Why I Blog

I have been writing for Frivolous Motion every weekday (and some weekends) since September of 2006, now over eight months and nearly 400 posts, and as I sit here this morning, about to fly “home” to Las Vegas, I can’t help but think, “Whoa.” To me, that’s a long time. But I can easily see myself doing this for years to come. Or something like this. Like Twitter, or Tumblr, or YouTube, or podcasting, or something so new and innovative I don’t even know about it yet. Something, though.

But why? Is it delusions of grandeur? Do I see myself becoming the next big superstar of the Web? Do I think I will influence presidential elections? Get a huge advertising deal with a hot tech company? Nah. Do I think thousands of people will start emailing me to do design work for them based on my posts about iTunes and controversies sweeping the blogosphere? No again.

I blog because I believe in connection, and I believe in the power of technology to help make and highlight the connections that exist infinitely in life. I am far from the camp of skeptics who think the internet and other technologies are pulling people apart, distracting them from making “real, meaningful connections” with others. These individuals just haven’t discovered how to make it work for them, in the same way that not every person who attends a frat party or a concert is able to connect with other people there (yeah, I used to be that guy from time to time).

There are connections to be made everywhere, and an infinite number of ways to make them. The internet allows you to touch and be touched by individuals who, in a pre-Web age, you might never have known. In the shrinking of the world enabled by cyberspace, we experience life as one great piece of fabric; each one of us making tiny ripples in the sheet that have a profound (if at times unfelt) effect on the global equilibrium. In day to day (non-networked) life, it’s much harder to see that every action, every decision, changes the world. With the internet, you can feel it just a little bit more, and that is hugely important. Your tiny blog posts about tiny things significant to you are discovered and read by individuals all over the world. And in this act of reading, two lives, two histories, two experiences intertwine in the present. Connection is made. Life is shared. A relationship, previously hidden, becomes visible. Becomes felt.

Many of my “real life” friends and family members read this blog, and as a result, they have a much stronger idea about the things that I care about then they might get seeing me from time to time. This blog has strengthened my relationships with those close to me, and built relationships with those far away, many of whom I’ve never met (and may not ever meet).

I believe, and I want to believe that technology has a human soul. I believe it isn’t cold and distant by nature, and see it getting warmer and more organic every day. I can’t even begin to imagine what the next ten years will bring, but I know (and I have faith) that it will be nothing short of astounding. Call me a crazy ignorant optimist, but I trust that humanity will learn to use these tools appropriately and conscientiously for its own sake.

I blog because I like to write, and because there are too many interesting things happening in the world not to try to make sense of. If my sense-making makes sense for another person anywhere, I’d consider this whole endeavor to be a success.

There is no difference between blogging, iChatting, or forum-posting and the Real World. It is all the same, and the sooner we see this, the greater our perspective will be. As long as we persist in making arbitrary distinctions, as long as we continue to treat technology as some alien presence that somehow magically exists outside of what is real, we will be unable to accept and understand it and use it wisely. Everything is real. Everything is natural. Everything is true.

The world is changing. And you are changing it.

That, above all, is what this blog is about. That is why I’m doing this.

Thanks for reading. Thank you very much.

(Note: No new stuff until Monday due to my trip home. Have a wonderful Friday, and a great weekend.)