Essay

Why do you blog?

By on February 6, 2007

“I am not the type of person who broadcasts my thoughts and emotions online.”

The statement above was my classmate’s reply when I asked why she is still not making a blog. Ever since our college days, I have maintained profound respect for this lady for at least two things: one, she always had a different yet strong opinion about things, compared to most of the girls in our group; two, I believe that she possesses good command of the language to express her every thought of the subject matter at hand. I am truly amazed why she still has not shared her wealth of ideas and experiences through blogging which seems to be a fad these days. I guess that maybe there are just some people who would prefer to keep their thoughts to themselves.

She then asked me why I blog in the first place. I only managed to utter two words: site meter. And I knew from the way she grinned that this time around, I did not give her a meaningful and compelling answer. Perhaps she’s had enough of Friendster, Flickr and other social-networking sites, that the concept of blogging is another novel way of contributing to the “exponential rise in the amount of dotsam and netsam on the web.”

But if I could take back what I said, and giving the question some considerable afterthought, the main reason should have been to improve on my writing skills. Since I am not a writer by profession, I consider this blog as my virtual scribbling pad where I can somehow be a writer even for just a few noteworthy paragraphs. Sometimes when I re-read my previous posts, I would always find an inappropriate word, or an incoherent paragraph, or a pointless post. Last year, I bought Strunk and White’s Element of Style if only to get better at this writing thing.

I can still recall that when I was in Grade IV, I wrote my first essay entitled ‘How to Save Mother Earth’. My good teacher lovingly filled up most of the pages in my formal theme notebook with her corrections and marked a bloody “C” on the top of my entry. She had me rewrite my essay twice in the hopes that if I wouldn’t improve on my content and grammar, I might as well improve on my margins and penmanship. Thanks to Microsoft Word, I don’t have to mess with the latter.

I admit that I have only learned little of CSS and PHP to be considered to be tech savvy or make a website with a cool GUI. And I also reckon that it would really take me a while to have this site’s viewing statistics. But I continue to blog because I somehow get to own a small amount of space of the internet, even if that real estate just means a few milliseconds of attention, or a few bytes of information.

Most of all, I get to read a lot of great articles every now and then. Below are some of the best lines I’ve read from the hundreds of blog entries I’ve surfed last year. The topics are as diverse as my blogger-friends: a parent’s unconditional love one, loss of a loved one, love that was never meant to happen, quarter life crisis, financial management, finding meaning in the workplace. In one way or the other, I have learned from their posts, have identified with some of their struggles, and have been enriched by their experiences.

Don’t, never, get a mistress. They cost money and time. Your time is better spent earning more money or taking care of your family …It also makes for a better family and a better society. I’m sure that sounds like a line from Ms. Congeniality (which I’ll never be) but if you do the math, it is a sound argument – Atticus

I’m crossing over to my adult life with more anxiety and uncertainty. I was like being left in the middle of a desert, not knowing where to go; like being told to paint on a billboard-sized canvas, not knowing where to start. I’m not even sure if everyone went through this, or are going through this. It’s like I’m just trying to complicate everything when life is just supposed to be simple. – Cho

Up to this day, I have to argue that there was not enough science to understand his disease at that time but my mother insists that something else has caused his death. According to the doctors, it was an unknown case, but according to my mom, it was the work of evil. But I don’t want to spend too much time trying to figure out why he died at such an early age. I have to think of it as part of God’s plan or a necessity so that I could become the person I am today. – Deeken

I smile at the thought of being referred to by people as their ‘family doctor’ as much as there are ‘family lawyers’ and ‘family dentists’. I smile at my desire to educate everybody on the adverse effects of smoking and drinking. I smile at the challenge of a difficult diagnosis and racking my brains out. A career in family practice will offer me all of these on a daily basis. I believe that this is my calling.

And if eggs, live chickens, and vegetables will be all I get, I guess the next thing to learn is how to cook. – Duke

“We’re burning credits here, your bills gonna skyrocket.” He tried to say goodbye.
She answered with a deep sigh and she said, “Thanks!”
“Don’t worry, I know your mom’s gonna kill you when she sees your phone bill after…”

“I meant thanks for loving me despite everything, I am sorry I can’t love you back.”

“Ey what are friends for?” He just said one of the most painful things to ever escape his lips!

