To the uninitiated, bloggers may seem like tiny vessels adrift in a vast, indifferent sea of strangers. Strangers, yes, but not indifferent or uncaring. Every one of us dreams of life as it could be or seeks answers to the problems we face daily.
We can reach out and instantly touch each other's lives in this high tech age. It is a measure of our need for companionship that we form strong bonds with people thousands of miles away but as close to us as family in our mutual needs and dreams.
With the magic of our publishing platforms, we post our ideas, our fears, our most heartfelt wishes where unsleeping search engines find them and make them available to our unknown friends and soulmates in this shrinking world community we live in.
This network, this protocol-bound agreement we call the internet, transforms all that partake of it. We can reach anyone, anywhere, if we ask the right questions or provide the right answers.
The basic building block of society is the group which is small enough that each member has a voice in it and is recognized for what they can contribute. When this exists, there is a sense of community and a common purpose and the group is supported by the actions of its members. Individuals form into small groups in order to interact effectively with the rest of society.
In this new age of the internet, these small groups are no longer tied to geographical boundaries. Our dearest friends, those who share our daily triumphs and struggles, may live on an island off the coast of Spain, or in an embattled land that is struggling to chart a course where people now have rights that never existed before.
We discover the commonality of our hopes and fears as we see our distant friends face the same travails and triumphs as we do. Their marriages fail or flourish as ours have done, their children make wise or terribly unwise decisions as ours have done, and we grieve and rejoice in turn as we see their lives unfold.
We indulge is lighthearted foolishness and share laughter and delight with people from a world away who are closer than our families in some cases. We rush to share our daily triumphs with friends around the planet. One of my dear internet friends related today that she couldn't go to sleep until she put her chicken on the internet. She would not end her day until she had shared pictures and descriptions of a fantastically successful recipe.
We search for meaning in life and find others who have insights that we need. We struggle to express ourselves and find those who encourage our tentative and fumbling efforts. We seek advice on making a living and we find many who are willing to share their hard-won experience.
We lash out at those we despise and find that we are sorely uninformed. We pass along some juicy gossip and find that we have our facts wrong. We learn from these encounters and eventually find a wiser way to proceed.
We begin to see that open communication is a civilizing process. It is increasingly hard to hate someone when you know what forces drive them to do desperate or unwise deeds. Your own thoughts go toward solutions rather than senseless attacks.
Those that don't respond to communication are stuck in a constant outflow of invective. We avoid them as we would avoid a vehicle with its horn blaring.
We discover others who share our delight in expressing ourselves. We discover others who can help us find meaningful work to support ourselves. After a while, we find we can help others in turn and this brings new meaning to our lives.
Work, play, life transformations of all kinds are facilitated by our connecting up with others. Blogging is not the only way, but is is one which is most conducive to long relationships.
In the future, blogs may be as common as cell phones. No telling where it will lead.