I click on the Feedly icon at the top right corner of my browser. Two new articles in the “blog” category, one from Jeruen and one from Coming to Canada (who, actually, just arrived in Canada). Gone are the days when I could spend an hour immersed in other people’s lives. Many of the blogs I follow haven’t been updated in months or years.
Is blogging dead?
Am I… ouch. Nope, just pinched myself. I’m still here.
I feel like a dinosaur, though.
Blogging seems to be so yesterday. In this day and age, you argue on Twitter, show your flawless lifestyle on Instagram and spread the word on Facebook.
I can see why people stop blogging—writing is time consuming and the rich-and-famous-blogger myth died a while ago. Other social media platforms require less work. Branding yourself with half a dozen hashtags is easier than expressing your ideas in a 700-word article.
But I’m afraid it also illustrates a current trend—trapped in echo chambers of our own making, we shout out what we believe in and we no longer take the time to see other perspectives.
We’d rather hang out with people who think like us, #LetsBeOutragedTogether.
Unlike influencers, politicians and other public figures, bloggers are generally just random people you start reading because they piqued your interest for whatever reason. For instance, I tend to be drawn to people chronicling life places I find exotic, other immigrants, people with a multicultural background, travellers or honest parents who admit the chicken nuggets they served at dinner were not organic but full of gluten and additives.
But beyond this initial connection, I don’t know who these bloggers voted for, whether they support XYZ and what their opinions are on a variety of topics.
I have yet to accidentally subscribe to a blog written by a former Nazi (phew!) but I got to know people who are very different than me.
Take Kiky, for instance. She’s Indonesian, she’s a runner, she’s curious about other cultures and she’s Muslim. Do I spend my time trying to convince her that God doesn’t exist and that Muslim women are oppressed? Hell, no. I enjoy her travel articles and slices of her life halfway across the world. N. was born in Argentina, raised in France, lived in Brazil and she is now back in Canada. I can relate to all these places but our beliefs are probably very different—her husband is a pastor. And for the record, these two women of different faiths don’t go around warning atheists like me that we will burn in hell.
I admire Gail, who reinvented her life three or four times and often inspires me with her photography skills, but our backgrounds and lives are very different. Hélène and I are about the same age. We both grew up in France but had different upbringings, we both immigrated to Canada but have different stories. Lexie has two kids around Mark’s age but she’s a much more dedicated mom than me—she bakes with her kids!—and she follows parenting principles I dream about but never apply. Diane is an American in France, I enjoy her take on French culture but I know very little about her. I Say Oui doesn’t share much about herself either. She’s a Francophile American, that all I need to know to enjoy her beautifully written articles on these unique New York moments. Isa is a French traveller who loves Montreal and Utah, a city and a state I’m not really into but she made me discover why these two places are fascinating. Recently, I started reading Anne who decided to go live in Nunavik (Quebec), close to the Arctic Circle. You know where I’d never live? Anywhere North of Ottawa… and this is why this new perspective on Canada is so precious to me.
My point is, we’re all very different but we connect and communicate like decent human beings. We don’t shout at each other’s faces when we disagree, we respect the fact we have different lives, different beliefs, different ideas.
Sounds easy enough, eh?
Try living in North America (and possibly Europe) these days. We’re all divided. There’s a new thing to be outraged against every freaking hour. People are arguing for or against the craziest things. And then, when they run out of words, they just pull the trigger—well, by “they,” I mean “Americans” in this specific case. But even in Canada and in France (just to talk about two countries I know well) we either hang out with people who think just like us or argue with people who happen to think differently.
Yet, I’m convinced that if we’d just take a minute to read something random or something different, we could develop a new interest, gain a new perspective, challenge a stereotype or learn something new.
This is why blogging is so important to me.
I offer a window on Canada, on the fine art of living in a multicultural household and on parenting a kid in a country you didn’t grow up in. I offer stories, lived here or elsewhere.
I’m not that interesting.
I’m just a piece of the jigsaw.
Together, we can connect beyond cultures and experiences.
Regardless of our backgrounds, beliefs and values, we’re all human beings facing the same doubts, dealing with the same fears and decoding life on earth the best we can.
You may not realize it, but you matter to me.
I need other perspectives.
Thank you for sharing your views and being who you are.