Tuesday's ponderings

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recently I've been trying to come to terms with the motivation behind my blogging, but at the root of it, my questions have stemmed from exploring my personal use of the internet.

You hear so many reports regarding the dissolving communication skills of our society's teenagers on down in age. The situation is even made light of via commercials including text messaging or IMing. It makes me wonder though if our disposition to use technology in certain ways isn't determined or influenced by our childhood. And I don't just mean the accessibility of the necessary technology, because that would be a silly arguement, but rather pivotal relationships or lack there of while we were yet developing our communication skills.

I find it very intriguing the many ways I have leveraged the internet for my personal gratification, be it meeting Tony online, bonding with girls planning our wedding, talking politics, or going that final step and meeting a fellow blogger IRL (that'd be Abby). I find it so odd, because I'm very outgoing in real life. Definitely a true extrovert. I do not have a problem befriending people. And yet here I am, after so many years, still using email, message boards and now blogs to develop relationships that at times are stronger and more relevant than some that I enjoy in real life.

As a Christian I struggle with my blog being a showcase of vanity and pride, because even at the heart of my most humble post, what I'm really saying is look at me, right?

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm searching for the justification behind my posting, what distinguishes it from being pride, and exploring the reasons behind my aptitude to befriend people online?

I really tried to have a solid progression of points to a significant question, but I fear I've traveled willy nilly all over the place and have just presented my thoughts and questions in a jumble for you all to dissect (or skip over! hah).

So if I've written anything that makes sense or that you feel compelled to respond to, please do.

Also, and I knew I would end up doing this, while I'm pondering these things, I have not been inclined to think about leaving the blogging world. Just exploring a little further my reasons behind the interaction.


Sarah said...

I struggle with it too, especially when I realize how narcissistic my blog really is and how it doesn't ultimately reflect my values in many instances.

On the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with connection with people via message boards, blogging, etc. Many times we can be more honest through these mediums than in person, or it can even help us to develop the courage to be as honest in real life.

Your blog is very positive, and I love reading about the developments of your life. I hope you keep it up!

Unknown said...

I do not believe your blog is a showcase of vanity or pride at all. Instead, what I see is a showcase of who you are: an honest person who loves her husband, her friends, her life and who has a wonderful relationship with God despite the rough patches that may have come along. Those are all things you should be proud of and display to the world. I think God wishes more Christians would display to the world what they were all about and all the things they have been blessed with.

And the part of befriending people online...I am not sure. I am still trying to find the logic behind it myself! For me, I find it easier to find people on blogs or message boards who are at the same stage of life or going through similar things as I am where as the people I am meeting in school or work or even friends from that I have grown up with just aren't on the same page as me anymore.

Now after writing this book, I feel as I am willy nilly all over the place but I hope this makes sense!

kari said...

I agree with Chelsie. I don't find your blog a showcase of pride, but of you who are. It helps your online friends to get to know you a little better. As for making friends on the internet, I'm the same way. I have my "real" friends, but I feel like I have a deeper connection sometimes with my blogging girls. I don't know why that is.

Unknown said...

I can understand your concerns. I have seen numerous people question their involvement with blogging. I too, wonder why I don't go further into my Christian beliefs or experiences..but then again, I'm reminded we all are molded and shaped in different ways. Some are made to be charasmatic and outgoing. Others show the love of Christ simply by their warmth and quiet encouragement.

As long as I'm not slandering the Word of God, denying Him or letting this take precedence over other things, I feel comfortable blogging. But only you know your heart and the way you are being led.

I do love your blog though! And no, I see no vanity or pride in your writing. I'd be sad to see you go :(

AJ said...

I understand. And I agree. But since I can see both sides so easily, I present you with this:

True, today people as a whole communicate more "superficially" through technology. But, maybe it's just that next phase of how people communicate with one another.

Long ago, people met at church. Then people met at school or work (more so when women entered the workforce). And now we just meet online in the comfort of our own homes.

Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Will it cause the downfall of face-to-face conversation and snail mail all together? Maybe. Does it scare me? Sometimes.

The end.

AJ said...

And my comment is totally different than the others. I don't think your blog is a showcase of your vanity and pride. And I know that you're a bubbly, outgoing person in real life who is open to befriend.

Ashley @ Our Happily Ever Afters said...

I realized the main motivation behind my blog is because it's my way of journaling. I've never been able to keep a hand-written journal, and that's why I started.

I'm also really creative, and being able to express my thoughts, likes, and interests with others is a great outlet for me.

