Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Beginning to Understand Blogs

This morning I had an epiphany while enjoying my morning coffee: I'm beginning to understand some of the numerous reasons why people blog. An acquaintance of mine says cynically, "People blog because they want attention and validation. . . duh." Perhaps. Blogging as a medium has rapidly grown in popularity and significance in the last several years. Writers and journalists who once dismissed blogs as illegitimate, now regularly contribute their own words to the blogosphere. As printed media continues it's decline, the significance of blogs and web-based media increases. As of 2007, there were over 112 million blogs ( Who knows how many there will be in ten years.

My aforementioned acquaintance is correct when she asserts that for some, blogging is an act of self-importance seeking public validation . . . duh. Some people use blogs and tweets to negotiate trade negotiations (see OchoCinco) or to make knee-jerk apologies for their ridiculous antics (see Kanye West). Sports writers blog away during high profile games or the professional draft. There are food blogs, music blogs, church blogs, book blogs, surfing blogs, parenting blogs, car blogs, blogs about blogging, blogs, blogs, blogs, blogs. The sheer volume of blogs in the blogosphere illustrates an interesting variable in this conversation. With so many blogs being written, it is quickly apparent that we as humans have something to say. It's part of who we are anthropologically to express ourselves. God created us to create. So it makes sense so many people are saying so many things.

The vast number of blogs is also evidence of another variable in this discussion. There are simply too many words out there. Marilyn McEntire wrote in the September 2009 issue of Christianity Today about the careful use of language, (
"Letting Words Do Their Work" She discussed the innate power of words and how powerful language has lost much of its purchase in our culture because of overuse and misuse (lack of precision). If you appreciate language and the careful use of words, you will highly appreciate this article.

George Will recently compared President Obama to "audible wallpaper". He said, "Our President has become the nation's elevator music, always out and about, heard but not really listened to". He was talking about the President's recent stumping for support of his health care plan. This demonstrates an important point about communication: The more people one leads, the more important and weighty their words become. A wise leader uses fewer words less often. Does the same principle ring true with our own words (or our own blogs)?

I now have about 15 entries in my blog that I started over 18 months ago. Let me succinctly say (too late), as I look back I see that my blog entries have taken me a fair amount of time to think through and write. I've also noticed that my "urge to blog" is not consistent or predictable. It's been six months since my last entry. I currently have a few things I want to write about (mostly for my own reflection and process). When those are finished who knows when the urge will come again.

The crux of the epiphany is this: For me and some others, blogging helps to intelligently process through things that are rattling around in my mind and crashing through my life. I have two people currently following my blog. Who cares?! But I somehow feel like I've taken positive steps to meditate and process some of my current circumstances. I'd like the words I choose to mean something and have weight. God created me to create creatively.

Does anything I just wrote make any sense? Probably not.

Why does the phone always ring when you're on the can?
I don't know.

More Later . . .


Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Charlie... there is a wit and a wisdom in your writing that's obvious... creative, too.


Jeff Kahl said...

Good to see you back in Blogland.
Your post made perfect sense to me, which is not to say that it makes sense. ;)
But in my opinion, blogging enables poor, imperfect people to put their thoughts out there and enter into a dialogue with others whereby, hopefully, both can be challenged and changed.