I recently got into a rather heated discussion in the comments of a friend's blog about her thoughts on the Carpe Diem post that has not only made its way around the internet, but that has been printed out and handed to me by both my church leaders and by the leaders of a local parenting resource center I am involved with. But back to the heated discussion...I have always considered it a mark of a good friendship if you can disagree but remain friends even if you find it hard to respect the other person's point of view. At the point of writing this, I'm still not sure if my online friendship has endured this latest trial - I'm hoping 'yes', but I have a pit in my stomach that is trying to convince me it is 'no'.
Blogging is strange; it is very hard to truly know someone through writing, alone. I will be perfectly honest in stating that my entire life is not available on my blog - nor would it be if you added up my other internet presences - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. When specifically considering what I blog about, my life is more nuanced than my writing is able to capture. Thus, if I am writing specifically about my life, I tend to write for my own need to clarify situations. However, since it is a blog, and since there is a readership, I value the discourse that is afforded to my thoughts and ruminations whether the comments agree with my writings or not (though who are we kidding, I much prefer the former...don't we all?).
Here's one thing I am sure of. There are many people, myself included, who find value in online communities. Whether we join in on the conversations or watch from the sidelines, we are automatically entered into the discourse of each blog or message board we read just by our presence. For many of us, especially those of us in the season of parenting, online communities are an additional resource for support in a world that can seem alienating and isolating. So while I want to continue to blog about the benign things in my life that make me smile, the joys and challenges of mothering two children under the age of 3 or even about the existential mini-crises of my days, I also want this blog to become more conversational. I want to know your experiences and your opinions. Even if we as a group or as individuals disagree or potentially go so far as to offend each other with our opinions, even if it is so bad that we just can't come to terms with each other in the comments, I have to hope that were we all to meet in person some day, that we would find we are all civil, caring individuals and we would let bygones be bygones.
So, tell me, why do YOU blog? What do you hope to get out of it? Are your readers and commenters part of your consideration when blogging? If not, do they become part of your consideration once the conversation has started? Do you have personal rules of engagement on your blog? And lastly, if you care to share, where is the blogging space you call home?