In the last post (Part 2 is here if you haven’t read it) I covered some of the ‘darker’ aspects of blogging. As promised, i’ll bring you all into the the light.
Sometimes we can be so fixated by what we do, what we want to achieve & generally how we go about our day to day lives that we can forget that the ‘outside world’ is not always in tune with our inside world.
What do I mean by this? The ‘inside world’ is you. The person in your head. Who thinks, makes choices, has thoughts & has views that have been formed over time based on personal experiences…the on going narrative in your brain. The ‘outside world’ is the reality. The truth.
Or to put it another way, life how you see it is a mirror reflecting your inner world. I see the world one way, you may see it entirely different, for better or for worse.
Some people have such a fixed focus on their own point of view.
So what does this have to do with blogging?
Blogging can open up the world to you. You may not be able to afford to travel to different places around the world, but you can interact with people from all different countries through blogging. For free.
I can write a blog & post it. It can be read by someone in India, Nigeria, France, Sweden, Canada etc. The person may agree with me. They may not. If they do not agree with my views, they might say why they don’t. They may challenge me. Say why i’m wrong. This, might make me reconsider my previous thoughts.
I can read blogs posted by all sorts of different people. From the rich, the poor, the enlightened, the oppressed, the dynamic, the sullen.
Being able to understand & appreciate other people’s perspective and consider situations you’ve never came across can help us learn & grow.
I didn’t intend to get quite so deep!!!
I started this blog at the end of August. From then to now, i’ve already had conversations online with various people.
Other bloggers have gone on to meet other bloggers in the flesh. Imagine that! I like that. We’re all people. We shouldn’t limit ourselves & remain hidden behind our screens.
When I was a Myspace blogger many moons ago, I had met some bloggers & commenters from there. For some that I didn’t meet in person, i’m still in contact with them now through social media.
One of them I met properly on my travels to America & even stayed at their house.
**DISCLAIMER – ALWAYS TELL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO MEET SOMEONE FROM ONLINE**
I saw her last year when she came to London. It had been the first time i’d seen her in person since then.
Another person I had met through my old blogs I had actually gone on to have a relationship with. A fiery Italian. It didn’t work out, but that’s another story.
I’m not saying that’s what everyone wants to do of course. Meet each other, I mean.
How do you open up your digital arms? How do you make new online friends without looking desperate?
Try the following:
– Avoid criticizing people. We’ve all done it. But try not doing so often that you actually put people off. It makes you look like a ‘Negative Nellie’. And try not to be one of those people who says something nice to a blogger, then immediately trash talks about them somewhere else online. Chances are you’ll be found out. And you’re guaranteed to look like a chump to everyone else. I’ve seen it happen.
– Praise others. Who doesn’t like a pat on the back? If you’ve read a blog post that you’ve really liked, leave them a comment saying so. It can really make that person’s day.
– Empathy. Be empathetic. If someone is pouring their heart out about a problem, acknowledge it if you can. I’ve read many blogs lately from people who are going through various levels of anxiety & depression. If you’ve suffered from a similar situation, tell your story. This may also help both you & the other person. And anyone else reading it in fact!
– Encourage people to respond. So you’ve wrote a lovely blog post & would like some feedback, or maybe some kind of response? Ask a question at the end of your post to your audience. People like to talk about themselves.
– Respect others. You’ll come across allsorts of different people from various backgrounds, religions & faiths. I don’t believe in self censorship, but I do believe there is no reason to be rude & disrespectful. Not everyone is going to like you & you’re not going to like everyone. Just move on.
– Don’t try winning an argument. If somehow you end up on a online argument, even if you manage to tear apart someone else’s argument, you won’t actually achieve anything.
If you’re looking to persuade somebody, arguing is not the way. Some people do not wish to be persuaded. I don’t think anyone has made friends by arguing.
Don’t combat aggression with aggression. You may be surprised what you can accomplish if you take the high road and maintain your composure while you continue trying to persuade them, expressing appreciation for their point of view. There is the possibility that the other person will embarrass themselves as you stay cool and collected.
So in conclusion…
Blogging can be whatever you want it to be & sometimes it can take you down paths that you never imagined would normally happen.
If you’re going to be anything in life, be open minded.