Since I recently asked myself why I blog, I've done some more reading, as well as 'discussing' the idea with e-mail and blog friends. One word that keeps coming up is Connection.
I've read it many times - and it is true for me as well - that someone started blogging in order to keep friends and family updated on their activities. I had moved halfway across the country and wanted to stay in touch with people in my old home. This is a very good reason to blog, and for many people is as far as it goes.
But after I'd been blogging a little while, I noticed that it was growing into something a bit larger than that! As I read other blogs, I felt I needed to leave comments occasionally. That led to receiving comments on my own posts. Oh boy! That is such a high!!! So I wanted more, of course, and started looking at how to get it. Connecting, that's how. One makes a comment and receives a response which triggers a conversation through which common interests are discovered. I found myself connecting to people all over the globe!
So blogging is becoming about expanding my circle of friends as much as staying in contact with the old ones. I find myself feeling part of a community. Blogging has been called a social activity and I'd have to agree. As humans we are hard-wired to need a certain amount of social interaction. If you live in a small community - as I do - there is plenty of interaction, but it tends to have little variety - and variety is another thing we seem to need. Blogging gives me a sense of belonging to a broader community and my thinking and creativity are energized by the diversity.
While one friend cautioned against letting the blogging world become more important than real live and real friends, she admits there is a "blurry bit in the middle". Others have mentioned that real life becomes more interesting when you know you will be blogging about it. Composing a post in your mind gives you a fresh perspective on everyday matters.
As with most of life's activities, blogging and other online time needs to be balanced appropriately with the real world. Each aspect enriches the other and that's what we all reach for . . . a life well lived and well loved.
This isn't the end of my thought processes, though. Later I have some things to say about creativity and the blog world.