“Click,” the line went dead.

That phone call cost her 60.00PHP -it cost him his heart! – Jedi

I guess the real tragedy of my father’s death is not his death itself—but because there was SO MUCH LOVE UNSAID…By dying without knowing comes another tragedy—a life full of regrets which could be so incapacitating to move forward. The final lesson? Love to the fullest, live to the fullest. – Jerome

I figured my papang deserved some delightful news from me and not my standard boredom-inducing “buhi pa ko” (I’m still alive) statement, so I told him my stale news…Instead of acknowledging his congratulations, I pointed out that he misunderstood some things I said in the e-mail (he really did misunderstood some things!) and I proceeded to make things clear. I wrote a few lines of probably senseless blah blah blahs without commenting nor reacting on his congratulations.

My papang’s reply? “regardless… basta, just remember I’m very proud of you.” –Jr3

There’s a lot more to blogging than the site meter, or the blogroll, or the eye candy interfaces. At the end of the day, the form and the numbers will not matter as long as the message has been effectively conveyed.

Now at least I can say that with more conviction if only to match to my friend’s resolution.

TAGS

January 31, 2007

February 21, 2007

RELATED POSTS
17 Comments
  1. Reply

    MLQ3

    February 8, 2007

    not everyone has the compulsion to communicate, just as very few people care about the quality of their communications. but it’s enough to take the risk that someone god knows where, doing god knows what, who you would never encounter otherwise, thinks you’re worth pausing to pay attention to.

    and it’s all relative, anyway! whether 1 or 1,000 it’s the caring that counts, i’d think.

  2. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 9, 2007

    i’m not surprised why Time Magazine chose ‘YOU’ (< - all of us bloggers, you-tubers) as its person of the year. aside from free downloads, we are now enjoying another blessing from the internet - the sense of ownership or authorship and the sense of 'space.'

    while this idea of ‘space’ is virtual and volatile, we still take the risk ‘to be heard’ because in this rapidly changing world, we want to be a part of history somehow. we want to matter.

    welcome to my humble domain sir.

  3. Reply

    Jed

    February 9, 2007

    Bloggers are like scattered pieces of emotional-wikipedia. Hehehe…

    Thanks for including me ha?

  4. Reply

    atticus

    February 13, 2007

    kung di ako magba-blog, paano/kanino ko pa isi-share ang mundane existence ko? sa pader sa pad ko? hay. ang lungkot naman nun. di isulat na lang at pagpiyestahan ng iba kung tama o mali ka.

    at nakakatakot makalimutang magsulat. 🙂

  5. Reply

    the caterpillar

    February 14, 2007

    wow, you got mlq3 up there!

    i sometimes think of the phrase site meter, too. however, when i really think, i know that it is not THE reason. i agree there’s more…

    (…and i only have to recall my first ever blog entry. getting into blogging then was out of curiosity, of wanting to know if i could make the endeavor last more than what my patience would allow and if i could find and keep my own voice while knowing others are busy making their own voices heard, too, and listening.)

    i already made a comment on this post the other night, very similar to this one. i don’t know what happened to it.

  6. Reply

    deeken 8-)

    February 14, 2007

    I agree with most of your reasons and I have to add more:

    1. Keeps me from sleeping whenever I bump into others’ thoughts (because I’m in a place where I shouldn’t be sleeping).

    2. You get to improve your imagination and picture-editing skills — nice work bren. 😎

  7. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 14, 2007

    atticus hindi ka mundane. 🙂

    i hope you’re better now. when my phone was stolen last year, i became paranoid for awhile. i transferred to another apartment in two weeks time.

  8. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 14, 2007

    jed, we basically try to gather whatever that’s left of the scattered pieces.

    jr3, i couldn’t believe at first. i forgot to add that replies such as that of MLQ’s and all of you guys makes blogging more meaningful to some extent.

    deeken, well, we have a lot to be thankful for. we are just redeeming our time.

    (*but does that mean we are making the most of it too?*)

  9. Reply

    Bagz

    February 15, 2007

    hi baktin finally naka-tuod ra jud ko sa comment section… hehehe… aw sorry i’m suppposed to write in english because you have foreign friends or let us say “blog-readers” (that I presume)… I’m still a novice in this blog thing, as my students call it in their own gaming jargons- noobs. i remembered how Marga quoted in one of our conversations- Ignorance, after all, is a virtue.

