Well, I have stumbled upon this thought for quite sometime now, so its time I express my dilemma. Some time earlier, I ventured to a post at some random blog, the post titled “Lonely Blogger”. Of the many posts with similar impressions, some were delusional, others stressed of work and many as I figured had a temporary blip. Even though many were not serious, I could not help myself but ask “whether bloggers are lonely people”, further questioning as to “why do I blog?”.
There is a beautiful quote by Paul Tillich, a German Philosopher – “Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone“.
The thought provoking idea is a stale argument to the otherwise siblings (speaking as by dictionary) lonely, alone and solitary. It highlights the two phases of a coin, loneliness or solitude, or otherwise loneliness and aloneness, since solitude and aloneness are more like similar. It has also rebuked a fired debate concerning the mental outlook of a blogger, with the boom that has been blogging amidst internet age. I guess every blogger is familiar with Blogosphere: the new political arena by Michael Keren, in which the author claims how bloggers are isolated, lonely and withdrawn choosing to form virtual relationships instead of real thing. Further, postulating that he finds politics of melancholy on internet, where the blogging community demonstrates fetishism of ideas devoid of political responsibility and social obligations. The latter argument does bother me a little but the former thought of loneliness annoys me. I do consider alone and lonely two different words and hence, do not use them interchangeably in a sentence. As I understand, bloggers are alone for the time they write blog, since only a patron of solitude can assimilate original (one’s own, not re-blogged) thoughts on any concern.
Another quote by Ronald Anthony – “When we truly realize that we are all alone is when we need others the most”, best explains the difference between lonely and alone.
This side of story is bit significant. Many of us feel that we are not lonely, even the alone people find themselves living a happy life, they do not feel the need to mingle with people, not because they have poor social skills but because they are content with their social network, to them quality is more important than quantity. The fact is that realization plays an important role in building our perception. I would not feel it, if I do not know it. I did feel the absence of my mother when I went to college away from home, never before. Here, realization is not only absence of recognition of what we are missing but also actualization i.e., knowing it exists but not wanting it. A book “Psychology Applied to Modern Life” discusses loneliness in detail and ascertains that it has been misunderstood for aloneness. The author has also regarded internet as a viable remedy to counter loneliness but has both positive and negative repercussions. For instance, posting an opinion online and getting appreciated combats shyness possibly because of fear of fallacy, however online addiction restrains social exposure. The fact that we all love to chat, gossip and express our views, and convey it to maximum people is the reason to the growth of blogging over the internet, it is not aloneness, or loneliness, it is the easiness to reach the world.
A quote by Pearl Buck – “Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where I renew my springs that never dry up” reminds me that solitude is important, its nothing to be ashamed of, it is just another word for ‘privacy’. I am in total agreement, as much as I might wanna be with someone, talk to someone, I deeply love my privacy, to rejoice in those glaring moments of solitude, to talk to myself. It cannot be misunderstood for loneliness as I enjoy that moment, I rediscover myself, it is very important that I do it for the sake of my development.
The fact that bloggers have been attributed as being lonely, is because of certain pattern that many posts follow around the widespread community. Robert S. Weiss had developed two typologies of loneliness, emotional and social. The “emotional loneliness” has been described as “separation distress” which one is bound to find as you surf the web, people talking about relationships, their break-up, may be death of someone close etc. The “social loneliness” is a result of smaller social network than what one would have liked. People have been found to post the most personal, and their inner most feelings on the web which they would not talk about in person. Such a behavior does question social involvement of a blogger, whether they are alone, have no one else to speak to, or may be they are feeling rejected, looking for quality audience who would appreciate and adore their sentiments. May be some start that way, but the similar fate is not shared by whole blogging community. At some level, everyone of us knows that emptiness if we feel any is difficult to get rid of online. For instance, Will Online Chat Help Alleviate Mood Loneliness?, an article in CyberPsychology & Behavior claimed that individuals did not find any relief from loneliness by chatting online with strangers and a face to face conversation was much more helpful. Several bloggers have condemned the ideology of loneliness and see it as an attack on their passion for writing, sharing feelings and advancing their respective causes world over. It would be hard to find a blog with all posts on emotional and social traits of loneliness, since there are very few, it can be established that bloggers do much more than that, they share feelings, their personal and work experience, opinions, knowledge and much more. They do so by having good communication skills in writing, and are exceptional at spreading the word, for a concern well thought and said has the maximum chance of getting ahead and hence acknowledged. The internet age has provided everyone with a power to express their views and since it is easier to do so online, it has been catching fast. One can agree that the heated debate that takes place in the comments section is an overview of our critical thinking which ascertains that we are not mere onlookers, we see what’s the story, inside and out. Also, blogging community presents the views of the people, the issues of technology, politics and likability to any can be predicted, the heritage of internet as we share.
“Mind needs books like a sword needs a wet-stone, that’s why I read so much”, a thought from “Game of Thrones”. Similarly, better blogging needs reading more blogs, I do that I hope I get better.
So, I do not believe that bloggers are lonely people, many be some are but most are not, sharing your opinion is not a sign of loneliness, it does not reflect on how social you are for real. I myself started to blog to gain on experience of writing, to write fast and better. When you surf around, you see that people have lot to talk about, they have an opinion, they are abreast with latest global trends, and there is so much I did not know about. You see how they write, how they understand things, how their words speak more, how you did not think about it thoroughly and there’s more to it. The fact that their exemplary work does not push me down, but forces me to improve myself, cultivate critical thinking, counter my downsides, and provides me with enough material to live my solitude. I am not lonely, even the most personal things I post, I have already talked about them to my nearest friends, family members, I am looking to expand my social circle but not because I am in disagreement with my present wing but because its always fun to have more people into your life, people who might like you, people who might criticize you, people who you will never see, but people who might make your day, might teach you a thing or two, that too for free. Who does not want that, that is precious, you know what, I will take it, it does just fine with my wonderful life.