I’m new to this blogging thing. I’ve opened blogging accounts before, but to be honest, I probably had more anxiety than followers.
It’s that word ‘followers’ that actually caused the anxiety.
To start with, it brought back adolescent memories I’ve spent thousands of hours and dollars in therapy trying to repress. Until the Internet, I really hadn’t thought about how many followers I had since I was 15. To start trying to amass a following at 38 is competing against Stephanie Arens all over again- accept this time, Stephanie Arens isn’t the most popular cheerleader, he’s an introvert anti-social blogger who couldn’t get his dog to follow him down the street in real life but yet has 100,000 followers in his virtual life.
And what’s really mind-bloggling (like the pun? follow me, and I promise, it’ll get worse), it’s not like quality is even a criteria on the Internet when you blog- after all, ‘hits’ are a measure of numbers, not standards. So if you have 50,000 followers, 49,999 of which are blonde girls named Jessica who think the Middle East is somewhere between Ohio and Iowa, you somehow automatically become a blog-vangelist- an Internet Billy Grahm who’s opinions translate to truth simply out of the sheer numbers of followers who will repeat that opinion as truth.
But then again, entities like Google and Wikipedia have had a hand in that. If you soberly stop and think about it, Google is the world’s central authority in searching anything. Thousands of years of history have revolved around fighting central authority whether it was the Church or the State. Yet, the willingness with which we accept Google and the complacency with which we accept whatever references it pulls up as the be-all-and-end-all of whatever is available on the subject, is actually quite frightening.
Wikipedia is even more ridiculous as a concept. It’s become the new Britannica, but instead of being based on academic research and expert opinion, my Aunt Claire can write her opinion of Darwinism and Joey Public 10,000 miles away doing a report for his 5th grade biology class can cite her article as a point of reference.
So, why the hell start a blog if I so evidently think it along with the Internet is one of the most destructive inventions to mankind?
Simple. Because I don’t believe it is destroying mankind. I believe man is destroying mankind.
We’ve given the Internet more power than the human spirit and the human mind. The good news is, if we’ve given it that, we can take it back. All we need to do is realize, the truth isn’t true because of how many ‘hits’ it gets. It’s true because in our hearts we know it’s the truth.
And if we follow our hearts, rather than Brittany Spears tweets, we might just get there.