Are bloggers Lonely?


Blogosphere is the place you are in, if reading you are right now, right here!

A notion has once again found place in my intuitive little head. Though the idea has been there for quite sometime now, the arguments have gotten stale in this still growing Blogosphere. The question of-course remains to this day, “Are bloggers lonely?”

The cursor and clicks, over the years, have found posts. Posts with similar impressions, showing off traces of delusional mentality, stressed in tone and dialect, with a hint of social awkwardness. Though some seemed temporary blips, others not serious at all, many were with their personal annotations, riling my mind with the dilemma that is the question.

Before calling forth our intellectual might to solve the question, let us understand by a three step process, “What is lonely?”

There is a beautiful quote by Paul Tillich, a German Philosopher – “Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”

The thought provoking statement is a subtle remark to the otherwise siblings lonely and solitary. It emphasizes upon the two words, loneliness and solitude, having similar overtone, yet being so very different. The difference is not in the situation per Se, for alone sticks with both, but in the opinion and state i.e., lonesome are times of pain, and not of ‘fruitful engagement with nobody’.
Thus, bulged out a fired debate concerning the mental outlook of a blogger. And with the boom that has been blogging in this internet age, opinions are many.
I guess every blogger is familiar with Blogosphere: the new political arena by Michael Keren, in which the author claims how bloggers are isolated, lonely and withdrawn, choosing to form virtual relationships instead of real thing. Further, postulating that he finds politics of melancholy on internet, where the blogging community demonstrates fetishism of ideas devoid of political responsibility and social obligations. The latter argument does bother me a little but the former thought of loneliness annoys me. I do consider alone and lonely two different words and hence, do not use them interchangeably in a sentence. As I understand, bloggers are definitely alone for the time they write a post, for only a patron of solitude can assimilate original thoughts on any concern., one’s own, not re-blogged.

Another quote by Ronald Anthony – “When we truly realize that we are all alone is when we need others the most”, best explains the difference between lonely and alone.

This side of story is bit significant.
Many of us feel that we are not lonely, even the alone people find themselves living a happy life, they do not feel the need to mingle with people, not because they have bad social skills but because they are content with their social network, to them quality is more important than quantity.
The fact is, realization plays an important role in building our perception. I won’t feel it, if I don’t know it, but then, knowing it exists and not wanting it, explains more promptly the difference that is lonely and alone. A book “Psychology Applied to Modern Life” discusses loneliness in detail and ascertains that it has been misunderstood for aloneness.  The author has also regarded internet as a viable remedy to counter loneliness but has stressed on both positive and negative repercussions. For instance, posting an opinion online and getting appreciated combats shyness possibly because of diminishing fear of fallacy and increasing self-confidence, however online addiction can supposedly restrain social exposure. The fact that we all love to chat, gossip and express our views, and convey it to maximum people is the reason for the growth of blogging over the internet, it is not aloneness, or loneliness, it is the easiness to reach the world.

Quote by Pearl Buck – “Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where I renew my springs that never dry up” is one of the best.

It reminds us that solitude is important, its nothing to be ashamed of, it is just another word for ‘privacy’. I am in total agreement, for as much as I might wanna to be with someone and talk to someone, I indeed love privacy with all my heart, to rejoice in those glaring moments, of solitude, to talk to myself and reflect upon the mystery that is life. It cannot be misunderstood for loneliness for the moment is a discovery, it is important for the sake of an individuals development.

The fact that bloggers have been attributed as being lonely, is because of certain pattern that many posts follow around the widespread community. Robert S. Weiss had developed two typologies of loneliness, emotional and social. The “emotional loneliness” has been described as “separation distress” that one is bound to find as one surfs the web, people talking about relationships, their break-up, may be death of someone etc.  “Social loneliness” is a result of smaller social network than what one would have liked, or possibly no social network. People have been found to post the most personal, and inner most feelings on web which they would not talk about in person. Such a behavior does question social involvement of a blogger, whether they are alone, have no one else to speak to, or may be they are feeling rejected, looking for quality audience who would appreciate and adore their sentiments. May be some start that way, but the similar fate is not shared by whole blogging community. At some level, everyone of us knows that emptiness if we feel any is difficult to get rid of online. For instance, “Will Online Chat Help Alleviate Mood Loneliness?” is an article in  CyberPsychology & Behavior claiming that individuals did not find any relief from loneliness by chatting online with strangers and a face to face conversation was much more helpful.

Several bloggers have condemned the ideology of loneliness and see it as an attack on their passion for writing, sharing feelings and advancing their respective causes world over. It would be hard to find a blog with all posts on emotional and social traits of loneliness. Since there are very few for one particular blogger, it is obvious that bloggers do much more than that, they share feelings, their personal and work experience, opinions, knowledge and much more. And the few personal, occasional posts that they might write could very well be an attempt to feel better, or to exemplify and make some learning of the issue. It is also important to note that if a blogger is sharing written content with friends and family, it somehow dilutes the assumption that bloggers are afraid to accept socially what they feel in person.

The internet age has provided everyone with a power to express their views and since it is easier to do so online, it has been catching fast. One can agree that the heated debate that takes place in the comments section is an overview of our critical thinking that ascertains we are not mere onlookers, but see the story, inside-out. Also, the blogosphere echoes views of people, the issues of technology, politics etc.
The likability to any can be predicted, the heritage of internet as we share!

So, I do not believe that bloggers are lonely people, many be some are but most are not. Sharing an opinion is not a sign of loneliness, and it does not reflect on how social you are for real. Many start blogs to gain on experience of writing, to write fast and better, others wish to reach a greater audience for they believe they can and are worth it.

When I surf around, I see that people have lot to talk about, they have an opinion, they are abreast with latest global trends, and there is so much I did not know about. I see how they write, how they understand things, how their words speak more, how I did not think about it thoroughly and there’s more to it. The fact that their exemplary work does not push me down, but forces me to improve myself, cultivate critical thinking, counter my downsides, provides me with enough material to live my solitude. I am looking to expand my social circle but not because I am in disagreement with my present wing but because its always fun to have more people into your life, people who might like you, people who might criticize you, people who you will never see, but people who might make your day, might teach you a thing or two, that too for free. Who does not want that, that is precious, you know what, I will take it, it does just fine with my wonderful life.