An Initial Blog Encounter (and why we should blog)

Courtesy of the Way Back Machine

Huddled in my college apartment’s bedroom among my four roomates, we click through the female members’ scanned images on http://www.Hot-or-Not.com at a lighting speed of 128kps. Abruptly, one of our female friends bursts into the adolescent male enclave.  Nicole gasps at our audacity to participate in such a degrading pastime.  We retort that our own personal pictures are posted as well receiving the same scrutiny among the other members.  She counters that there are better things to do with the internet than just simply rating each other’s appearance.  [insert crickets here]

Within the next couple of moments and with energetic passion, Nicole slides into the computer seat, takes the controls, and introduces us to a revolutionary form of internet use–a web diary, or web log.  As she navigates triumphantly through her own two or three pages on the web, our male huddle sits silently….waiting, watching, biding our time to…mockingly interject how great it would be to post our private thoughts so others could see them. How  productive?  How innovative..?  

Nicole puffs in exasperation and exits the room.  We resume the import task of giving and receiving ratings.

…..sharing through blogging is not just a high form of internet use; it is a high form of human existence.

humanity

Humanity by D.C.Atty via Flickr

While the internet has dramatically changed since 2002, the same sort of vain activities can be found on the web, just faster and slicker.  With 15 more years added to my belt size, I agree with Nicole now.  My current perspective has emerged from numerous constructive encounters with blogs.  My friend Nicole was right that one cold January evening.  There is a higher purpose to the internet.   Sharing our thoughts and experiences for others to read and interact with is a high form of internet usage.  However, sharing through blogging is not just a high form of internet use; it is a high form of human existence.  

We contribute to a blog, digital space, e-portfolio because we want to enhance our human capacity to establish and share the elements that make up our narrative.  A commitment to these type of constructive contributions may be driven by

  • Inspiration
  • An external task, assignment, reward
  • The need to connect with an audience
  • Reflection and growth
  • Emergence of one’s own ideas
  • Expression of one’s own opinions
  • The need to respond to others’ contributions from various corners of the world

Blogging, and similar contributions, engage individuals in the nonlinear, communal process of essential human endeavors.

cycle

Cyclical adapted from Tom Magliery via Flickr

Finally, contradicting my initial, un-informed reaction to an online diary/web log, blogging is much more than just displaying your intimate details for strangers to read. Blogging, and similar contributions, engage individuals in the nonlinear, communal process of essential human endeavors.  The practice of blogging allows us to

  1. Collect and piece together a personal story or narrative of our life
  2. Observe and reflect upon personal growth in various areas of our life
  3. Incorporate and process what we are learning from others on the web
  4. Use the web as a sounding board for feedback and critiques
  5. Practice new techniques in critical thinking, rhetoric, and presentational skills
  6. Connect with others and contribute to a community and address a real audience.
  7. Remix our previous experience with current ideas, products, and skills
  8. Learn skills and approaches that help us navigate and create digital content.
  9. Contribute our story for others to learn
  10. Pursue, expand, and showcase of our thoughts, ideas, interests, curiosity, and passion.

Feature Image Blogging by Sean McEntee via Flickr

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