Why We Blog

July 29, 2012

in random

He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.   George Orwell, 1984

 

Every once in a while, I have to pause and ask myself, “Why bother doing this? Why blog?” IF I am honest when I say, “I don’t really care if anybody reads these words,” why is keeping a journal not enough for me?

For starters, I have never succeeded in keeping a journal. I must have accumulated dozens of journals with scribbles only on the first few pages: my handwriting progressively became sloppier, and the word counts less, until … blank. Blank. Blank.

So am I really that narcissistic, as I like to accuse myself of – getting it out of the way before anybody else points this out.

This recurring self-reflexive questioning was put to an end when I came across this Time article, “Like to Brag on Facebook or Twitter? That’s Because Self-Disclosure Is like Eating and Sex, Says Study“. The title itself is self-explanatory.

Intriguingly, the researchers noted a distinction between types of self-disclosure: introspection, or privately thinking about oneself, compared with having the opportunity to share those thoughts with another human being. Again, as expected, while introspection was itself sufficient to light up brain regions associated with reward, the effects were “magnified” when participants believed their thoughts would be communicated to someone else.

 

In this other article, “Why We Talk About Ourselves: The Brain Likes It“, it was spelled out even more explicitly. Here is the paragraph that I have committed to memory as rebuttal against my imaginary accusers:

We love talking about ourselves, we really do — that’s what a group of Harvard neuroscientists found while testing the theory that we’re big on self-disclosure, anyway. In fact, say the scientists, we love self-disclosure so much because it tickles our core value centers in much the same way as “primary rewards” like food and sex.

The researchers noted that people particularly enjoyed self-disclosure if they knew other people were listening. When people were given a choice to share their responses with others or to keep them private, they gave up 25% of their potential earnings in order to broadcast the personal info. “[The] effects were magnified by knowledge that one’s thoughts would be communicated to another person, suggesting that individuals find opportunities to disclose their own thoughts to others to be especially rewarding,” says the study.

 

There you have it.

It is in our psychological make-up, part of the evolutionary outcome. How can you fight that?  In fact, more people should be doing this –

Blogging. It is good for the soul.

And since it is 100% fat free and at no risk of contracting STD, it is good for the body too.

{ 17 comments }

Unknown Mami August 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

Well, I’m getting a lot more blogging that sex at the moment.
Unknown Mami´s last blog post…Either Google is Very Progressive or I’m a Dork

vanilla north August 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

so do l ;(
vanilla north´s last blog post…Summer dictionary

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

LOL. Same here. 😉

vanilla north August 2, 2012 at 3:05 am

l feel like l am in dry spot now… mostly because what l would like to write would come as an insult or criticism of just plain wrong towards people l love but piss me of now and then,…
Being pissy is better to write – that is the “down” side of being happy…
What an idiot l am…
vanilla north´s last blog post…Summer dictionary

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

LOL. I know what you mean! But remember that piece you wrote about being in the ocean (which I adore)? That one could have come from both happy and sad times, right?

Merrilymarylee July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Not to mention that you meet some very nice bloggers. It’s kind of like a matchmaking thing except that you don’t have to fill out a questionnaire.
Merrilymarylee´s last blog post…oKay!

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

LOL. Tru dat! No need to fill out a questionnaire because most bloggers have written you their life stories before you even meet each other. Really. How much more detail do you need after this, right? 😉

Kristi July 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Great work! I certainly can’t fight the urge to write, share, post and in turn, give a piece of me out to the universe.

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Love what you said “give a piece of me out to the universe”.

Great way of thinking of this need to overshare. Love it.

Alexandra July 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

“Tree of souls in Avatar.”

You are so beautiful.

xo
Alexandra´s last blog post…We’re Just Visiting

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

xo

🙂

Vinny C July 30, 2012 at 4:16 am

I recently concluded that blogging keeps me sane. Glad more qualified people than I are now backing my theory. I feel even less crazy now.

Well… a little less anyway.
Vinny C´s last blog post…A Funny Thing Happened In The Shoe Store One Day…

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Welcome to the Crazy Club. 🙂

Kate July 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Brilliant ending!! Man, you’re a good writer. I’m so jealous!!

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

You are too kind! *blushing*

Jill July 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Honestly, I blog because it keeps me honest (pretty much), and lately it’s helping me to make changes that need to be made in my life. But that 100% fat free-ness and no chance of STDs is just the cherry that I needed 🙂
Jill´s last blog post…The Chicken Dance

Absence Alternatives August 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Sometimes I too use blogging as pep talks for myself. 🙂

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