22 April 2021

A reason for blogging

The reasons for writing a blog are, I imagine, as varied as bloggers themselves are.  Some have strong views on political or social issues and hope to persuade others to agree with those views.  Some feel an irrepressible desire to simply express their convictions or protest against the way things are, even if they have little hope of winning anyone over.  Some enjoy the back-and-forth of debate and seek to provoke it.  Some are moved by enthusiasm for a genre of books or movies, or for a particular culture, and want to share it.  Some seek to show off their art or writing or photography in hopes of winning admiration from others.  For some, it's a way of keeping acquaintances informed of events in their personal lives -- a form of social media.

Some of those motives apply in my case to varying degrees.  Readers may have noticed that I have strong opinions on a number of issues.  Although I hate arguing with people and will do almost anything to avoid it, I hope that my posts attacking religion or supporting various social policies will contribute something to the arsenal of ideas and arguments available to those who do choose to engage in debate with opponents.  And it's interesting to see what others think of my writing, and rewarding to acquaint others with the things that fascinate me.  But over time, being honest with myself, I have come to realize that there's a rather different motive that drives me to keep blogging -- the desire simply to catch the attention of like-minded people.

For a person like me, making any kind of connection with people I have things in common with can be difficult.  At most of the jobs I've had, for example, once co-workers get to know me, most of them show little interest in any further interaction because they conclude that I have nothing interesting to say -- and by their own standards, they're right.  I know nothing about sports or current TV shows or the latest doings of the Kardashians or the royal family, and I don't care to fake an interest in such things just to socialize.  I'm quite happy to keep to myself, and see no point in actively facilitating conversations I would find boring.

But the internet is global and allows interaction with, potentially, anyone with a computer and a connection.  To the extent that others, however few, share aspects of my view of life or my cultural or artistic fascinations, it's at least theoretically possible to catch their attention.

And so I write this blog because it's a manifestation of who I am, put out there for others to react to as they choose.  Those who find my views and interests boring or repulsive will presumably ignore it in favor of other websites they find more appealing, which is fine.  But if someone feels that something I've posted resonates with them and decides they've found a kindred spirit on some level, then the blog has done its job.

This is why, too, I occasionally post things that most people would find cryptic or bizarre, or that I know in advance will provoke rejection or disdain from the majority of readers.  In some cases I'm using language or imagery specific to some particular subculture or to the enthusiasts of particular concepts, even if it is not meaningful to anyone else.  Or I'm posting an idea, vision, or aesthetic which is not generally popular, in hopes that it will catch the eye of one of those few with whom it does resonate, if they happen to be reading.  If that connection is made, even occasionally, then it's worth putting up with the negativity such posts tend to provoke.

The most interesting blogs are the most personal ones, the ones that express the enthusiasms, the vision, the aesthetic tastes and creativity of the blogger.  That kind of blog is a manifestation, in online form, of its author.  That's what I'm doing here.  What co-workers see when they glance into my cubicle at the office is not the real me.  This is.


Anonymous Johnnyprofane1 said...

Thank you for this.

I'm going thru an internal struggle over whether to continue posting into the void...

This came at a good time... As I ponder.

22 April, 2021 05:16  
Blogger Now Am Found! said...

interesting to me. thanks for blogging.

22 April, 2021 06:15  
Blogger Regina M. said...

I enjoyed your blog today very much because you've confirmed that we are in sync....I look forward daily to your writing. I'm nearing 82 and in the midst of a 3rd (& different) cancer - not very concerned - taking care of it. My husband has macular degeneration, hearing loss, fading memories (much like a lot of seniors). He doesn't drive - I'm the solo chauffeur. I do have my moments of distress but they're brief. Add all that to being housebound due to Covid and I clearly need an outlet. Therefore, I have been enjoying my fave bloggers now for about five years and am so glad to have discovered them. I laugh, cry, see beautiful photos, learn new things, and share my thoughts at times. Honestly, if I didn't have that outlet I know I'd be in trouble. So...I think it takes courage to decide to blog and take my hat off & say "thanks" for your truly enjoyable offerings.

22 April, 2021 06:30  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Good post, Infidel! I know exactly what you mean. When you're the outsider in most social/work situations, making connections deeper than the superficial is very hard. The odds of "finding your tribe" increase dramatically on the internet and that's a good consequence of blogging. If only we all lived just down the street from each other!

I blog just for the sheer goofy fuckery of it.

22 April, 2021 06:54  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I agree with Debra. I think I've written about our 'tribe' and the joys of finding it, whether in person or online. I'm an odd person, so people either like me a lot or shy away. And IDGAF. I don't know about the Kartrashians or the housewomen or sports, either. And I'm fine.
Love your posts. Your link collections are the ish.
For the record, if we were to be at a party, I'd probably chat you up, especially if you were to tell me that you blog. I think I found you in one of my blogging friend's blogroll. Have never looked back.


