Really I think that the spread of blogging is a tacit admission of American social impotence and a hostile social world. Why do I blog? I blog because nobody else will listen without judging, because I don’t have enough social contacts (or understanding enough social contacts) to fulfill my need as a human being to communicate and express myself. I suspect that the entire American subculture of blogging is the same. Our blogs become our greatest friends because they have time for us, aren’t hurt when we express a position or an emotion that contradicts their own, they don’t use what we say against us, and they’re simply easier to get along with than most people in this nation.
I started blogging in 1999 because I was lonely and I felt like maybe if nobody else anywhere loved me, the Web would love me. Years later, the Web continues to love me, while people have by and larged mocked me or called me a whiner for saying that the Web loves me. Ironic. Or, I suppose (choosing a better word), illustrative.
As an example, right now, today, and yesterday, too, I feel the incredible need to communicate. I’m lonely, and I’m down and I want company. Only I don’t feel the urge to call any person in particular. Too big a chance for rejection—maybe they don’t agree with what I have to say, or maybe they’re distracted and make my emotional state seem unimportant, maybe the familiarity or parity are missing or strained so that the call is horribly awkward and troubling, or maybe they’re just not there or too busy to talk to me. Any of these might be devastating just now.
The web, on the other hand, is there for me almost perfectly. It never turns me down. It’s never distracted when I’m typing into this box—its entire attention is on me and me alone. It’s so attentive it checks my words for spelling mistakes so that I don’t embarrass myself. And it never misunderstands what I say. In fact, it understands so well that it expresses back to me what I have just said using my very own words, and sees them as so important that they are to be published immediately for all to read!
It is better validation than any mere human can provide.
It sounds very much as though I’m saying in almost so many words that I like computers better than people. In a way, that is what I’m saying. I suspect they like me better than people, too. And I further suspect that many Americans are in the same boat. What it means I don’t know, but it suggest that a certain level of worry might be in order.
In any case, whatever else has been the point of this nonsense, the blog is always here for me. The people on the other hand have seemed to come and go. Such a state of affairs is sad. It also encourages increased dependence on the blog as my confidant. 🙁