Why do people come and read blogs, day after day? Why read about someone’s life, someone you will probably never meet, someone who’s life has no bearing on your own?
Last year, I discussed the value of stories a little bit, but I want to expand on that today.
We read blogs about strangers’ lives day after day, because as human beings, we are drawn to stories.
We love reading about other people’s lives, and seeing how others live, because everyone’s life is a story. Blogs are truly a unique medium that offer a glimpse into a person’s life. We can know what someone’s day to day life is like for people on the other side of the country, or the other side of the world. It’s a connection that was impossible before the age of the internet. We’re curious about how other people live, and reading what their stories are. It’s so interesting to see another person’s life, and see the similarities and sometimes subtle differences between theirs and your own.
We can learn so much through others. And blogger offers a unique cultural analysis: we can see the differences and values through the way people approach life and the way they speak about it. It’s not so much what someone blogs but the way in which they do it.
So what is the point? Every blogger has a message, whether explicit or unconscious, or they wouldn’t blog. Even those with a blog purely as an online diary have a message, they might just not realize. That message is in how they tell about their lives, the word choices and reflections on life. Simply writing a series of events is a reflection, although sometimes inadvertent. What I mean is this: when recounting events, the way the events are described are inherently a reflection. Why choose this word over that? There clearly is a reason, although it may not be a conscious choice.
So, we’ve established that everyone has a message. But why use stories as a medium? There are plenty of websites that have dry, informational content. Let’s use health, fitness, and healthy living blogs as an example. There are plenty of articles out there about what to eat to be healthy, what exercises to do, how to approach food.
But those websites don’t have the same loyal following. They don’t get people coming back day after day in the same way. And that’s because when we present information through stories, people care more. It’s more interesting. It’s more memorable. Sometimes I’ll do a purely informative post, but that doesn’t stick in the same way. I think it’s also beneficial to share a message through action, through application. I could do nothing but share nutrition knowledge on this blog, but I don’t think that’s what people want to see. It’s hard to relate to a list of bullet points. It’s hard to see how a list of bullet points works in everyday life. It’s much easier to see the full picture. When those bullet points are applied day after day, it’s easier to understand what and how.
And how many times have you remembered a story you heard, compared to an article you read? Even with school, if there was a story behind a piece of information, I remembered and understood it far better.
One of my hopes with this blog is that it will help a few people here and there better understand and approach health. And I hope that by sharing my own thoughts and approaches in my daily life, I can achieve this.