Thursday, June 30, 2011

Self Reflection: an Evaluation of why I choose to blog

While I have read my favorite blogs for the last 6 weeks, I have been absent and I haven't written anything new.  I am acutely aware that there are those who are upset by what I write and disagreement turns to easily offense in the social media arena. My blog has a disclaimer and an acknowledgement that what I write is for me and not for everyone.  I do write with that in mind, but I also write with the blog followers in mind.

I started blogging to process my frustration with living in Utah and being surrounded by the LDS religion and not really having an in-group or community to identify with.  Blogging allowed me to say things that I could not say "in polite company" or to voice an opinion and request feedback that was not encouraged in the circles in which I ran.

So, for nearly three years I have written about topics that interest me including religion, alternative medicine, politics, and my family.  I have pushed some buttons and lost some superficial Facebook friends over my writings.  I have asked myself if it is worth stirring up controversy.  I have many friends who are religious or into alternative medicine, or conservative politically who I would hate to intentionally offend.  At the same time, my thoughts on the topics listed are part of my personality.  They are what make up who I am.  Is expressing them really any different that posting my testimony or linking an article to alternative medicine or endorsing the latest Mormon Presidential candidate.  I have come to the conclusion that they are not.

During the last 6 weeks two notable events occurred related to my blogging.  The first was a Facebook message from someone whom I was remotely aware related to some of the things I post. They stated they appreciated what I write and what I post.  It gave them a sense of community in a community that they felt like they were pushed to the fringe and my postings let them know that they were okay.

The second was meeting and working with a young adult person who found me and the theatre company I help run through a posting I had made on a bulletin board.   I broadened my community and the young person theirs in an environment that was safe for idea exchange.  It was a meeting and an experience that might not have occurred if I wasn't active in social media.

I don't suggest that I, by myself, serve an incredibly important purpose in the world and that my little blog is a reflection of that important work.  As a blogger, I do however participate in a community that is bigger than my South Jordan neighborhood.  Blogging has given me more rewards than pain and as a result I will continue to blog about religion (because I think it is harmful to humans)... Alternative Medicine (because I think it is harmful to Humans) and any other topic that I find interesting... because the things that swim in my head are part of my humanity.