I also learn a lot from the blogs that I read, and it's caused me to "meet" new people (like you!!).

I do understand what you're saying though. I don't make friends very easily in "real life," but I think its because I'm very careful about the company I keep. I want a close, intimate circle of friends, not a ton of acquaintences. Does that make sense? I think as long as you keep a balance between "real" friends and "blog" relationships (or interactions, whatever), there's no harm done.

I would miss you if you left!

Sarah said...

CONNECTION--this is the word that comes to mind when I question my own motivation for blogging.Isn't that at the heart of our blogs? Whether it's to let your friends and family know what's going on in your life, or make someone new feel like they can relate to you, I think connecting with others is a vital part of who we are!

I tend to think that anytime we reach out to others in laughter, pain, joy, hope, sorrow and faith, we are taking part in the fellowship that God has called us to.

Keep blogging, girl!!

Meredith said...

If you haven't already, pray about it.

The thing that's so wonderful and comforting to me about reading blogs (like yours) written by other believers is that it's a wonderful encouragement of faith. At times, I'm sure our blogs can all be vain...but it's the recognizing the vanity and the desire to change that's important.

As Christians, we all stumble. However, it's in the those times just after the stumbling that some of the most valuable revelations about God, faith, and grace occur. And as bloggers, this is a great opportunity to help each other grow in our faith--to be a source of encouragement.

You have "Bring the Rain" listed in your blog roll--has her blog challenged you in faith, encouraged you in faith, and helped you praise God as it has me? If so, I think that's justification enough to blog.

J said...

I love reading your blog and have never once thought of you as showcasing vanity and pride. Whenever I come to your page and read your posts the only thng I think is wow what a great friend she must be. I would love to be friends with her.

To be able to share lifes happenings with people who are interesting in reading is not showcasing pride or anything else. It's like having a phone conversation with a friend and sharing how your day went.

Chelsea said...

I have thought about these things before. But what it boils down to for me is that I enjoy blogging and it is an outlet for me. There are so many things that I think about and like to talk about in my life, but not necessarily with my friends in real life. Although, I do have many friends in real life that also read my blog and I think that many of them have gotten to know me better through it.

But the main reason that I continue to blog, is because I feel free to express myself. I don't have to censor it. It's just me.

And I also think that times are constantly changing.. I'm sure that the internet will become even more prominent in communication in the future.

Lisa said...

I have the same thoughts on occasion, and when I originally started my blog, I considered how narcissitic it may be. But then I realized that the things I write are coming from a good place, and I can only hope that they come across that way to others.

And, as far as the pride and vanity thing. I in no way think that is what this blog is about. And, really, is having pride in your relationship, your husband, a meal you cooked, they way you handled a situation... Is that really so terrible? Pride is a negative force when it consumes you and drives your actions. But to have no pride at all would be to have no self esteem.

Just my 2 cents :).

Katie said...

girl that's the devil trying to get you to stop!

well...maybe :) Alotta people are bloggin and for alotta different reasons. I agree with Meredith - pray about it. Maybe this is time to reevaluate your blog goals. As you know - you are a Christian hence you have been called to a big picture goal. How are you using your blog for the Kingdom? How are you encouraging other people? How is this blog helping you deepen your relationship with Christ? Lift these up to the Lord. He will give you clarity.

And when you figure it out - you might come to a point where a break from bloggin is necessary or maybe you will feel the need to be transparent and do a post on the process :) But either way, you got some friends and fans (me) that will continue poring over your posts till the cows come home. We will pray for you.

Megan said...

I have definitely thought about this before too. Mostly what goes through my brain is wondering what the point of it is - it's basically a place that people (some that I don't even know) come to check and see what's going on, but as I've mentioned before on my blog I honestly feel like it tears away from "real" relationships so I try not to put anything too deep on there anymore. HOWEVER... I love your blog and feel like I do "know you" even though we've never met IRL! Keep it up girlie!

Rachel said...

I struggle with this too. my blog never was intended to meet or connect with others or even have other read, it was more for myself and any friends/family who wanted to keep up with me. Now 900+ viewers later, I wonder what's my purpose now? And why do so many people care about my life?

And what does that do to my pride? It's always a struggle. how important is being important to me?

I try to always keep my posts real and honest and not think about how many comments I'll get or even what kind of comments I'll get.

I just try to remember to write for me.

Now I will say most of the people I'm meeting here in Chi are people who read my blog, or I met on the nest! So I am thankful for the internet in that sense!

