As a new blogger, I have to admit that it has taken me a while to understand the allure of this particular form of communication. Early on I wondered why, with all the information already available to us in the form of written news, books, magazines, radio and TV, people could possibly need another form of "sharing." In addition, as a psychologist, I know that about 80% of communication is non-verbal, so I have never been a fan of electronic forms of communication.
Now, as I start to regularly wander through the blogosphere, I understand that it is not necessarily news or facts that people are looking for, but instead, a sense of "connection" to others of like mind or circumstance. In the same way that women in my childhood swapped stories and gave each other advice over daily chores in backyards, kitchens, and neighborhood parks, bloggers are creating community on the Internet.
I apologize if this is a "duh" for you, but I have been quite struck with the amount of time and energy people pour into their posts. I am also noticing that people blog on different levels - participating in personal (scrapbooking in the 21st century), parenting, professional, and community. In each of these forums, people reach out, share images and ideas, seek advice and validation, and try to integrate more humanity into our daily lives.
I do not think it is coincidental that bloggers tend to be well-educated, professional, and technological early-adopters. These are also the people who are spending more and more of their daily lives on computers, in offices, juggling the responsibilities of family and careers with self-care, and questioning their ability to "do it all" or "have it all."
I want to acknowledge the importance of "connection" for each of us - as parents, teens, professionals, neighbors, and family members. Reaching out is a wonderful and necessary thing - knowing we belong, are important to others and are contributing to a greater good are important prerequisites to life satisfaction and happiness. Acknowledging why we do things is important to understanding whether we are doing it well.
Maybe the disconnection from others that characterizes our society is starting to take its toll and blogging is a technological forum for recreating connection to family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Connection cannot be a bad thing!