    You have good points on the blogging thing. on my part, I have a lot to learn- both writing and techie skills. Glad that I’m not on your blogroll list because some of your “blog-friends” may be too experienced in blogging already. That’s why i resort to posting my not-too recent poems (and i’m planning to post my high school collections also) on my blog.

    Testi goes here-
    Baktin, i want to thank you for showing me the value of “letting go”… you may be unaware before that i have been keenly observing you and how you can let go or the more appropriate word would be “giving-away” your stuffs. It may sound too “shallow”, but i really learned it from you and i appreciate it that now i can give-away my things, knowing that it can benefit others. I really have this attitude of lingering to my belongings- and it has some adverse effects i guess (remembering the Jordan River and the Dead Sea Parable). My learning even grew to not only giving material things but also cash to some people now, knowing that its hard to invest on things which moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy (with my tithes as an exemption of copurse, because i learned that years ago).

    And another thing, i learned to improve my penmanship because yours is really an A+ now (forget about what your teacher told you before)… I really have a terrible handwriting at times and you showed me how to do better.

    Congrats, bren, on your career (kina-career naman gud nimo ang blogging)… and like what Allan Baco said- we always look forward to more of your scribbles…

  10. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 16, 2007

    hi LM, thank you for the nice words.

    jeremy said to me that “we have to start somewhere.” i started with a post where 60% of the entry was a quote from Narnia.

    oh well. i will really make a career out of this.

    say hello to mam gene for me.

  11. Reply

    Abaniko

    February 22, 2007

    Hey, you write well. If you’re just consistent on your habit to write often on this blog, I’m sure you’ll become a much better writer soon. Who knows later in life, you’d settle to write a novel or a memoir. Enjoy blogging. It’s fun, isn’t it?

  12. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 22, 2007

    hi abaniko. the internet already has its share of blogs that hate the world or hate Britney’s new haircut.

    i think that when we go beyond “blogging”, we may become, if not better writers, then better persons at the very least.

    yeah. blogging is fun.

  13. Reply

    duke

    February 23, 2007

    thank you for including me.

    people like you, who take time to peek into, as atticus calls it, my “mundane” existence, are the reason why i blog.

    ngak, panget ata yun sentence structure ng paragraph na yun. hahahhahahaa.

    …and you get to have blogger friends too!

  14. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 25, 2007

    according to another blogfriend jr3, we risk ourselves to be ‘exposed.’ and by doing so, we let the whole world know more about us and vice versa.

    it’s not a lonely planet after all.

  15. Reply

    kendi

    March 3, 2007

    got here through your comment @ ryan’s blog…

    why i blog? hmmm… as how one puts it:

    When everything around you melts like plastic, drooping around the sound of a badly played cello where the pitch descends lower and lower. So you turn on your PC and the fan rotors start up like an engine , revving up quickly as if to rouse Windows out of its rut. You want to tell someone how you feel. You want to describe the sore running up against your heart, worming its way up to your head. you want to let it all out.

  16. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    March 8, 2007

    cool. hi kendi, you wrote that? 🙂 (can you give me a link to where you got that?).

    i would like to add:

    And it seems that the the clicking sound of the keyboard resonates like the gentle drops of water from the faucet. It slowly builds up speed and then gains enough momentum until the silence of the night is defeated.

    You blog because you want to tell the world that you exist and that you matter.

  17. Reply

    Patrick

    March 25, 2007

    OMG!!! I need to express my reason why I blog … and it’s because of BOREDOM (that’s the first thing that got me) every time I need something for our thesis (way back those days we were together in overnights) but then I don’t have any in my mind)

LEAVE A COMMENT

Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

    Awards
    Best of Cebu Blog Awards Best of Cebu Blog Awards
    2015
      Best Food Blog
      Best Creative Writing in a Blog
      Finalist, Best Travel Blog

    2014
      Finalist, Best Food Blog
      Finalist, Best Travel Blog

      Grand Winner, Visit Davao Tuloy ang Byahe Experience Blogging Competition.
      Winner, 2013 TLC Asia’s The Layover contest
    Book your next travels here:
    Archives
    %d bloggers like this: