Not long ago, a guy I deeply respect joked derisively in conversation that too many people “blog for therapy.” His evidence: a recent AOL survey in which nearly half of respondents said “they write a blog because it serves as a form of self-therapy.” My friend said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Oh yeah, that’s just what everyone wants to see.”
Well, of course it’s not what everyone wants to see, but so what?
I’ve gotta admit, the tone of my friend’s comment (and the AOL press release, for that matter) really rubbed me the wrong way. In our culture, we tend to dismiss personal topics, experiences, explorations, and perspectives as inconsequential or at least as unworthy of public discussion. I believe this objectivist bias is, in fact, a costly and tragic type of isolationism. Many, many times I’ve seen pride or a reflexive fear of vulnerability prevent people from reaching out to gather the context and support they need, or to offer theirs to others in need.
It’s damn hard to gather or share strength in isolation.
Yesterday, I was proud to see one of my favorite bloggers, Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion, reaching out to gather and share his strength. In “Why I am Blogging About My Skin Cancer,” he discussed that he has just been diagnosed with a common and treatable form of skin cancer. Part of his plan to combat this illness is to create a new skin cancer blog.
As I read his reasons for launching a new blog, I understood that even though this would mean more work for Steve just when he needs to focus on treatment and recovery, a project like this can be an excellent way to gather and share personal strength…