Tuesday, May 22, 2007

To blog or not to blog

I've been wondering about the point of blogging since a discussion in Brian Heasley's a few weeks back.

My own blog began because I like writing and thought blogging would be a good outlet for it. After a while I kept getting religious nuts coming on and twisting what I was saying so I stopped writing about real issues and just stuck some pics up and talked about music.

Al's blog has provided him with support and catharsis but....
.....as I look at most other people's blogs it seems that whenever they write something new, interesting or profound nobody comments. But if they write something for a bit of craic then they get a load of people commenting.

Maybe the people who read blogs do so for escapism? The same reason that people watch soaps, big brother and read those crappy celebrity magazines where they compare how awful they look compared to the fit celebrities and how great they look compared to the fat cellulity ones.......maybe it's escapism from real life which is just too damn hard to be thinking about.

I also find it strange how friends, partners etc go on eachother's blogs and declare their love. Why not just tell them or send a text? Why does the WWW need to know??

Any thoughts on.....

Why we write blogs? Why we read blogs?

25 comments:

Brian Heasley said...

I go through this all the time, for me one of the reasons I keep going is because loads of friends who live in the UK want to keep up to date with what we are up to. But the nutters do my head in, I have debated switching comments off, but my ego won't let me. I like the debate if it's good but it is the religious people who seem to spout the most nonsense

zico said...

Because we're all narcissists.

We have something to say to no one in particular, either just to be heard or to get it off our chests.

Anonymous said...

I can't answer either of those questions, but I do want to encourage you to keep writing the challenging stuff. Those of us who can admit that we are daily trying to figure out our faith (and that the more we do the more of a mystery it becomes!) get encouragement and challenge from honesty like yours. Write it, and if others begin to criticise they should look for the plank in their own eye before trying to remove the speck in yours.
B

Anonymous said...

isnt it nice when a random person anonymously comments on your blog? and you have no way of knowing who they are or why they started reading your blog in particular? I do agree with the declaring the love thing - do it in private people! its like public inappropriate showing of affection - get a room! or in this case... send a text!

Anonymous said...

why we read blogs: Good writers define reality, turning fact into truth, something we fear doing in our own lives, maybe we need 'bloggers' to do it for us? why you might write blogs, i'm not so sure but they continuelly make people think, sometimes people just dont like to be challeneged, a fear they should overcome or just stop reading!

dave wiggins said...

i think it is just as it is. for some it's therapy to discuss thoughts and feelings, for some its to update the world on their life, for some its about being a nosey bollox, for some its to stir the pot, for some its boredom in work, for some its coz they heard it was cool, for some its because they'd love to write a book or be a journalist but life is in the way, for some its a discipline, for some they think people care wgat they think and for some all of this is true.

Anonymous said...

Hi John!

This comment has nothing to do with your post... Just to say I had the Duke Special experience last night in Dublin! And what a night!! So so good. Every minute was captivating.

(Come to think of it... it is because of your blog that I first came to listen to Duke Special and got hooked! :-)

Nina

Jen said...

I know what you mean. I've been blogging for 5 years, it started as a way to keep in touch while away at uni, but slowly lots of purposes have developed as to why i write. I write to witness-i know you've had religious nuts, I've had a few people going through rough times and when my blog is brutually honest about my vunerabilities people have contacted me and sought God. Also it's a release for me, it may be escapism too, but not in the way celeb mags are (i hate em too) more as a community -a way to record life and realise than even when things are rubbish and u feel alone, others have felt the same.

Jen said...

Oh yeah forgot to say: given the choice between reading something honest and deep and personal or something about music or fairly superficial- i choose honesty every time, even if people don't comment. You never know the impact just a story-ur story, can have on others.

Ivonne said...

I agree with Zico: blogging is pure ego-pumping at the best of times! Nevertheless, in my case it offers me a chance to articulate my inner thoughts to project them onto a wider world. Catharsis on its own it's beneficial, but it can be even more powerful if we let others express their views.
By exposing ourselves to the world, our characters are challenged, our views expanded and our fundations firmed (I believe)- it's good to know that, for better or worse, you ain't the only one walking this walk: the journey of life in a big world!

Steve McCready said...

John, I blog because I have friends in Canada, the US, across the water etc who enjoy keeping up with the simple things going on in my simple life. Whether that's a football match, or something deep going on in my life. I find that most people don't comment on my blog but when I meet them or get email or letters from them they have been keeping up with my life through the blog and are able to pray wisely, support me financially in a specific way. My spiritual overseers and pastoral support guys (who maybe only get time to see me a few times a year)can find out how I am doing and know when to maybe look in on me. Blogging is a great resource for people like me who disciple young people and who are trying to teach a way of life as well as The Way the Truth and the Life)I think blogging is an amazing communication tool, often abused by people to get a kick from stirring things up.

Anonymous said...

Reasons for writing blogs and reading blogs are different for everyone. There doesn't need to be any rules or judgements upon people who choose to read or write blogs. Why can't friends put on personal comments and people declare their love for eachother? It's their blog. Why can that part of their life be expressed on their blog? It def gives a truer picture of the person's life. All blog don't have to be deep. People don't feel 'deep' all the time. Surely it's better that people show a bit of love than people slagging and starting to try to rile people.

Bec McCready said...

