With all the stuff that has been happening in the Filipino blogosphere, I’ve had some time to ruminate – in a cow-like fashion, and yes, I have four stomachs – about what this all means. Implications, perhaps. Explications, maybe. Or that maybe I could f**k things up while my mind is not under the influence of alcohol.
At the risk of sounding that I’m actually under the influence of alcohol..
My clarion call is nothing so complicated or nationalistic: blogging is fun, and should stay that way. I’m not saying that we should forget issues and just blog about how our days went, but when you take the fun out of blogging, it becomes such a chore. Then again, defending “fun” just won’t cut it for the birth pangs experienced by the Philippine blogosphere, which to some degree, threatens what amount of cred we all hold as bloggers.
Where I stand is so painfully obvious, so painfully tragic, so painfully moronic that I may end up insulting a collective intelligence because of it.
Hokay. Here goes. Forgive the very preachy argument, but I deem it necessary. Not that I follow it to the dot, but I’m posting this for my sake too: that I need to be reminded of these things every now and then.
Blogging is a personal medium, an intensely personal one. We are all protective of credibility, we are all protective of our blogs, we are all protective of who we are. Such is the nature of blogging: all too often, the lines between the “online” and the “offline” are blurred to the point that we put ourselves on the line. We become emotional, we become emphatic, and lots of us do something stupid or perhaps even indiscreet. I know this from experience.
I know this will sound preachy or cheesy, but respect can sometimes be lacking – perhaps even absent – in some areas in the blogosphere. Behind all these blogs and blog pseudonyms and brands are people like you and me: people who respond to psychological and emotional stimuli. People who get hurt.
In an intensely personal medium, people get an intensely personal message.
And intensely personal messages are things that people take personally.
Personally, I appreciate and gain insight from all this talk and discussion about the nature of the blogosphere, the differences between mainstream media and blogging, among so many other things. On evenings, I get amused/pissed/burninated/lollerskated at the comments I get to read now that I bloghop more often than I used to. Yet there’s a sad tendency – a tragedy – that we all too often jump the step of aiming at the target to see if it’s alive, if it feels something, or if what we have to say will hurt somebody. If what we have to say is an act of justice that harms no other beyond reason, and gives every person his or her due.
I don’t like thinking in terms of metaphor, but I imagine bloggers as tiny little grains of salt in the giant salt shaker known as the blogosphere, where we season and flavor issues with our different insights. A single grain of salt will not make a difference in the flavor of the issue, yet when the many different grains of salt start to come to that issue and bring out their own insights, the dish that is the issue sounds – and tastes – different. Not necessarily good, but different. Unique, more substantial. No one grain of salt holds the monopoly of knowledge of the entire thing.
Yet too much salt leads to the danger of groupthink; as such, we all need to think of things with a grain of salt. Yes, one blogger, or a few bloggers, can make a difference of issues, and that’s when we allow dissenting opinions to take place, to settle, and at times even threaten the stability and the strength of our own issues and arguments. Sometimes, we all need to be proven wrong, we need to chew on humble pie, we need to have our own rivals every now and then. A little more salt, a little less salt.
Most of all, we need to situate ourselves in the context of everything. The moment I step away from this computer, I become just a regular guy. I’m just another one of the boys. I have a blog. Big deal. I change some things, but the way the planet moves doesn’t change – and it will never change – just because I’m a lyrics-translating, alcohol-drinking, cigarette-smoking, politics-discussing loco who happens to believe in something better than all of this.
“So what?” will be a question that I will always ask myself whenever I blog. Purpose. Will I write for money? Will I write because I feel like it? Will I write to have fun? Will I write for a few people who do read me at night because they want to feel a little bit better? I don’t know. Yet in the end, the most important thing is that I get to change at least one mind out there as the grain of salt that I am.
Yes, I’m just telling you guys – and myself – something we all already know.