Sunday, July 7, 2019

On Becoming a Follower

I've had this site going for over a year now, and have been blogging off and on for about a decade. And truth be told, in all of that time I've never had a wide audience. Even on this site readers have browsed for more than a few minutes only a small number of times.

That was never a surprise. I've known for some time that blogging is more of a personal exercise, and especially now that I've been writing about some esoteric subjects. Given this, a number of the posts I've written here have been more for myself than others. One of them was a personal challenge, others nothing more than a fun way to kill time

But this time around the experience has opened my eyes to how one sided the web can be. And not just on blogs, but everywhere. That is, no matter the site we usually spend more time trying to be heard than we do listening. More time expressing than consuming.

And with that realization I thought: what an opportunity.

To date I've spent plenty of time in post-secondary institutions, had the privilege of building a book collection, and now work a stone's throw away from the libraries at Western University, where I have alumni access.

Add all of that up and I've had some great learning opportunities - enough that I might even have some interesting thoughts to share on a blog like this. And yet with those learning opportunities has also come some important perspective. That is, my friends, family, and acquaintances are at best run off of their feet, and at worst living under a variety of pressures and fears.

And as it turns out, being run off of our feet or living under pressure and fear isn't conducive to reading about politics, history, software, or really much else. Many have the energy to speak on things they care about, but not always enough to spread to everyone they know. And especially not enough for a blog like this.

And so what an opportunity. People out there with the passion to share, and few with the time to listen. In that circumstance there's got to be plenty to learn for someone with an open mind.

So I've been thinking about changing my focus not only on the web, but more broadly in my life too. Where in the past I was adamant about being heard, making change, spreading ideas, now I figure it might be more fun to take a back seat to the many voices around me. To start from the assumption that I know nothing, move beyond my old biases and prejudices, and listen to what others have to say.

At the very least it'll serve as an experiment - to shake things up and break out of old patterns. At best I might learn something, see some perspectives I was blind to before. Open myself to new ways of thinking that had been shielded by my biases.

As for this blog, I might take a break for a while, or get bored and publish something new in a few weeks. Only time will tell.