On blogging and loneliness


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

Let's Keep Talking

Subscribe to my newsletter, Parent of Adults, for essays and conversation + occasional writerly news. Free to read.


  • What a joy to see you write every day! I love it. I love reading blogs. Thanks for reminding.

    That person you used to only know online and now lives in your neighborhood.

  • Hi Asha! I hear you. I think the difference is that with blog posts, people were being honest and vulnerable. Social media is often the opposite – composed and outwardly perfect. Plus, social media is so brief, it can make for easy misunderstandings and miscommunications. I think social media can be a great way to connect, but often isn’t a great way to develop those connections. I’ve been cleaning out old blog posts, and have been so wistfully reminded of the conversations that used to happen in the comments 😀 Really enjoying your daily posts this month!

  • What a joy to see you, PERIOD. (Thank you. And thank you for this beautiful blog.)

  • Thank you, Cathy! Your observation about the honesty vs. perfect image contrast between blogs and social media is so interesting.

  • I also started blogging in 2004 and it was a different world back then… especially when it comes to blogging. So much of the conversation has moved to other platforms (IG stories anyone?), but I just can’t quit the blog.

Comments are closed.