face-to-face, hand-in-hand, or head-on-shoulder communication. I think I'd better not add any other variables until I become more astute and skilled in the old tradition of conversation.
A blog is different. I've heard them (blogs) labeled ego-centric and agenda driven. Indeed, some are. I imagine as many blogs fall into that category as do the humans that might write them. Interestingly, joining the blogging world has resulted in the opposite for me. My ego-centricity has been greatly challenged as my world has broadened beyond the tight circle of like-minded thinkers I tend to associate with. In reading blogs (especially getting acquainted over time with their authors), I do not get a quick snippet of one self-centered opinion. Blog posts are not text messages.
The blogs I read are well thought out and written articles, written by one, yes, but meant for the edification of many. Certainly there is plenty of twaddle in the blogging world, just as there is in paper publishing. All blogs are not created equal. As with anything, it is something to approach with discernment.
I know some who 'don't read blogs'. These abstainers group them in the same category as all other social media, thereby declaring them a waste of time. Being largely absent from the social-media crowd, I , too, struggled with what place reading and writing blogs should have in my life. As one who expresses best in black and white, I was drawn to the opportunity to write in a way that was not previously available to me. As one who is fascinated by people and their thoughts, perceptions, and life experiences, I reveled in the easy access to such things. Yet, as one who has been reluctantly dragged into post-modernism, all electronic communication seemed suspicious to me. It was easier to paint it all with a broad brush as wasteful and indulgent. Perhaps too easy.
Up to this point, some form of the word 'I' has been used at least 27 times in this post. Ego-centric? A one-sided conversation? Is there an obvious agenda? I'm going to deny the egocentrism. :) As far as the one-sided conversation, it doesn't have to be that way. That's why most blogs have a comment section. As far as the agenda, well, yes, I admit I had an agenda or purpose of matter that I wished to write about here. I suppose, in that way, all of our communication is agenda driven, is it not? There are choices we make daily about which agendas we pursue and which ones we entertain from others.
My agenda here, in this post, was to describe my own personal journey regarding the reading and writing of blogs. Yes, I hope to make a case for good blogging. It is only my opinion here, and it does not tell the full story, but perhaps it will result in dialogue and better understanding nonetheless.
And yet, perhaps it will fall numbly on the mind for you, dear reader, but fear not.... there are worse things you could've wasted your time on than my writing. :)