22 April, 2021 07:53  
Blogger Meremark said...

You're good. I'm good. I like what you write, and that you write.

Infidels happen.

I like to read what they have to say.
Mouthfuls my brain can chew on

22 April, 2021 09:10  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"I know nothing about sports or current TV shows or the latest doings of the Kardashians or the royal family,"

All of that is true for me as well, except for the last part -- the royals. I do occasionally read up on them simply because my partner is an Englishman, and I take interest only for that reason, but only occasionally.

I cut the cable a year and a half ago because I didn't watch any of the stuff offered. I now go to the internet for news -- BBC America, and PBS.

I love discovering some esoteric postings on your blog and enjoy your essays on various subjects. Everything you post makes me think.

I'm glad to have found this site years ago and glad you keep it going.


22 April, 2021 10:22  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I blog to share things I like and share things I find interesting. I share my views on products, books and post funny rat pictures. But it seems it's my Apartment Life posts that most people like to read. It's nice to find like minded people to talk with or just people with interesting views that have something to say.

22 April, 2021 13:37  
Blogger jono said...

All we know is the real you. If we read this it is because we are interested and probably feel the same way about most things.

22 April, 2021 13:49  
Blogger Her Royal Highness said...

For a VERY REASONABLE FEE, I can teach you ALL ABOUT the Royal Family (of which I am, of course, a member -- an INSIDER, if you will) and also, in my capacity as a LIFE COACH, I can counsel you on how to be LESS OF A SOCIAL MISFIT. I'm sure you're MUCH LESS of a HOPELESS CASE than my Human. CONTACT ME TODAY and we'll set up a payment plan.

22 April, 2021 14:38  
Blogger Kwark said...

I certainly appreciate your efforts!

22 April, 2021 19:38  
Blogger Mike said...

I think this general group is a subculture.

22 April, 2021 20:28  
Anonymous Annie said...

I’ve discovered that blogging has so many unexpected benefits, and one is the community of like-minded people. Your blog is among the most thoughtful and thought-provoking I’ve found—and your poetry is a treat that I especially enjoy.

Do I always agree with everything you write or post? Of course not. But boring? Nevah!!

22 April, 2021 20:30  
Blogger RO said...

I can't even remember how I found you(lol), but I do know that I totally adore that you are who you are. That's what makes life interesting. I like to see things in a different light, or converse with others so I can learn and laugh, agree or disagree. Eve3n though I'm totally into the pop culture thing and sports (lol), I would totally pull up a chair in your cubicle and talk about life, and to smile some. It would totally make my day. Hugs and Happy Friyay! RO

23 April, 2021 06:02  
Blogger Jack said...

Although I have to admit that it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to answer the "why am I still blogging after all these years" question, I think it has to have something to do with what you said here. In any case, what you said resonates with me too.

23 April, 2021 13:49  
Anonymous Heathen Dan said...

I like your blog,

and I like you, too.

24 April, 2021 09:42  
Blogger Ami said...

I've learned a great deal from your blog.
My opinion is that if we really *listen* we can learn more from the things we disagree with than just finding people whose views match ours.

I don't know much about pop culture or the royal family or sports. Doesn't seem to affect my functionality.

Writing is cathartic for me at times, but occasionally I find that stuff I'd really like to write about can't be shared because people who actually know me read my blog.

24 April, 2021 13:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Johnny: Please don't assume you're "posting into the void", even if it sometimes feels that way. Most blog readers don't leave comments, so it can be sometimes be easy to forget that they're even there -- but they are. Your recent posts on autism and sexual abuse were valuable material, and I'd hate to think you would just stop -- though of course it's obviously your own decision.

Now: Thanks!

Regina: I'm sorry to hear life is throwing so much at you, but I'm very glad if anything I've posted has contributed to making things a bit easier. Thanks for commenting.

Debra: Thanks. I sometimes wish I lived in a more densely-populated part of the country, so a higher proportion of my internet people would be in visiting range if things ever got to that point. But yes, without the internet I probably wouldn't know any of you existed.

Sixpence: I have a feeling that if I met you we'd end up having a lot to talk about even if I didn't know who you were. And I've skimmed over many a blogroll myself looking for new blogs to read.

Meremark: Thanks -- I expect I'll keep having things to say for a long time.

Shaw: Thanks for the kind words. I think you're one of the longest-standing readers who's still with me. There's not much higher i can aspire to than making people thinks.

Mary K: Well, most people post funny cat pictures, so at least you're giving a different animal equal time. And those apartment life posts are pretty startling sometimes. I may not comment very often but I always read them.