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

When I read your blog, the words vanity or pride have never come to mind. You seem to write with honesty and sincerity... I never get that the sense that the person I imagine you to be is very different from who you really are. It doesn’t seem that you censor yourself or care much about what your readers will think. If you were vain, I think that may be different!

On the topic of the nature of a blog being narcissistic... it can be for some. But for most, I think it’s a way to display your God-given talents. Whether you’re a wonderful wife, a fabulous cook, a sweet girlfriend, a tender mother, a keen designer, a witty comedian, a knitting queen… those are wonderful talents to celebrate. I think blogs help to inspire... and in turn, that helps each one of us achieve our full potential and use the skills we’ve been given. It would be a shame if you didn’t continue to blog... I’m sure your blog has helped others (including me) to think “I admire that quality in her... how can I be like that in my own life?”. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

abby said...

I understand what you're saying and here are my thoughts:
1. What you have between all the blogs you regularly read and the bloggers you're "close" to is a community. Only your community is made up of people all over the country that you would likely never meet under normal circumstances. And it seems to me that many of those people you've "met" are also Christians. How cool is it that this can even happen? You're able to share thoughts with people who may (or may not) share a similar set of values who are able to offer support or perspective when needed.

2. I, too, have been wondering lately why I blog and I'm not sure what to make of my conclusions. I originally thought it would be like a journal but, if I'm honest with myself, it really isn't. At times it can feel like a pride or an attention thing, but lots of times it really is more about validation. It is nice to have other people confirm that they have the same feelings or experiences and you are not crazy. And because of this I've noticed that I am more positive and less tormented by my thoughts. It's nice to write about things that I would rather not go right to Mike with and get feedback from others who understand. Is it ok that I feel I need this validation and that I look to the internet rather than my husband or "real" friends? I don't know...

I'm intrigued by your point about our use of technology stemming from our childhood relationships (or lack thereof)! I think that's definitely a valid argument. I think I'm more inclined to believe that our generation/society's use of technology is just different. It's not better or worse than generations past, it's just the next stage of progression.

Mrs. Realife said...

Hey -- New to your blog and it was an interesting first read... The way I feel about blogging is if there is one person touched or inspired by what I've faced, gone through, my lessons learned or however you want to put it, than purposed served -- It's an outlet -- Thanks for sharing your heart --

Teresa said...

I guess I view blogging as more of sharing and not about vanity. I share a lot of myself and things that are going on with me. I feel like my posts on cooking, seeking sustainability, and in how I live my life might be of some use to someone else. And even if it doesn't serve as some kind of use to someone else, it is still giving that person something, perhaps a little entertainment or a smile.
I suspect that the 96 readers you have are getting something positive out of your blog. If they didn't, why would they keeping reading?

Freckles Chick said...

I read your blog b/c, unlike a lot of bloggers out there who shall remain nameless, you don't just post about the perfectness of your life. We see the good days and the bad days. You post from the heart.

I often pause before I hit the 'POST NOW' button.....is what I'm about to send out there too 'look at me'? Am I just an attention whore? That's why I try to inject humor and just plain make fun of myself in a lot of my posts.

And it's always nice to escape and peek into someone else's life for a bit, so I hope I provide the same opportunity for my readers =)

Sarah said...

This is my first time posting something. I added you on my google reader awhile ago, but always felt weird posting, but decided I should come out. I just wanted to say I truly enjoy reading your blog. Along with the other posters especially what Abby wrote about a community. I think you do a wonderful job and I don't think of vanity or pride.

All Things Today said...

Leah – your blog is actually what inspired me to restart my blog again. Why? I was reading your posts and thinking “wow…this girl has a lot of the same stuff going on in her life as I do”. I saw the on-line community you surrounded yourself with and was in awe. I think it’s an amazing thing to have the ability to touch so many people through your writing.

Kathy said...

I think it's good that you are evaluating why you blog. I went through a similar thing a couple months ago--I was spending a lot of time on the Nest message boards and creating a bio of our house. But after months of pondering and not having it sit right, I decided I couldn't do them in faith so I stopped.

Blogging for me, however, is more for me than for my readers. I started my blog as a journal and means of writing. I didn't tell anyone I had the blog except my family and husband but still, random people have found it (like you!). I don't have a ton of regular readers but I'm ok with that. Like the other people who commented here, I hope that maybe my experiences and trials can encourage, uplift, or resonate with someone else.

I love your blog--even though I don't know you IRL, I still enjoy hearing about it.


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