Thursday, March 29, 2007

Meme: Why I enjoy blogging

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.


Val said...

Hurrah, first to comment! Thanks for the honourable mention - and I totally agree with all you say (apart from the bit about being happy with my own company. I am learning that one quite late in life!)

I also took a step back and slowed down on posting, and have "plateau-ed" at the blogs I read. A new one comes, an old one falls off the other end!

But I bet we havent plumbed the depths of our similarities yet!

Susie said...

You are obviously finding your "happy place" when it comes to blogging. One of the nice things about blogging is that everyone is free to do their own thing. That might be several posts in a row, then none for a while. It's all good...
Beautiful California sunshine here today. A perfect spring day :)

PEA said...

I'll never regret discovering the world of Blogging just over a year many wonderful people out there that I never knew about:-) You're right, though, blogging can take over your life if you're not's very hard to find a balance when there seems to be not enough hours to do everything you want to do!! If I had children at home and a job, then there's no way I could blog and visit like I do...I have a husband but we don't have much to do with each other so I'm not expected to spend time with him! lol Just know that I'm really glad we "met" through blogging:-) xox

Merle said...

Hi Val ~~ Good post about blogging
and why we do it. I love it because
I have made some wonderful friends all around the world and though we will never meet physically, we have
become close friends.
Thanks for your comment ~~ I thought the post about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier would be old news to any Americans. It must have been an old article, because J.F.K. is buried at Arlington. Not sure about Bobby, but would think so.
Hope we have a win on Sunday, to
get the season started how we want
it. Take care, Val, Love, Merle.

John Cowart said...

Blogging has expanded my universe. For instance, I'd never seen or heard of an example of those unique books you craft until I read about them on your blog and saw your photos.

Jeanette said...

Hi Val. Blogging has become part of my world since I lost My Husband, and made many blogging friends, like Merle I know (Iwill never meet them but thats life.

Stu said...

For someone who wasn't sure whether you could add anything to Kerri's and other's posts, you seem to have come out with flying colours.

One day I'll get to Melbourne and we can meet up at a Carlton game - preferably at the G on the last Saturday in September. Not sure it will be this year though!!

Cris said...

Val, I started blogging about 6 months ago, and I met some wonderful people that I could never think of meeting from my cubicle and I feel so blessed, me too, I sometimes have to slow down. And oh, the shortbread... hum...... it turned out delicious!!! It was gone in a minute, my little one came back for more, more... And I used the cookie cutter before baking, it was soo cute. Can I post your recipe on my food blog? Thanks!

jellyhead said...

I don't think you are strange at all, Val. I am a 'quality not quantity' person myself. As much as blogging is wonderful, and puts us in touch with some amazing and lovely people, there is also the real world to attend to.

You said it so well. I hope you keep blogging when time allows :)

Kerri said...

You've written a very thoughtful post Val, added plenty to what's already been said, and as Stu and Jelly mentioned, you said it so well! Great writing and good thoughts!
You're so right about trying to keep a good balance and not let blogging interfere too much with our lives in the here and now. It can be overwhelming if we get too caught up in it.
Thanks for sharing these thoughts.
We had rain today. Our temps are still pretty chilly, even when the sun is shining, because the cold winds persist!

Meow said...

Nothing strange about what you wrote, Val. Blogging is something different to everyone, but is sure shouldn't interfere with the real world. Hope you continue to blog, and drop by and visit mine when you can. We still need to catch up for a cuppa sometime !!
Take care, Meow

Sonia said...

I totally agree with Kerri, you've written a very sincere and thoughtful post Val! In this blog thing I think it's important to keep a good balance. Me too, through the blogsphere I have made some lovely friends all around the world!

Sandy said...

I totally agree with you about blogging. You conveyed your message very well and it's not the quantity of bloggers that we know and how many comments we receive...It's just finding the right friendships.
I am also not an out-going person, so blogging has filled my needs very well. I also need time to do the things I enjoy doing, so blogging has become very limited to me and once you step away from blogging for a while it is not as easy to come back realize that you have been spending way too much time on the computer.