Well I am going to defend the people who go on and leave soppy messages on people's blogs because I'm clearly a culprit of that! The way I see it is that life's too short. I tell Steven I love him so many times a day whether it's in person, texts, emails, over the phone...so why not blog. I know other people can see it but I'm not ashamed. Blogs are people's personal thoughts and it's people's choice to read other people's blogs...It may make people feel uncomfortable but I'm just a loving sorta person...Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Cause 'Hello' is £1.25 and all the celebs are wearing pants this week, so 'Closer' is really boring! - i don't know why i nosey into other peoples lives via blog - people who i have never met or people who are friends of friends - but from it i have been challenged, educated, entertained, moved to pray and humbled. It might be out of interest - i do challenge myself about being nosey but bottom line it is better for the head than 'Heat' and less illegal than standing behind a bush trying to see through the spaces in someone's blinds!! Anita P (from Dave's blog - but now spilled over into many others!) aka virtual peeper

davymull said...

your blog is one of the first things i go to when i get online.

for me i have been inspired by loads of stuff you've read even if i've only commented few times. especially in relation to poverty/riches, deep questions, challenges, debates.

keep it up. also u one primary reason i starting to blog lol!

Anonymous said...

As an anon blog reader, if someone writes something new, interesting or profound I find it makes me think and I may not want to answer or haven't worked out my own answer but I am thinking - surely a good thing to do - so therefore a good thing to initiate? May I say a big thank you to all you bloggers for making me think and laugh - surely a good thing too?? (and thank you as wiggy says 'not in an arse licky way'). As for the religious nut twisters - well their reward is in Heaven!

Molar said...

It is my first step in taking over this pathetic little planet you call earth!!!

Besides that, blogging is like a monument of sorts! It's like a snapshot into the mind of one person at one point in their life. I feel that alone can be inspiring; like the pyramids of ancient egypt, or greek ruins, we wonder what was going on in the builder's minds when they greated such things. People may look at blogs and wonder 'what the flip', but nevertheless, I feel such outpouring of the creative soul (whether mystical or mundane) can truly inspire and evoke the consciousness of the reader...

What on earth did I just say; read it of a cereal packet or summit!

Anyway John Boy, nice blog. Take it easy

Feminine Feminist said...

Thanks for raising the question. And I felt for the sake of integrity I should comment... and say that I'm not sure why we blog. I once said to a friend (via a comment on her blog, appropriately) that blogs are a fractured form of community in a fractured world. And I stand over that. And whilst I learn things about friends (and those I've never met but whose blogs I've stumbled on accidently and then returned to out of interest), they'll never compare with having a cup of tea with someone. Although sometimes a quick anonymous comment on a blog can bring forth something more vulnerable and honest than a cup of tea might... but without the continuity of relationship.

Confused? Undecided? I am!

Anonymous said...

how on earth do u ever get time in the school day 2think ....let alone ...2blog anyway?.....I think peeps dnt reply to 'new/interestin/profound' comments....caus sometimes people a) dnt want to admit they read blogs ....b)dnt want to admit they hav same struggles....c)hav nevr given the idea raised a seconds thought.....d) some messages are perhaps a little step tooo close to lookin right in2 someones soul....which makes people feel uncomfortable...and therefore better left in 'de void'???!!!!
As for escapism....bring it on!!!Im a pro at this!!!....marking.... AVOID....painting my house.AVOID..fillin in job forms...AVOID.....tidyin my room for the 1millionth time...AVOID!!!!....
As for the declarations of undyin love???...VOMITE!!!....although perhaps if de love they' feel is SO amazing they want to tell the W..hole....W...ide....W....orld???.....Check out the world of bebo to see how many peeps hav recently added a Foy V song to their Flashbox ....strange!!!??!!!OR ...maybe people really do stop and think when u make them???!!!...then again what wud i know?!...OK...thats enough rambling...back to Bebo i go!!!
Jan :o)...

Adrian Eagleson said...

John

know were you are coming from, i have probably less of a passion for blogging recently due to ppl thinking that it is ok to have a pop at your reputation on-line. for me i find i post less often and less content than 6 months ago, thanks for this post that has got me thinking again about blogging

Anonymous said...

I used to go to Emmanuel a few years ago and although I don't know you guys, I read your blogs because I know I can get good honest, challenging and encouraging stuff from what you write.
It kind of keeps my faith alive (allbeit that I haven't re-committed) and definitely brings me closer to Jesus, so please don't stop!!!

Oh, and the mushy stuff, when you've just fell in love you want to tell it to the world and I love it cause I'm an old romantic!

Michelle

Sam said...

hey john, know what you mean. sometimes part of me blogging is processing, but often a large part of me wants to start a conversation, and its often frustrating when people only comment on the banter stuff, but yet blogs do make us think and shape our opinions and actions. Often i'll read something profound or challenging and not know how to respond. Keep at it though - keep asking those questions that help the rest of us!

Mimo said...

Maybe it's bcos "I wanna tell the world.." Hmm, I do tell my friends both in person too even if I have in a blog! Sometimes you just feel like it. So you do.

AshleyMorgan said...

I enjoy the depth, the kinda of thing you might not get to see about the average person...like you said in your later blog.So theres a thought from a sorta randomer:)

AshleyMorgan said...

I like seeing peoples hearts. Maybe its the cheap way of knowing someone through a window. What would take someone months or even years to hear someone speak about from who they really are you can simply read on a page, even as a person that knows nothing about you..like me. For people who value depth, it a great way to connect even from a distance to other deep thought.