Kerri has tagged me for this meme. I may be an unusual choice though as over the past few months, ever since I had 6 weeks "off" overseas, I have taken a step back from blogging, to get more perspective on it. But I think this is something that most of us have gone through and can relate to.
So what can I possibly say about why I like blogging that hasn't already been said by Kerri and others? I suppose I can put it in terms of my personality. This might come as a surprise to people who have read my blog, but I am not a naturally outgoing person when it comes to forming friendships. A large circle of friends has never been something I've aspired to. I prefer quality situations where much is shared in terms of common interests, outlook on life, and being down to earth. If those criteria are not filled, guess what: I'd much rather be by myself, I am very happy with my own company.
Now in real life, especially these days with the way society has become fragmented, it is extremely difficult to find like minded people in face to face situations. Sure, you come across lots of people at work, family and social events, but how many of those people are going to fit your particular criteria for a relationship? Over a lifetime we all spend countless hours in contact with people who, let's face it, we'd really rather not know or spend our precious time on, engaging in the dreaded small talk. Yet there might be people passing you in the street, sitting next to you in the train, who would be an ideal friend, acquaintance, whatever type of meaningful relationship to share things with. But, you'll never know. For obvious reasons, you'll never know about those people who live in other cities, countries, hemispheres who could have been your friend.
Ah, but that was before the internet and blogging came onto the scene. I'll bet you thought I'd never get to the blogging bit, huh? Blogging has enabled me to link up with someone on the other side of the world who shares so many things in common with me, even my first name, that it's uncanny. If such a person lived down the street from me the chances are we'd never find each other, unless through the internet. What we are doing when we blog is initially engaging in small talk if you like, but on our own terms, at times of our choosing, without being interrupted by people you're not that interested in. Small talk face to face takes an incredible amount of time, and at the end you might decide you didn't want to pursue a relationship with that person after all. But with blogging the process is much more efficient, I like to think of it as The Great Social Filter. You become aware of the interests and mindset of your fellow bloggers, and naturally you are going to continue that dialogue only with people with whom you feel a rapport. If you are lucky enough to be able to meet a fellow blogger, like when Alice came to Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, we didn't have to waste time on the getting to know you small talk. We'd done that already.
And for bloggers who live far away and the likelihood of ever seeing them is remote, that does not mean that that friendship/relationship is not as worthy.
But I have taken a step back from blogging. I don't want it to interfere too much with my life in the here and now, because we need the daily activities to extend ourselves and maintain our interests. Aside from not posting as often, I rarely go back now to comment on others' comments to my posts, preferring to email a person directly if I have something to share. I don't always read all the comments others have written before I comment on another blog, and I have pretty much decided that the number of bloggers I keep in touch with now is about all I can handle, in terms of reading, posting, commenting, and remembering things about different bloggers (children, hubbies and hobbies, background etc). So there we return to the issue of quality, not quantity.
The above might not have been what people had in mind when they saw the meme, and some of you might be thinking "Gee, that Val is a bit of a strange one!" I would totally agree! But this is the Blogger world - you can continue to read or not, you can suit yourself, and THAT, dear folks, is one of the best things about blogging.