In recent weeks I have been reevaluating the whole concept of blogging. I think it is a marvelous idea in general. It gives everyone and anyone a voice. It has successfully democratized many subjects that once were dictated by editors and publishing companies. Overall I appreciate what blog have done, especially as it relates to biblical literature and Christian theology.
I fear that there can be some dangers to blogging that many do not recognize. In an interview with N.T. Wright he spoke about how there can be a “dehumanizing” of our communication when it becomes too reliant on the online medium (see here). In an interview with J.I. Packer (see here) he was quoted as saying this,
I’m amazed at the amount of time people spend on the internet. I’m not against technology, but all tools should be used to their best advantage. We should be spending our time on things that have staying power, instead of on the latest thought of the latest blogger—and then moving on quickly to the next blogger. That makes us more superficial, not more thoughtful. —
I realize that this is partially due to what Halden Doerge calls “cross-generational disgust” (see here). On the other hand there are some like myself that often ask ourselves, “Why do I blog again?” As of recent I am not sure why I blog. Once I thought it was to interact with people who were part of my local church community, but this changed over time. I have thought it was a way to interact with friends or make new friends. It has been this in part, but only in part. I can do this without having my own blog.
At times I thought I was contributing something to other people’s thought life, but I have begun to wonder if there are so many blogs now that it has led to clutter. I feel that I write half of my blog post for the specific purpose of just writing something, even anything. I know that blogs die when the post are not frequent, so I try to keep it frequent.
This means that there are many posts that I write that in the end may not be the best use of my time. If I am writing just to preserve a blog and I am not writing because I am really engaged in what I am saying then it is time to rethink whether or not continuing this blog is a good idea.
I say all that to say this: I think I will be calling it quits at the end of 2009 I have been considering calling it quits at the end of 2009. Let me add this though, I still like writing and I still want to have some sort of an outlet, but I think I need that to be where it does not have to be as frequent.
If you are a blogger out there and you feel like I do or you write a blog where you would like to add more contributors let me know. I am willing to contribute somewhere where I have the responsibility of writing like once a week or I am willing to merge blogs with several people to make this happen. If you are out there let me know!
UPDATE: Or if you have ideas for making this blog more efficient let me know!
What NT Wright said in that video was pretty challenging/convicting for me. Still processing it all right now.
Sorry to hear you’ll be departing the blogosphere, at least full-time. I’ll look forward to your posts, whatever the frequency! Bless you, brother!
I am a person whose thoughts are more coherent when they are expressed through my fingers. Indeed, some of my bests thoughts are those that I have typed many times before finding an oral expression to which I can repeatedly refer. I took up blogging for this reason–to think out loud more often and in a context where those thoughts can be subjected to criticism. When I orally discuss those things which I have taken the time to sit down a type out first (in blogs, emails, papers, etc.), I find that I am able to share my thoughts with greater clarity. Writing in general improves the more you do it, and this is another incentive for me to blog. I imagine there are as many reasons to blog as there are people blogging, but these are mine.
I agree that blogging is very useful for organizing one’s thoughts. I guess it is the nature of the beast that has been bothering me. It feels like there are times when I am not thinking through issues, but just posting something for the sake of posting. This is why it would be great to either have two or three people who want to blog in a group join me here or shut down this blog and join those people. I just want my postings to be a valuable use of my time which I am not sure has been the case as of recent.
Brian: I appreciate your comments. I think for me, blogging, social network, etc. are simply tools in the toolbox. Anything more than that, I’ve found them to become burdensome, like a whining child that needs constant attention. And for me, all of my blogging and social networking has managed to speak to the already converted friends and family who already agree with me, at least on major principles.
Across the street from my church are a multi-story nursing home (two of them, now that I think of it), and a living facility of some sort for mentally impaired adults. We have an adult school walking distance from our church, and a hospital less than 1 mile away. What has my blogging and social networking done to improve their lot? Precious little, I’m afraid.
Please understand that I still use these technologies. And this certainly isn’t an indictment of you. I’m simply being transparent and confessing that I’ve fallen so short while convincing myself that I was doing so much.
Indeed, these technologies can become a major waste of time. Now I think we all must answer for ourselves this question, “Do I cease using these technologies or do I find ways to balance my usage?”
I think I want to find ways to better my usage. I think a blog can still be valuable. I think I need to make up my mind about its purpose though and I need to determine what I really want to write about and for whom do I want to write.
Brian, I would be interested in teaming up with you as I find it difficult to blog as well. When I first started my new blog Inquiring Minds, I had the intentions of blogging with two other friends, but the problem is they never did contribute much, and then they just stopped completely.
I blog when I can and when I feel have something to say. Somethings I blog on things that I just happen to like, like Gordon Fee, I just love to read his books and have dedicate a series in his honor called “Friday’s with Fee”.
I think you add a lot of value and would hate to see you go. You bring a perspective that is needed to help bring balance to Christian bloggers (young jedi). Your followers won’t stop following just because you only blog once a week, you may not gain new followers as often, but the faithful will keep you on their readers. Sure there is a lot more social work that we can all do, but my life is richer because of you. And so are the lives of others. Maybe not in the biggest life changing way, but richer nonetheless. Your life encouraged me to go back to school, so did a few other bloggers. But your example and dedication to your education was/is very inspirational to me. So don’t think that you are not having impact.
Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I think it would be awesome if you joined JohnDave and I here at Near Emmaus. I am sure there are several of us bloggers who find it hard to write once a day, but if we all wrote only a couple times a week we could make for a pretty great blog.
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