Happiness is a hard thing to come by. Some people, no matter how hard they try, just cant seem to find contentment in themselves. I’m not, however, particularly interested in the psyche of the human mind as regards to solving the issue of happiness, and for our purposes, I’ll try and relate this emotion with our topic of discussion–blogging. They say–who says? Oh you know, they–that if you really want to find happiness, you should try helping others. If you cannot find purpose living for yourself, you might have an easier time finding worth by aiding others in the aforementioned venture for happiness you originally sought. Am I telling you to become an outright philanthropist? No, in fact, I’m not really advocating you helping people at all. This is a primarily capitalist-run world, in which human’s intrinsic, voracious, personal interest supersedes the wants and necessities of others. So, speaking from an entirely capitalist-driven mindset, why would you want to waste your time helping others when you should really be focusing on a way to make yourself happy while at the same time, benefiting yourself, not others.
So what’s the point of all this rambling about happiness. Well, there’s a reason why people who blog, do so; there are many benefits to blogging, and I believe there is another two-fold explanation for why so many continue to blog. That is, people find two things in writing their ideas, sharing their interests, and posting about themselves on the web: happiness, which of course emanates from its well-known source–purpose. Many retirees become depressed because they don’t feel like they serve a purpose any longer, which means that a job, which of course serves a particular purpose, also gives that worker a sense of purpose. Therefore, blogging about your job should, theoretically, further your sense of purpose and happiness. In Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog”, he writes, “From the first few days of using the form, I was hooked. The simple experience of being able to directly broadcast my own words to readers was an exhilarating literary liberation.” This expounds upon my idea of growing happier through blogging in the professional realm, although it cannot represent all professional cases because his job is writing, and this makes him a bit more biased to the process of writing. But nonetheless, it shows how, through connecting with his audience quickly and gaining honest and timely responses from them, happiness/contentment is accrued. Back to my original topic about happiness and helping others, I think that blogging is a good way to secure happiness. This relation of happiness, blogging, and one’s employment might be a bit of a stretch, especially for people who really hate their job, but others who blog for more personal reasons are more concrete and pertinent exemplars for my purposes.
For instance, Facebook users, hobbyists, tweeters, etc., love using these mediums. Why? Well I argue that it makes them happy. It gives them, however phenomenal it may be, a sense of purpose. Blogging about your favorite thing to do, whatever you do, and knowing that people are reading your comments, viewing your pictures, and replying to them provides you with a sense of happiness. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, replaces real-life interactions with entirely less personal cyber relationships. People enjoy these mediums so much because it allows you to tell–or rather, show–others about your life, look at other people’s lives, and have them reply to you. Although I think its an ephemeral illusory emergence of happiness, it continues to draw people in, keep them logged on, and spark emotional and phenomenal posts about themselves and others. What you post are your ideas, mindsets, interests, and preponderately, what you post is a direct manifestation of aspects of your life. Having a conversation with someone of equal-or-so intellect allows for two people to share ideas accrued throughout one’s life, learn from the interlocutor’s contribution; thus adding to your breadth of knowledge, life’s experience, and principally, your life. I believe the same goes for these online mediums, although they are of course less personal, and I believe less effective because no interaction is better than personal, real-life interaction. The reason “they” say to find happiness in helping others, I believe, is because happiness stems from simply being in the “presence” of others, and having vis-a-vis relationships with one another. Of course, real-life relations are more preferable and more efficacious, but I argue that these internet sites serve as a cyber medium for these relationships. Thousands of years ago you learned from those you came across on your daily excursions. Eventually people interacted through books, and now, we also interact through the internet.
Communications should be primarily face-to-face, blogging about real and pertinent–whatever that may be–information secondary modes of expression, and finally, Facebook and Twitter-type mediums should remain tertiary. Thus, happiness is actualized through communicating with others, and in consideration of facebook and twitter, by revealing aspects of your life, and continuing to do so under the pretense that other people actually care about what you have to say.