Blogspot sounds like a childhood disease, and WordPress sounds like it should produce some sort of gourmet espresso. What is this fascination with blogging that turns academics and everyday housewives, factory workers and retired grandparents, to poets and essayists? What intoxicating bit of technology is this that reawakens dreams in faltering souls—that even they may have something worthwhile to contribute to a wide world that is glutted with information, entertainment, and trivia?
What if while walking in the mall a stranger came up to me, pressed a finger to my head and said, “Like,” followed by a few more random strangers and a few other slightly familiar faces. What if others shared something personal about their lives that seemed to parallel mine, ending with a smiley face firmly planted on my back . . . pat, pat, pat! I would call mall security!
If in that same mall, I held up one of my treasured photographs for the approval of myriad strangers, they would think me odd and much too self-obsessed. Yet what do we do every day—we who populate this teeming trafficked web?
With all our technology, with all our education, with all the potentiality, our culture muffles authentic communication. The music, the video games, the radio, and the TV fill us up and drown out the slightest whispers. And there is no more room even for comfortable silences. There is no more room for responses to crafted words or appreciation for our thoughts and prayers. We who rub shoulders with so many in virtual and unvirtual ways still experience isolation.
So in this strange way, we risk exposure in a sometimes scary world because blogging gives a voice to the voiceless and sends bread out on the water to see if anything will come back.
Are we searching for empty affirmation from strangers or is it a reach for community? Is it because we really do need each other that we stretch toward the unknown to share that aha moment?
“Portrait on the Wall”