As with my thoughts on Podcasts as conversation, what I value most from the offerings of modern technology are those things that increase or strengthen our humanity. In that light, blogs can be seen to offer many things: to inform, to showcase a certain style or a set of concerns, to provide an outlet for personal creativity, or whatever else. From among all that, what often shines out for me are those who use technology to share who they are as people, how they see the world, and what their life is.
Beyond evaluating that as a strong personal brand with a loyal following, such individuals can introduce others to new perspectives and other ways of being. Even if you don’t experience the world that way, in seeing through those eyes you can understand how that might be and relate to someone completely different and unique. Essentially, presenting an opportunity for cultivating empathy and tolerance through stepping out of your own ideas and putting yourself in another’s shoes; qualities often lacking in online life, as explored in Empathy in a world that happily destroys.
Of course, everyone’s perspective and personality is different and unique to varying degrees; but some seem more able and inclined to articulate and share that. To me, it seems many take that opportunity and use it as a way of reinforcing a sense of self, or promoting specific views or consumer choices. Which is fine, it is what it is. But that’s not so much what I find myself admiring.
To take an example, the Australian writer and photographer Nirrimi Hakanson (www.fireandjoy.com) seems to have amazing self-awareness and courageous honesty in exploring the various aspects of her life and sharing herself openly. While clearly extremely talented, she apparently passes up the many commercial opportunities of modern times in order to hold to her personal sense of authenticity and the strength of her own voice. In a world where so many are trying to influence or promote, her words seem beautifully truthful as she simply describes who she is.
I imagine there are many others who offer us the same, managing to find ways to express who they are honestly and without much agenda beyond sharing their humanity and seeking to craft a constructive, wise storyline or path within the inevitable challenges of life.
We all have our preferences in what we seek or are drawn to online, and for me it is often that opportunity to appreciate life through another’s eyes and understand those whose way of being may be worlds apart from my own. It is a wonderful, generous gift when people manage to find a way to articulate life without pride or ulterior motive, just simply saying ‘this is me, this is how I see life and how I try to find meaning’.
There’s so much going on in the world, and looking to those who are trying to be fully human and offer that up quite freely to others seems important to me.