What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?
Sharing joys and sorrows
Learning about different places and different people
Sharing my traditions with others
and of course, The Giveaways (gotta love 'em!)
When I tell people that I'm a "blogger" they often look at me funny. "Why do you do that?" or "What's the point?" are often the questions I get asked. I think it's hard for them to imagine that someone like me, surrounded all the time by friends and family and people, could really need a community in which to be myself. But that is truly one of the main reasons I blog and read other people's blogs. My friends who "live in the computer" are so very real to me, so very much a part of my life, even though I've never met some of them and others I only see very rarely. But to follow their antics or adventures or angsts...we become truly a community.
I was interviewed recently and asked what I felt the impact of the Internet was going to be long-term for the Jewish community, a group that has long-relied on face-to-face contact and interaction as its mainstay. My answer was something along the lines of....community is where we create it. For many people, face-to-face interaction is the only thing they trust, the only thing they believe in. And I love it - don't get me wrong. I'm an extrovert with a capital E, a people person all the way. Many people find it hard to believe that I can spend so much time online, then, imagining it to be the domain of introverts and social recluses. L'havdil - on the contrary! In fact, the blogging community is even more perfect for a socially-inclined person like myself. I don't have to wait around for folks to show up...they're already there, writing and putting themselves out there for me to read. My comments only make their writing more interactive, and theirs to mine. It is totally a two-way street, and I love every minute of it.
I learn about different ways of living, of being, of parenting, of celebrating, of grieving, of cooking, of not cooking, of cleaning, of not cleaning, of creating and doing ... what an incredible opening into so many different worlds. I, who truly exist in the bubble of my life, surrounded by my congregation and my family and friends who are, for the most part, similar...what a joy to be able to become a part of the lives of so many who are different....and then to discover how we're really all the same.
May the blessings of blogging continue to grow for me and for you, my dear readers.
What about you? Have there been benefits to you as well? Feel free to share in the comments.