So lately I’ve been hearing so much about blogging. Its everywhere! On the news, on the internet, on the television and even in our magazines there are web-links provided to relevant blogs. Likewise there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people blogging about their every move daily. Apparently, there has been a need for people to feel more connected to one another and the internet in its infinite capabilities has provided. Who reads these blogs though I wonder, the ones about people in their daily lives… Is is like reading the human interest pieces in your local newspaper?
Lately I’ve even heard of cases where people can and are making a living at publishing their own blogs. Once they’ve achieved a certain following, companies will pay them for advertising space on their blogs. I find this to be more likely in the cases of blogs which reference specific topics of relevance to the companies product or certain locations. One case stands out in my mind of a young couple who started a blog about the small town they are from in the south of Africa. They started writing about the restaurants and tourist spots around town, about the events which the town celebrates and so on as a hobby. Now, four years later, they are able to blog exclusively and have quit their daily jobs as they can live on the income from selling advertising space on their site. What a story right? Its had me thinking how I would do at such a task, could I live the same way, by blogging about something I love.
What i find kind of fascinating in this whole bit is the lack of editor. These blogs are publishing online direct from the creator to the internet, and I begin to wonder if that has anything to do with the great level of success of the more visited blogs. What the lack of editing seems to create, along with typos and spelling errors and just horrible grammar, is freedom of expression. These bloggers write about whatever they want, however they want, using whatever language they find appropriate and maybe that human quality is the real attraction point. Take this entry for instance, I’ve written as though I’m having a conversation with you, the reader. Did you feel that way? As though we were sitting somewhere talking to each other? Maybe you didn’t even notice it, but in retrospect consider, this is not the sort of writing you might find on a news website where articles are written to inform and share information quickly and precisely. This writing allows a level of connection between people who may never meet in person. It provides a social need (see note below*) to connect to one another at the safe distance of our computer screens and keyboards. I’ve gone back and forth on the topic personally, about how much time I spend online versus with real people (not that bloggers aren’t real people).. Personally, I have a pretty good balance to my life. Perhaps I’m thinking in extremes when I consider that there are people who never go outside, who live through their computers. Some have good reason like medical conditions and extreme allergies and such, but I worry about the next generation, the teens who go to school and come home to video games and social media and who are bound to fall into blogs at some point. I see dozens of baby videos where they are playing with ipads and don’t know what a paper magazine is or how to turn the page, or worse when they don’t understand how to turn the page of their own baby books. You know the kind with thick pages and cute illustrations that is only ten pages long. I wonder what they will be missing out on in real life while they sit at computers 24/7 just a few years from now…
So on the final docket: Blogging. Source of information/ entertainment. Possible source of income. One more link to online socialization.
To achieve entertainment and information from a blog is easy, you simply need find one of interest. To make money blogging obviously takes a great deal of dedication and cannot be achieved by everyone. To socialize by blogging, to some degree might be healthy, however to socialize purely through online means without any sort of person to person contact might not be healthy.**
*Note: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has five levels. Each level must first be satisfied before the next level can become of concern.Level 1: Physiological needs: basic survival, food, and shelter. Level 2: Security needs: need to feel secure and safe, for modern example: job security, health insurance, safe neighborhood. Level 3: Social needs: love, belonging, and affection. Level 4: Esteem needs: personal worth, social recognition and accomplishment. Level 5: Self-actualizing needs: These people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with opinions of others, and interested in fulfilling their potential.
For more info on Maslow’s Hierarchy:
**Note: I am no psychologist, this is not a medical opinion. It is simply the opinion of an observer of communications with some knowledge of basic psycological principles.