Monday, October 19, 2009

Being a Blog Addict

I think I am becoming a blogaholic.  I don't mean I am addicted to blogging, I am addicted to reading them. I love to read the blogs I have collected in my favorites menu and when people don't post it is just as disappointing as an empty Inbox on my email. Every time I turn on the computer, I scan each and every one of them, hoping to find some new entry. When none is forthcoming I am deflated and sigh inwardly. I sometimes even blog myself just to make up for the void. But most often, I just hit the "next blog" button and sail around reading the blogs of total strangers. And it can be annoying and it can be gripping.

I still ask myself, why? Why do we blog? I am not sure I know the answer.

For some it is a matter of strongly held opinions that they hope to spread the worth of and persuade others to be of like opinion. The most annoying ones are the blogs that are commercial endeavors or the ones that cause little boxes to pop up on your screen and cause internet explorer to experience an error and close. But the majority of blogs are simply online diaries, journals of the lives and thoughts of everyday people.

And why here? Why on the net? Why pour out your hopes and dreams, why spread out all this pain and anguish for the world to see? Is the world seeing it? So many blogs with so much personal pain laid out for potential millions to read and no one is seeing it, no one is commenting, no one is offering comfort. Sometimes the author proclaims his assumption that no one is reading his blog, and yet, it is out there for someone to stumble across. A sort of accidental and yet planned exposure. So much that is a universal human experience, so much that deserves to be recognized and also to be respected as private at the same time. It leaves me with an urge to comment, to say "hey, that is okay to feel like that".

And yet, I read them and "walk on" as it were. I sometimes come across the same blog a few days later, it is is a very haphazard way of navigating. Strangely I feel that I now "know" this blogger, another person on the net with a need for introspection and exposition. Sometimes it strikes fear into my heart to read the blogs of teens and college students, and to realize that soon English will be a language I cannot read.

Is blogging good for us? I don't know. Is it an attempt to bond with other humans on a level that is very basic? Do we just need to tell someone, anyone, that we are here? Or do we need to tell them "i feel weird today... but i can't pinpoint what is wrong. i think it may just be life in general.. what i'm saying is, just the life i lead, and no particular event is on my mind".

Perhaps too much introspection is just as bad as none at al

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Child's Play

I think that we have become more nervous as a society. Parents watch over their child's every move, thinking of how to cushion the fall they are sure is coming at any moment. Schools are more nervous, too. Play areas on school grounds are made of the highest quality, strongest, plastic-type stuff material that I assume takes great impacts without breaking small bones. It looks like something originally designed by NASA, and of course, it's all very brightly colored. The area under the play gyms and swings and slides is always padded in some way. Sand seems to out of favor these days, replacing it is a layer or two of wood chips. Wood chips look more dangerous to me, but I am of the nervous generation who can imagine things like splinters and wood chips impaled in an eyeball.

When I was in elementary school, we had a playground. It had no swings, no slides, no jungle gyms. It was paved in good old-fashioned asphalt and promised a properly scraped knee or worse to anyone who failed to keep upright while running over its surface. In fact, running and hopscotch were pretty much the only things you could do on this playground. Perhaps you could get a game of "tag" going (running) or dodge ball (running, getting hit by balls, falling down). When I think back on it, I am amazed we weren't all injured daily.

I have thought about it and decided it isn't really possible that today's children are more fragile than those of yesteryear. The only real difference is our level of concern for their safety, which now extends to trying to make sure they never fall down, never trip while running, never get a scrape or need all those bandages we fill medicine chests with. The reason is simple: it's the adults who have become more fragile. We can't stand the thought of seeing our children in even the slightest pain.

On some level I know my children will survive the usual bumps and thumps of childhood play, but I wonder at times if I will.