I started blogging before “influencer” was a job description, before social media, before most people knew what a blog was.
In 2004, the idea of sharing the personal details of your life on the Internet was…weird. Getting to know people through their blogs? Even weirder. But that’s what happened, and it was magic.
Today, sharing your life on the Internet is so common people think you’re weird if you don’t do it.
And yet somehow going “back” to blogging feels revolutionary.
Okay, maybe revolutionary is a bit much. I mean, it’s not like I’m changing the world by writing about a neat trick for cooking dal and rice in the same pot.
Or am I? Or are we?
In 2004, I was the struggling parent of two young kids. I didn’t see my struggle reflected in the stories of my friends, or the parenting books or magazines. My own parents were sympathetic and supportive, but they didn’t know how to advise me. My husband was loving and did his best to empathize, but couldn’t fully understand.
I was profoundly lonely. Who saved me? The people who read and wrote blogs.
People whom I’d never met, from all over the US (and a few outside the US), took the time to read my blog and leave comments. They told stories about their own lives, shared bits of advice, offered validation. As I left comments on other peoples’ blogs, the same thing happened. We helped each other through our loneliness and started conversations that, in some cases, lasted for years. And to this day most of us never met in person.
Isn’t that wild? When you consider that, today, people communicate with social media friends all the time — many of whom they know offline as well — and yet loneliness is an epidemic?
I’m convinced that there’s something special about blogging, and the conversations and connections it inspires. One blog post probably won’t change the world. But many blog posts, from different people, over time, just might.
Photo by Trent Erwin