Somewhere in Nebraska there is a meandering two lane road. The road winds between hills formed from wind-blown sand and held together by wild grasses through the ages. The road rarely sees traffic; the occasional farm truck, big-rig, or lost tourist. Its broken shoulders are adorned with heartland rust. Between two sections of a fading yellow line that divides the road is a weathered aluminum can which has been crushed and re-crushed by countless truck tires. That can, between those two yellow lines, on that meandering rustic road, might be the only object on earth that doesn’t have its own blog.
When I was 8, I thought the future would have flying cars which could turn into a briefcase at the push of a button. Perhaps I might push a button in my kitchen and a steamed lobster would appear on demand. Another button still, might be pushed and my dog would be walked for me. Regardless of my need, in my future, button pushing would be important – the Jetsons told me so. More on that later.
“When followers choose to lead, leaders will be forced to follow.” Perhaps the greatest opportunity for the manifestation of this conviction exists in the sum of blogging and reciprocating commentaries. That’s what makes blogging and social networking so miraculous; that they not only give a voice to the human constituency, but they may just give it a chance. Voices can be shared with other voices, forming stronger voices still. Awareness spreads, ideas grow, possibilities increase, and change becomes more probable. Though this also applies to all opposing ideas, opinions, intentions, and declarations, in this age, many more are included in the discourse.
My Little World
I write what I guess would be called a fitness blog. Really it’s not. Fitness is the guise I use to share my own opinions, ideas, and intentions, including this one. I write about everything from faith, to business, to politics, government, and family values – all in the name of squats, broccoli, and a better resting heart-rate. Even if what I share affects few people, and influences fewer issues, I feel like I have more of a voice and a greater opportunity than ever to be included in the conversation. That voice spreads further as I participate in the conversations of others who’s blogs allow me the opportunity to respond.
Social Networking Critics
I’m not suggesting that all blogging and social networking carry some degree of merit. There is a great deal more crap out there than substance, and I am supremely guilty of feeding the crap machine. But even that, the sharing with dozens or hundreds of people at a time, which soup I had for lunch, or that I just picked my nose and it was ‘kinda gooey’, is a release for me – and apparently it is a release for tens of millions of others.
Many suggest this fodder is an enormous waste of time; perhaps it is. I am suggesting that most of us are just longing to speak, if not be heard. Social networking allows us the chance to speak, even if nobody is listening. That we may get a response is a cherry on top of the shout-out.
To those who suggest that information blogging isn’t real journalism; take a look around – it is the new journalism and the evolution continues. As the roots of this kind of information blogging continue to spread, to choke out, and to take market-share away from traditional journalism, I will suggest that the followers have chosen to lead, and the leaders have been forced to follow.
An Unfolding Reality
Our time is one of an unfolding blossom of increased intercommunication and an increased interdependency; individuals rising to what they feel might be a higher purpose with their voices and their finger tips. Where I once thought blogging and social networking were a bridge to not very much, it now appears to me, they just might be a bridge to anyone and to everywhere.
The future is here, and though button pushing does not turn my car into a breifcase, button pushing is central in this age. A majority of the button pushing that is done, by a majority of the people it seems, is done on keyboard keys just like these — and for good reason. Be well. rc