Jono: It's curious that there are so many people I've never "met" in meatspace who know me better than the people I work with (or I them) -- but that's because on the net we have more freedom to be ourselves.

HRH: I'm sure you are royal indeed. I kind of like being a social misfit, though.

24 April, 2021 14:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Kwark: Thanks!

Mike: I think we qualify.

Annie: I always appreciate the kind words. And frankly I'd be surprised if there's a single person out there who agrees with me about everything. Most of us here are pretty independent thinkers.

RO: Oh, there are some aspects of pop culture I'm quite interested in. I just haven't posted much about them recently. Maybe I should. Hope to see you return to posting sometime soon.....

Jack: I would think it's a valuable connection in your situation. Being an atheist in Mississippi must be difficult sometimes.

Heathen: Thanks.

Ami: I agree that reading other points of view can be valuable -- that's why (for example) I read right-wing blogs, which many left-wing bloggers won't, for various reasons. What I really dislike is having back-and-forth arguments with people. And it's just more congenial most of the time dealing with people you have something in common with.

24 April, 2021 14:44  
Blogger Bohemian said...

I do find that so many Bloggers are more themselves in Blog Form, because it does seem to attract Visitors who Connect in meaningful ways and often explore topics that in real life, few would dare tread... or not be interested in treading. I began my Blog assuming nobody would actually read it, my Grandson set it up for me when he was 9, introduced me to Blogging, since I didn't even know what it was... since he could see I missed Writing letters. Nobody did that anymore... and I Love Photography too... so it scratched both itches. I found it amazing how Connected I became to the Community here in The Land Of Blog and how many found my Blog out here in vast Cyberspace! I didn't even know so many Kindred Spirits existed, since in Real Life you meet so few, compared to how many you find in The Land Of Blog... who knew? The heyday of Blogging may be past, but I still Love it and look forward to it as much as I ever did and the Connections were a Bonus. I suppose I'd still Blog tho' even if nobody came anymore... it's a Creative Release and Urge that I really enjoy too much to stop.

24 April, 2021 19:13  
Blogger Kay said...

I appreciate the thoughts and feelings you express on your blog. I write for the connection it gives me to others and also to keep my aging brain active.

24 April, 2021 23:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Bohemian: I think no matter who you are, out of eight billion people, you have at least a few kindred spirits out there -- it's just a matter of connecting with them.

I don't think the heyday of blogging is past. Things like Twitter and other social media have just siphoned off a lot of the people who don't have the depth to write more substantive posts. For those who do, blogs are still the best format.

I actually still write letters occasionally.....

Kay: Thank you. I think blogging is a good low-stress way to keep the brain active. I can write about whatever I want, so it holds my attention and doesn't feel like an unwelcome duty.

25 April, 2021 00:48  
Anonymous Johnnyprofane1 said...

Your encouragement means the world to me.

26 April, 2021 17:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I'm glad to be encouraging. You definitely have valuable things to say.

27 April, 2021 11:16  
Blogger Mary said...

I always look forward to your blogs. And the feeling of like minded people is one of the main draws to blogs and that you can say what you really feel and believe. I don’t have a lot in common with people In general, although I’m social. My interests are in science, philosophy weird facts and just deep thinking about most anything. Most people find a lot of this boring. Most men like sports and golf and most women like gossip and chit chat...oh but there is much more interesting stuff to life.

27 April, 2021 18:12  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

in science, philosophy weird facts and just deep thinking about most anything

I think you've come to the right place..... 🙂

28 April, 2021 02:19  
Anonymous CAS said...

Wonderfully expressed! I've been questioning my own blogging from the beginning. My main goal has been and remains to leave some trace of myself in the blogosphere but that space is so vast, I often question whether or not it's worth the effort.

I greatly admire your productivity, insights, and writing skills and can easily believe you don't have much to share standing by the water cooler. I too am pretty out of touch when it comes to popular subject matter. While it's easy for me to interact with others and "fit in", I am more and more particular about how I spend my time and luckily for me, I have the luxury of being able to avoid interactions that don't interest me.

Anyway, I'm glad that you not only blog but give so much back to other bloggers. Your comments always enrich my posts. Thanks a million.

04 October, 2023 09:42  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

CAS: Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot to me, especially coming from you. The blogosphere is a vast space, but I've been encouraged by the extent to which people who really have something interesting to say are able to find each other.

It must be frustrating to put together an informative, detailed, well-crafted post and get very few comments -- it has happened to me and probably to everybody (though I go more by number of page views -- far more people read than comment). But your blog is one of my all-time favorites and your posts are among the ones I look forward to the most. I hope you'll continue posting as often as you have the inspiration to.

04 October, 2023 13:32  

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