Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Blogosphere: The Great Equalizer

Out in the "real" world, socialization pretty much runs along age-related lines. Walk into a shul and you will see the young men congregating separately, and the older men doing the same thing. Go to a wedding and who do you see at your table? Usually only those who are in your general age group. It's the same in most social cases.

About the only exception is at family gatherings held in the home. Multiple generations gather together and there is indeed some exchange between the various age groups. But usually such conversations center around what everyone is doing rather than around what everyone is thinking.

Not so in the blogosphere. Members of different generations frequently cross polinate their ideas and their thoughts. They talk, they argue, they laugh together, they protest together, they rage in indignation together. Sometimes they ask each other the hard questions--Why do you do what you do? Why did you do what you did? And like any other "family," they sometimes complain about each other.

In the "real" world we are so often pressed for time. We lead amazingly busy lives. We're happy if we just get to spend some time with the friends our own age. There doesn't seem to be the time nor the place for all the generations to mix together, to hear each other's unique viewpoints. And to tell the truth, sometimes we really don't want to talk to anyone that is "not one of us." That is a true shame.

Yes, the blog world makes up for that deficit in some ways, in many ways. Here no one worries about what sex you are, about your looks, about age. What matters is what you think and what you say. It's a shame that more of this characteristic of blogging doesn't carry over into the "real" world. Here the outside doesn't matter as much as the inside does. Wouldn't it be nice if that were the case in our "real" lives too?

12 comments:

Bas~Melech said...

This is why I blog. Real life is too shallow. I often wonder how we can bring some of this atmosphere into the rest of the world.

SuperRaizy said...

Well said. This is why I enjoy reading blogs.

Leora said...

On the other hand, blogging has its limits, too. I find friends that express themselves verbally tend not to be terribly interested in reading or writing blogs. People that like to blog usually are 1) comfortable with reading 2) comfortable with writing and 3) comfortable with computers.

leahle said...

Leora, it isn't an either/or choice. Plenty of people who love to talk also like to blog and the opposite too. Being comfortable with a computer could be a reason

Dovi said...

It helps too that no one really knows who you are. You can say things on a blog but saying those things to someone directly could cause problems with your friends.

Leora said...

leahle,

My guess is you are probably younger than me. Few older people (older than 45, say) feel comfortable with blogging. Hurray for the exceptions.

- Leora

anonymously said...

Leora,
I'm over 45 and have no trouble with using a computer. Most people my age and even older who work in mainstream businesses have to use computers. The problem may be more the idea of talking to strangers. Older people are sometimes more reserved in social situations and blogging is not a reserved activity.

The Babysitter said...

great post, that's really true about the inner side of someone coming out through blogging.

My grandmother is old enough and yet she knows how to use a computer, and I even saw her post a comment on onlysimchas and it made me laugh.

But yea, I think younger people are more relaxed about privacy issues on the internet. I mean I saw blogs mothers put up with pictures of all their children and every detail of their life, thats open to the public. I don't think the older generation of mothers would do that.

G said...

Very true...with one significant but...everything online has the distinct possibility of being totally made up.

Now, that can also be true in real life but it significantly harder to accomplish.

Leora said...

And I have friends who make their living using computers but have no interest in blogging. Could be they just want to spend free time with family and not on the computer. Could be they are not oriented toward writing, but they are good at other computer skills. Point is, blogging is not for everyone. So we get a limited audience.

Chaya said...

I don't think we can say that we get a limited audience because there is no way really to know how many people go to blogs and read them. Even with counters on a site you don't know if the people coming here are the same people on a different blog. Most people don't leave comments. Most people don't have their own blogs. But the numbers on all the frum blogs show that a whole lot of people are coming and looking.

Sam said...

Blogging doesn't have to be for everyone just like golf doesn't have to be or any other activity.