A few days ago, I read a blog post that really left me thinking. It left me wondering what blogging really does mean to me.
Despite the fact that the post did resonate with me, I didn’t immediately respond to it. Instead, I have been letting the ideas soak in and I have been exploring my thoughts about them as they come… As I trek the college campus… As I am driving in my car…
Lately, I have been writing just so I can practice developing a thought; and as I’ve said before, “for the clarity of my own understanding.”
However, there was this one point on that post–about “community” in blogging. This point reminded me that community is something that is important to me, and it also made me reflect on what community means to me exactly.
Is blogging just about random likes and visitors? Or is it about starting and maintaining conversation and connection?
Perhaps, because of where I am as a blogger at the moment, the blogging community sometimes doesn’t feel “real” to me. Maybe I am thinking of “likes” on WordPress too much like “likes” on Facebook and Instagram—2 social media outlets where often times, despite the “likes” and comments you still feel disconnected to your followers. However, I guess some online communities aren’t built to be the same.
For instance–online forums… I have definitely used them to communicate on a more serious level—like providing travel tips or obtaining them for my own use.
And when I was a teenager, it was even more serious. I was part of a forum where the members maintained a conversation with each other everyday. And although we didn’t all know each other personally, each member had an online identity and reputation that was real to everyone who was a part of that forum. We could even quickly identify a stranger coming into our conversations. And sometimes, we even called each other on the phone when things got really real. But, I never wanted to admit to anyone that I had friends “online;” even if this was around the time of MySpace.
I especially didn’t want to do admit so as I got older. The fact that I had online friends at some point then became kind of a secret about my past, and it hasn’t been until recently that I have been able to openly talk about that in regular conversation.
And then—as far as less serious forums, like the travel forums… With all this stuff about keeping your identity safe over the internet-my involvement in such outlets has been diminished. However, looking back does help me to remember that I have been part of online communities in the past. So they do mean something.
There is another thing that caught my attention, though.
This week, there were a few moments when I spoke up in class for whatever reason. And I have begun to notice that—when I do raise a hand to speak in class—my heart just starts beating so intensely and I almost dread the idea of talking. And it was the same this week. I spoke up, and afterwards, I would try to type something into my computer but my hands would just shake from being so stressed and from all the adrenaline.
So then, I would just hide my hands because it would be embarrassing for someone to see that speaking up makes me so nervous. But also at that time, I had already been reflecting about the blogging, so I ended up making a connection…
I don’t shake in class every time I speak because I’m shy or anything. I just don’t reveal too much of my personal thoughts very often, so it’s uncomfortable. So then I thought–maybe that’s why I’m attracted to blogging. It’s how I can express myself—since I’m not very expressive when I’m in the presence of other people.
I know—it probably doesn’t sound so revolutionary; but when you do things the way you always do, they just seem normal and you may not pick up on things.
But I do know that I am a passionate person. I’m soulful. I’m reaaally connected to my emotions, and I’m easily affected by the energy around me. So I need expression. And I am blogging as a way to clarify thoughts that I don’t otherwise express. I also need connection. I want to feel that I am relatable, and I also want to find people with whom I can relate. And so that’s why blogging as community truly sounds meaningful to me.
So, if by chance you read this post (or any other one of my posts) and it resonates with you, please let me know. Let’s start some meaningful conversation.