Happy Milvian Bridge Day! Today is October 28th, and Spiritual Blueprint: The Blog celebrates one year of existence. By the way, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the title of my blog was meant to be a veiled homage to that scene in the movie Space Balls, when we see all the spin-off products, like “Space Balls: The Lunch Box,” etc. So Spiritual Blueprint: The Blog is a spin-off of Spiritual Blueprint the book. Still not a movie yet, though.
One year ago I decided to start writing a blog with no commitments as to the future. I knew I would post something every week (except when I’m on vacation), but didn’t make any promises about how long this would go on. I had some serious misgivings about the whole social networking thing (see my blog post entitled “The Dark Side of Social Networking” – after rereading this post, I realize that my misgivings about facebook especially have only gone farther down the road of skepticism). I still think blogging is a form of narcissism. And I just know every time I post anything anywhere there is a computer named HAL taking note of all my preferences. Have you ever had that experience where you’re posting something on facebook, and even before you hit “enter,” an ad comes up on the side that’s based on a word you just typed? Spooky.
I still worry that social networking, including blogging, is the new millennium’s version of familiarity breeding contempt. Everyone is equalized to the point where we’re all “friends” – which means we can say anything we want, no matter how snarky. We sink to the lowest common denominator, and hurt other people’s feelings while we embarrass ourselves. Never has it been more obvious that freedom of speech is a mixed blessing. I guess the place where I see it the most is in the realm of politics. Since I’m a card-carrying Goldiloxian, and therefore firmly in the middle, I have friends on both sides of me politically. It can be frustrating and even disheartening to see the extremist rhetoric flying around facebook from both sides of the spectrum. I suppose I could increase my readership by going to one extreme or the other – then I would sacrifice readers on one side of the spectrum to attract more of them on the other side. This is what so many of those TV and radio personalities do. But I refuse to alienate one group of people for the sake of popularity with another group. That’s not who I am.
So what makes me (or anyone else) think that I should have a blog? What makes me worth listening to? I started on the assumption that it was because I wrote some books that got published. But so what? To be honest, I’m not sure. And as I said in last week’s blog, I’m also not sure that I (or anyone else) can say anything of substance in the short space allotted by the 21st century attention span.
Nevertheless, I’m renewing my own contract for another year. The experiment will go on. I’m going to keep writing my weekly blog, and I’m going to make an effort to keep it short and sweet (maybe not 500 words, but I’m going to try to limit it to one page). Also, I’ve taken note of the topics that got the most hits, and I’m going to try to focus the topics a bit more. So welcome to the new and improved Spiritual Blueprint Blog.