As I reflect further on my past blogging experiences I realize that my hesitance has never been about a lack of creativity or something to say. My hesitance has always been about which part of me I want or need to share. For all the uses of the internet, the dimensionless compression of people into tiny slices of themselves makes it extremely difficult to connect on more than a single plane at a time.
If you’re like me, then most of your internet consumption involves searching for a topic, hashtag, or genre to read. You find interesting people saying interesting things and while many of them sprinkle bits and pieces of their personality into their writing much of who they are gets lost in translation. When you communicate with someone face to face you may be discussing sports or science or psychology but there are unsaid things garnering equally as much (and in some cases more) attention. The way you dress, your body language, the rhythm and cadence of your voice, the slang you use, and the place you happen to be all create an experience that has many more inputs than simply reading a blog post or tweet or even seeing a picture. That adds depth to almost any real life communication. That depth is usually hard to find online.
There are certainly elements of someone’s internet communication style that shed light on who they might be as a person but those elements are much easier to manipulate. While I can lie to you in person, if you are intuitive you will see right through me. Intuition plays a role on the internet but its much more difficult to measure and connect with people without the personal space filter.
I know that lots of people blog because they want to get their thoughts down. It’s a way to clear their mind. It is in some way cathartic. I never really had that desire. My inner life and thoughts are very rich, always weaving a new web as new information comes in. I never felt a need to write for the sake of writing. No, I write really for two reasons. One, because I am afraid I will forget some of the more important thoughts I’ve had or intellectual connections I’ve made. Second, because in some way I’d like to think I can connect with real people. I struggle with how to do that when I am limited to a medium and method that constrains me to basically one topic area per post. I want to find people with whom I have things in common but I don’t want that commonality to be the only thread holding a relationship together, however limited that might be online.
As a financial advisor by trade I consume lots of information about investing, personal finance, etc. day in and day out. But I have a vast set of interests. Sure, investing is interesting, but I love to discuss psychology, physics, philosophy, biology, sports, outdoors, humor, family and many other things that strike my fancy. I am the person who will read about quantum mechanics one day and the mating habits of ticks the next. I love to learn.
I have no idea what I will write about today or tomorrow or the next but I know I will write about something at some point. If you find something interesting then I hope you will stick around to read more, leave a comment, or ask a question. Connections are always welcome.
Update: earlier this year I decided to start publishing a weekly email newsletter. It’s usually a very short read, only taking a couple of minutes. It contains a plethora of different things; quotes, quips, jokes, philosophical questions, books, links, and observations of mine. At least in this way each touch can contain more flavors. Check it out: jeffhowardz | facts of my existence newsletter.