Recently, a friend of mine asked me why I was always blogging something this semester. I explained to her that for one it was fun and for another I am required to do so for this class. This led us into a discussion about the purpose of blogs and how they came to be so prevalent. Why are people who don’t blog so against blogs and those who do blog love them?
I think that the answer is about expectations. People, especially from an older generation, are used to getting their news from professionals, a reporter with a degree. In other words, they are looking for an authority to tell them the news, to bring it to them in the form of broadcasts and newspapers. This meant that the few informed the many. However, in today’s day and age in which technology is spreading rampant, people are becoming more & more reliant on themselves to generate and seek information. As a result, people opt to spread the news themselves or find others who are interested in the same thing. For instance, one can capture an event, and using his smartphone, make it available within seconds on the web. He can then put on his reporter hat and comment on his own findings. The speed in which this transformation and transmission of information happens in unbelievable and is so much faster than any traditional source of media can provide. In fact, it is so fast now that we often even see the authority figures (CNN, Fox, etc.) relying on regular citizens to provide them with footage (how many times have you see on tv and event that was captured using a smartphone?).
I think this is a fundamental shift in the way people think about information. It has allowed people to take information into their own hands. In a lot of ways I think that blogging is so attractive to us because it is a very democratic way of expanding our knowledge base. In fact, it can be seen as both a literal and theoretical tool for us to imagine how we want America to be.