Thursday, July 3, 2014

100,000 Views

Photograph by Chris Harth at Harth Photography
Hey - this blog just reached 100,000 views.

Every few months, I start rooting around in my brain for the meaning of why I blog. It's a worthwhile question - one I think I should be asked of anything that you spend a few hundred hours a year doing.
I know there's been a bounty of blog posts on why I blog, but I decided to do yet another one.

Blogging came in a three part wave.

Part one of the wave was my desire to hold onto the past.
Part two was to create a catalogue of experiences I could look at when I felt terribly alone.
Part three was to share my life with others.

Earlier this year, I was able to identify how blogging wasn't necessarily healthy for me. One of these reasons is that it's a feeble attempt of mine to freeze time. Another reason could be that my foundations in blogging came out of an unhealthy place, when I was in junior high, to try and feel like I had a life.

I want to expand on this a bit.

Junior high was, do I even need to say it, awkward. I know it was for everyone, indeed, but for this kid, oh my... I was painfully socially inept and I knew it. At that age, we're all sort of trying to figure out where we stand and furthermore, understand how to stand. We're exploring how people react to the persona we put forth and society gives us small rewards for different actions and it seems that most of us start acting in a way which gets the most positive feedback.

The first two reasons were present, but not what turned blogging into a habit.

I started blogging habitually when I became a member of Gidol ("is it giddle is it gide-le is it my G-Idol?") - an international online lip-synching video-making community.

If you've ever been a part of an online community, you'll get this. If not, you'll probably be a bit lost. I'm not ever going to be one to downplay online communities (this is not to say I don't find real life community to be invaluable). I spent every day after school talking to these people from around the world. I'd stay up till 4 AM to chat with Australia and afterschool, compare thoughts with folks in England. I was getting notes and packages from Argentina and letters from Texas.
We had our own social hierarchy, lingo, reputations, and fondness for each other.

In this small community, my world expanded - and this was a major reason why I started to travel, due to this group of folks who liked to make lipsynching videos.

There was a blogging part of the site and that's where I started to run with my words. I had an engaged audience with whom to share bits of American life with. I got feedback for my thoughts, active encouragement and responses. In that, I kept writing as long as people were reading.
The site folded, but I kept on writing.

This stepped up with a new purpose when I went to Switzerland in '07/08 and wanted to give friends and family in the States a way to keep tabs on me.

Slowly it developed into something more. When I was figuring out ADHD and SPD, I started to connect with that community - specifically the moms of kids who were living with the same "disorders" that I was living with. I wrote of my experiences to give a voice to their kids who couldn't yet articulate what they were going through. There was a lot of positive feedback and encouragement.

I learned to process through my thoughts in a blog. I learned to gather up all of these ideas and sort them out into something tangible. Now it still aids me as a coping mechanism. It helps me feel resolution when I might not otherwise find it. It helped me connect the dots, so I kept blogging.

And, over 100,000 views later, I'm still at it.

100,000 views... oi.
1,111th post.

I don't even know where they came from. Currently, for the past year, I've averaged around 150 views a day. Who are you guys? Who is reading this?

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