I’ve been thinking a lot. Dangerous, I know. But I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing here (on this blog. And with my life in general, because let’s be real, I’m always thinking about that.)
I wrote some thoughts late one night about Paris as a way to process the chaos and confusion in my own head, and posted them here. I have a rule for myself that I wait 24 hours between when I write something and when I post it, to make sure my words are not grounded solely in emotion, but for some reason I broke the rule with the Paris post. And for some reason it hit a nerve with people and for some reason it got read and shared way more than I expected. (Nowhere near viral, but my normal amount of views, multiplied by 600, gets you around how many hits I got in 24 hours. Craziness for this small time attempt of a blog.)
My immediate thought was “Wow. How do I do this again.” Write an opinion on refugees, that will do it. Write about the red cup drama, write about Black Friday trauma, write about Trump for Pete’s sake.
The temptation to write about something to get attention is so real. Something people are talking about, something that will make an interesting title and that people care about and brings attention to my blog and myself. And I don’t even make a penny off this blog thing! I can’t imagine the temptation for someone who’s career depends on convincing people to click their link.
Which makes me think, why am I doing this. Who am I writing for. The people I share this with, to say something you might care about and add my point of view to your developing perspective? Maybe. Myself, to process thoughts and have a creative outlet? Probably. My ego, to see how many views I can bring in each month? Sometimes.
It seems like someone else starts a blog each week, and if they don’t, they are writing a long, opinionated Facebook status or sharing an Instagram pic with an inspirational caption. It seems like we all have something to share, but the more we find outlets to do so the less we are listening to each other. The more we become our own producers, the less of an audience is left to care about anyone else anymore.
Not that I am against us all being creators, or that I think being an audience is an exclusive job, or that we shouldn’t all have a right to a platform, or that there is anything inherently wrong with internet articles and opinions. None of those things are what I’m saying.
I’m not sure what exactly I’m saying, but it’s something about how there are so many words and opinions being thrown around in the world that it is hard to tell what is worth adding to the commotion. Something about how there is a fine line between beneficial vulnerable and a too-public diary. About how we need to be so very careful to examine the motives behind the media and opinions we consume. How we should remember once in a while to give audience, in a tangible, caring, I-acknowledge-and-validate-your-humanity way, to the voices around us that are publishing and creating, among the chaos of all the other humans who are pushing and shoving and publishing and creating.
I told someone the other day that I’ve been worrying about the world a lot. They laughed and said “okay”, but I wasn’t kidding. I’ve been worrying about the internet, and what it’s doing to our culture (as amazing as it is. Don’t get me wrong, its amazing.) I’ve been worrying about my generation. We scare me. I’ve been worrying about the world, and how its so big with so many issues, and one starfish thrown back into the sea still leaves billions uncared for, unheard, suffering with every sort of problem while I worry about making Christmas wrapping paper match under the tree.
I’m not sure what I’m saying honesty, but it’s something about how I don’t know who I am or what I’m really trying to say yet, but I’m about to break my 24 hour rule again. And I’m trying to make sense of the world, slowly, stutteringly, sometimes publicly on this blog. And I’m glad you clicked on this article. It’s nice to get heard.
I hope you get heard today, too. Let me know how I can be the ear or the audience you need.