I was listening to a talk radio program today that focused on the negatives of the communication age. In the opinions of the host and guest, the internet, computer games, cell phone calling and texting, social networking sites like myspace and facebook, and IM'ing all too often disconnect us from "face-to-face" communication. We substitute real human interaction for electronic chatter. I had to admit that I agreed, but the the host and guest really said nothing new.
What stood out in that discussion was the guest's assertion that these things tend to be very "me-centered." The host called myspace, facebook (not blogging specifically but by implication), and other internet vehicles "emotional capitalism: the self is the commodity."
Now that jumped out at me. I had to ask myself why I have 4 blogs (each with different themes), post on various music and sports message boards/forums, and others focus much of my leisure time in this kind of electronic self expression.
The dirty secret is that I started this blog in the hopes of making money. I got hooked. My varied interests in life seemed to dictate the need for another blog -- one for each interest. I found myself talking with virtually no one around to respond, challenge, criticize, agree, question, supplement or otherwise add to my knowledge or understanding about these things. And I never made a penny.
The goal then became to use my blogs as something of a journal. Th was what I told myself, and there is some validity in that. But, if blogging for me were about chronicling my life (thoughts, emotions, ideas, history), I don't need to be on the internet to do that. I could just write that stuff down on my computer and/or on paper.
So why do I write for public consumption? I think I need to feel like my ideas matter. Deep down, I'm probably looking for recognition, perhaps even praise, from others. Maybe this is my way of feeling like a "somebody." In reality I am a "somebody" but what better (surface) validation can there be for that than the recognition of complete strangers?
I don't think I can answer the question posed in this title, at least not about other bloggers. But I think I answered it for myself.