So I started this blog thing last week. there are some pictures of my dog, I posted some papers I wrote at uni, posted some links to cool stuff and had a “little” rant about big data and privacy concerns. Now what?
I am new to this. I had friends that, in the 90’s were highly active on a platform called ‘Live Journal’; many times did they encourage me to join and take part in the Blogosphere. I didn’t. I had no judgement of their choice of expression. I just honestly have always felt “well who would want to listen to me anyway?”.
I never did answer that question, and indeed it is still prominent in my mind as I type. I mean, does anyone really care to take the time to read what I have to say? To digest the words that I may type, to care to hear what I think about how we currently interact and relate as a society; especially in light of all the really important and significant things that are going on in the world right now, such as wars in the middle east, privacy concerns, poverty and injustice; and would my total disinterest in pictures of cats be perceived as apathy to the plight of cat owners around the world thereby rendering me “unlikeable” in the social media world.
I have finally taken the plunge…still very uncertain about this whole genre of communication. What is the point? Will this effect any real change in the world? Taking the plunge into this form of media and communication makes me pause and take considered thought on several different planes.
Firstly, I know that everything I write will be out there, forever, permanently imprinted onto the digital landscape. You think writing the first words in your shiny new notebook for the start of the school year is scary; when you write on the world wide web, it is there permanently. You must ALWAYS be cogniscent of the fact that it can never be retracted. No pressure!
And then there are the societal implications of your action of expressing your thoughts; a) will you make money from your blog, will people really want to know what shampoo you use?; b) will it enhance your chances of getting a good job; c) will it hinder your chances of getting a good job; d) will you be truthful to yourself or will you succumb to peer pressure to be ‘cool’ – whatever that is; e) will you be different, unique, innovative; f) will it be a complete waste of time, will you just be talking to yourself?
All of these are valid questions. For me, right now, my answer stands at this – well I’m just going to try it out, see if my voice makes a difference and above all express my individuality in just another form. I will look at this as just another way to live in the moment, embrace the current trend and explore, first hand, another aspect of human expression.
I see a major shift in the way that people expressed themselves on the internet in the 1990’s and how they image craft themselves now. For the most part it is a good difference. People are more aware now of the extremely high level of exposure that their musings may attract. I feel that those people that are under the age of say 20 years old have developed a keener awareness of this already. In the 1990’s people posted incredibly personal stuff about themselves, often under pseudonyms, exploring the ability to be someone other than who they were. You might like to think that was a liberating moment for the human species, however, much of what was being written in the chat rooms of those times was an exploration of self in a highly narcissistic and base form. Today I am seeing the emergence of a more digitally and infomatically aware generation.
Two decades on from the days of MUDS, forums and chatrooms, we live in a vastly different digital landscape. For the most part, people are becoming more responsible in what they write, they take more ownership of their writings. Hence, we often see a stronger propensity to more morally enabled writings. Now, a quick look at the inane comments on a social platform such as Youtube may make you think otherwise. I agree with you there. Many of the “comments” sections on social platforms are beyond me in scope of dire lack of intelligence, absence of coherence of meaning and basic moral eptitude. That is not to say that we should throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The way has been paved. The means enabled. The platform for free voice established. As a user generated and constructed digital landscape we have the power to affect the terra-forming and shape of our digital world. We must exercise this power, lest it be wrested from us by a self enabled hegemonic paradigm. In short I am saying YOUR INDIVIDUAL VOICE, YOUR UNIQUE EXPRESSION OF DIGITAL VOLITION IS SHAPING OUR WORLD, RIGHT NOW. This is happening with every click you make so for the sake of society and our future…make very click count!
I recently received my fourth “follower” to this blog. A lovely young lady in her teenage years who is highly committed to her sport, she exhibits many of the attributes of a grounded and ethically maturing young adult in her approach to life. That following has given me more direction in my blog. I have spent many years of my life working with, training and coaching people in their adolescent and young adult phases of their life. I greatly enjoy the company of people in this age range as this is where I see the greatest potential for change and development of our society; excitement of life and an openness of mind and the ability to (not to say that it is always exercised) empathize with those around them and subsequently incorporate their observations into their world view. Their world view, their developing perceptions of society are forerunners to what our future society will be. It is imperative that they receive the best possible guidance in their approach to expressing their ideas on the WWW. They should be encouraged to use this new media to express themselves yet at the same time made aware that not only will everything they ever write on the internet be there forever – I think they know that- but that this is a format in which they can not only express their opinions and discuss topics of the day but also use this new platform to develop an even greater consciousness of the human state.
This in turn has made me think even more about what I post. I have lived more years, seen more things, tried out more ways of doing things, succeeded more times and failed more times than most people I know. I am a risk taker. I have lived life to an extraordinary degree. Sometimes that has brought me amazing experiences and sometimes much pain. My path is not one that I would advocate to anyone faint of heart, it has thus far been a complete roller coaster of life. What I can tell you is that I HAVE LIVED. People ask “have you lived without regret?”, well of course not. Hindsight is 20/20. But without taking risks and just really going for it I would never, in your wildest dreams, have achieved half of what I did. My life played out in accordance with my choices. There was some good luck and some bad luck. And from the wisdom gained I hope to incorporate some ideas, approaches and methodologies in my writings in this blog. I am one human in a vast sea of humans. My best hope is that some of my words can assist some people in the choices they need to make.
Shoot for the moon always. Because if you miss (which is most often the case) you will land amongst the stars. Sometimes disconnected and stunned, reeling from all you just went through. But you know what…if you do it all with the best possible intent, with care for those around you, and more importantly care for yourself, then just maybe, if you are determined, and you can weather the cuts and bruises, just maybe, you can skid into that gravestone sideways, sliding in the mud of life, yelling WHAT A FRICKIN RIDE WAAAHOOOOO!
So write about that!
Write about your human experience. Write it with truth and consciousness and I will for sure follow you. For those of us that are “awake” and even more so those of us that can articulate our state of “awakeness” are the most important and interesting people to me on the planet.
Be CONSCIOUS, be awake, be aware, be self reflective. So I guess that is the recipe I will follow for myself. Please pull me up if you see me failing in these areas; simple as it sounds I know it is not always easy. I love constructive, thoughtful and eloquent criticism. That is how we can learn and grow. Discourse, interaction, reflection, communication and the main skill I see lacking in the world today…listening, these are the things that will propel you to greatness.
I don’t know the purpose of this blog just yet…maybe I never will…but Miss HM (skier extraordinaire) has given me the impetus to make it as great as I possibly can!
Viva La Liberte!
Write while you can. Write as much as you can. Know that your voice will be seen. And even if it is only seen by a few then that WILL change the world!