Once upon a time, the world was unimaginably vast. And it invited many explorers to brave its oceans in search of unknown lands. Today, the world has shrunken into a global village held taut by satellites and fiber optic cables. The only Explorer we know now is an internet browser (not necessarily the best of its kind, I might add) with which we navigate the world’s seas of information and ideas. Our time’s great voyagers go by a new name: internet surfers. And a distinct class of which are the bloggers.
In the comforts of our little corners, we bloggers turn on the computer, log on to the net, and the world is practically in our fingertips. Like children on Christmas day, we excitedly recount and read about seemingly trivial and mundane details of ordinary people’s lives. We get a thrill out of interacting with personalities, oftentimes veiled in screen names and online personas, most of whom we will never even meet face to face.
Blogs are as varied in subject, style, and substance as the diverse bloggers that author them. But where we might expect to find dissonance or discord—owing to a world of differences, the most apparent of which are geography and culture—we are delighted to stumble upon connection, a fresh discovery of our commonality as humans.
It appears that the more we share of ourselves and discover about others in these online journals, the more we feel under our feet the common ground on which we all stand—notwithstanding differences in location, culture, ideologies, beliefs, or even blog service providers. Our idiosyncrasies, we realize, have after all a generic value; we are surprised (sometimes even relieved) that a peculiar trait, a strange afterthought, a wild idea that we blog about oftentimes resonate with other people, somewhere in the vast blogosphere.
As modern-day creatures we have come to obsess over independence and privacy almost to a point of hermitry. And yet we must admit: we cannot truly thrive without connection. Away from any form of community, we inevitably lose parts of our humanity. So perhaps, just perhaps, blogging provides a workable compromise: we retain our privacy (which, for many, means anonymity), while still being able to engage in some form of human interaction.
Now, whether or not this techonologically-aided connection becomes meaningful and healthy depends on us as we swoosh the mouse and tap on the keyboard.