The Psychology of Blogging

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Like many of you, I enjoy reading blogs that pique my interest.  I also read them to gain insight, whether expected or unexpected, and to gather information on a specific topic. It is always a delight to discover a really good blog site and an articulate writer with a unique perspective.

So, we know why we read blogs. The question is, why do we write blogs?

Why do we blog?

Do we do it…

… as a form of cathartic self-expression (cyber-catharsis)?

… because we are narcissists (varying from mild to extreme)?

… just simply to write down our musings, because we believe we have something interesting to say, to share, or to teach?

… as an outlet for self-promotion?

… as a writing exercise, to tone and hone our writing skills?

Perhaps it is a combination of some or all of the above.  To understand the reasons, we’ll need to delve into the psyche of a blogger.  

Cathartic Self-expression (Cyber-catharsis)

Psychologists and psychiatrists often recommend journal writing as a tool to help release stress, work through issues, and as a means of self discovery.  Blogging takes journal writing to a completely new dimension. Not only does it provide cathartic therapy for those who need it, it also opens the door to a worldwide web of  support – a cyber support group whereby people can connect, share and commiserate with others who are experiencing (or who have experienced) similar challenges. Advice is given and received.  Stories are shared. And, in many cases, friendships are made. 

Narcissism

If we’re being truly honest with ourselves, we are all narcissistic to some degree. For most of us…. just a wee bit.  It only really becomes a problem, however, when we get so self-absorbed that our sense of what is real and rational becomes clouded. That is when it’s time to seek help. It’s one thing to write about “me, myself, and I” if there’s a valid purpose, an opinion to express, or a valuable lesson to impart.  But it is quite another to blog for no other reason than to feed the ego.

Musings

We all have something to learn and something to teach. Writing about our thoughts and experiences – on such a vast platform – gives us a forum to exchange ideas, to offer and receive a different perspective. 

An Outlet for Self-promotion

There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-promotion. We all need to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. But, again, it’s all a matter of degree.  If it’s done properly and gracefully, it will not repel people. If it’s crass, full of redundant sales pitches and slogans (like an “As Seen on TV” commercial)… people will find it offensive and be turned off.  

A Writing Exercise, to Tone and Hone Writing Skills

Blogging is an excellent way to finetune that writing muscle. The more often we write, the better we get.  When we blog, we get an opportunity to connect instantaneously  with our readership which, in turn, helps us to understand what engages the reader. And, finally, blogging regularly helps us to avoid and/or battle that soul-destroying disorder that we all dread:  writer’s block.

What I personally find most gratifying about blogging (and this one was not the list) is the access I now have to people from across the globe. The thrill of being able to interact with men and women from all walks of  life, from different cultures, young and old and everyone in-between ― in real time. What an amazing opportunity!  To travel seamlessly through cyberspace, via the written word, has effectively bridged all physical distance. And, with just the click of a button, this gargantuan world we live in… has suddenly become a whole lot smaller.

 

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Bookworms of the World, Unite!

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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

― Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

Books, glorious books!  They are scattered around my house and I carry one in my bag, wherever I go.  When I’m not reading a book, I’m writing one.

Today, the day that both Miguel de Cervantes  and William Shakespeare died (two of several literary giants who died on April 23rd, 1616), is World Book and Copyright Day — created by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to pay worldwide tribute to books and to the authors who write them.

Introducing the world of books to someone — a child, or even an adult — is like opening a locked door, behind which lies the path to knowledge and empowerment.

“I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me.  I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life.  As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”    

Malcolm X

Today, in this second decade of the new Millennium, our busy lives often preclude us from taking time out to read a book.  Make the time… please.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of  reading.  It exercises the mind, stretches the imagination, opens up new worlds and is far more enthralling and entertaining than a television sitcom (in my opinion). 

If you can’t spare the time, carry a book in your bag – just in case. Rather than complain about the long wait time in the dentist’s office or at the airport, just open up a book and read.  Before you know it, the plane will be boarding or the dental hygienist will be beckoning you to come on in.

As for me, I concur with the late President Thomas Jefferson, who said (simply and succinctly):

“I cannot live without books.”

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