I often wonder about the motivations behind all that social networking… Why do we, and more precisely why do I, blog, tweet, or post updates or photos on Facebook?

I created my first blog in 2005 but it was more of a personal diary. A keyboard was just easier and faster to use than a pen and that account was private so it was truly for my eyes only. Then I created my first microblogging account sometimes around 2007. It was also very personal and the updates were more for me… I sometimes read them over and it is some time kind of very mini journal. Very few people have access to that account and it sometimes feels like it is still too many but I use it for me and I try to make abstraction of who’s reading it because my intention is rarely to communicate with anyone. Still, I like reading my friends’ updates too so it is a way to keep in touch with friends who live far far away…

Then came Facebook… I have always been very ambivalent about FB. I wonder if people actually think that it is a way to socialize with others… As far as I am concerned, it is not… Virtual relationships will never replace live ones and I believe that a well-rounded human being needs to have live interactions with friends and relatives on a regular basis in order to be a balanced individual. Still, given that most of my friends live in other cities, countries, and mostly other continents, I love visiting FB regularly as knowing what is happening in their lives makes me feel that I stay close to them and that I am still part of their daily lives. Over this past month, three of my very closest friends posted updates and pictures about major events in their lives and it was wonderful to get a sneak peak of the wedding as it was happening, to see a picture of the newborn baby at only a couple of days old, or find out the sex of the next bundle of joy. At the same time, it is most definitely not my only way to stay in touch with my friends. It only facilitates the relationships that I keep alive through emails, phone calls, and video chats…

However, this still leaves me wondering why I blog… I don’t necessarily like talking about myself and the truth is that I keep most of my personal stories to myself… I will very rarely share about the more personal details of my life or my daily struggles because I do not believe that this is the proper venue for it… All of my closest friends know most everything that is going on in my life and I do not feel the need to share intimate information online. I believe that the people who truly care about me know to call, email, or reach out outside of those venues. I am not saying that online relationships are meaningless but mostly that they cannot be assimilated to a relationship the way I understand it.

So I keep asking myself the same question: why blog? I am not pleased thinking that some people from my past might go to my blog to read about my life. It feels a bit like harassment. And I don’t like thinking that getting news about my life online might prevent others from reaching out and truly connect with me. And then there are the people that I wish would read it but do not… Still, the bottom line might be that I love to write. And if nobody read it, I would still write the way I have been writing in a diary since the age of 15… It is not only a way to share a bit of my life with the people that I love and care about, and sometimes with strangers too, but also an exercise that brings me happiness and fulfillment. It took years before I felt comfortable enough to post publicly but now, I actually do need to write as it is one of the things that keep me content and sane, just like running or having time to myself.

Over the summer, I needed to go back in my shell for a bit so I closed the blog. I sometimes think about making it private so that I would know exactly who is reading it. But the point is that I do not really write for the readers but simply for myself so I look at it as me putting a little something out there and then letting it go. I love reading other people’s blog as I feel that learning about others’ experiences, circumstances, and perspectives helps me be more open-minded, tolerant, and compassionate. So I hope you enjoy…

Please feel free to wave every now and then… :)

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