Where’s This Train Headed?

By: sonofabeach96

Jan 07 2016

Category: Uncategorized

76 Comments

Why on earth do we do this?  I know some are on social media are out there to promote themselves, or their wares.  Some aspire to be published writers or sell their art, and this is a very public forum, a forum where access to any number of individuals worldwide is possible.  Hard to beat that kind of potential visibility if one desires self-promotion and potential sales or offers.  I get that.  That part of the blogosphere makes logistical as well as logical sense.

There are also the statistic seekers, nearly begging people to follow them, like them, and repost them.  I presume it’s to go viral, to gain as many followers and hits in order to create this sort of ether-kingdom and acquire advertising income, I suppose.  At the very least, it fattens the wallet of the ego and provides them a forum of devotees who gush over every opinion and conglomeration of words put forth by their trusty leader.

But what about those of us who have no great desire for fame or fortune from our seemingly innocuous and innocent postings.  Those of us who provide periodic snapshots into our worlds to potentially millions of strangers, for no real tangible benefit. Those of us who may have a 100 or 200 followers, yet consistently converse with only 10-20 of those.  Those of us who post, sometimes daily, yet receive only 15-20 likes, and even fewer comments.  Obviously ambivalent to and uninterested in any notoriety or wage for doing so.

What’s in this for us, and why do we invest so much time and effort into creating these honest and genuine looks at ourselves, and then put them out here to be seen by so few, and critiqued by some?  Take myself, for example: I post nearly daily, I do an hour or so of research for my music-related posts, and try to come up with topical and well put together personal posts.  None of it is earth shattering stuff.  None of it means much to anyone but myself.  I sometimes discuss very personal subjects that I wouldn’t discuss with most of my daily acquaintances.  I divulge secrets kept shrouded from all but my closet family or friend, to complete strangers.  I put my novice and limited writing skills out for god knows how many people to view.  And all of this for nothing in return.  At least, nothing I can explain.

I have a full life outside of this blog.  Believe me.  A 13 year-old autistic son and 10 year-old twin boys is enough in itself.  Throw in the typical work, family, commute, and other average daily drama we all deal with, and I have no shortage of things to occupy my time.  Yet here I sit, carving out time at he end of my day (I started this last night), reading others’ posts, commenting on them, and writing this.  Obviously it feeds something in me, in us.  But what?  I have a wife who loves to talk.  I have friends available at any time of day.  But I have this little side life in which I commune with a few of y’all, but we’ve never met.  When I sit and look at, I have to wonder why.  Why do I do this?  Why do you do this?What do you think?  What do you get outta this?  Those of you like myself, why do you invite strangers into your corner of the world?  Thoughts?

My songs of the day are:

“Wtf?”by OK Go

“Shadows” by Rufus Wainwright

“Aint That Peculiar” by New Grass Revival

“Wonderwall” by Ryan Adams

“Soul Kitchen” by The Doors

“Pretty Pimpin'” by Kurt Vile

“Singin’ To Strangers” by The Wood Brothers

 

 

 

 

76 comments on “Where’s This Train Headed?”

  1. I’ve pondered this a time or two myself SOB…still haven’t found an answer…but glad our paths have crossed!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m glad I’m not alone in this pondering. Maybe that’s it, just to feel like we’re not alone in the big bad busy world around us.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. You always get me wondering!! 😱😱 Maybe because, strangers really aren’t strangers in reality??

    Maybe what I mean is, we were all destined to meet, in one way or the other, outta the billions of ppl on earth & when we do meet.. That spark, connects us all.. Making us pour out our hearts to strangers, who feel special & we end up caring about..❓❓⁉️ Strangers, who are strangers just because the dictionary defines it as “Ppl you dunno well?” But in actuality, there’s a thread connecting us all..

    A weird logic, but maybe I made sense?

    Pardon me if I sounded retarded! 😂😂😂

    Liked by 5 people

  4. A stranger is a friend who have not made yet is what i hear!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s like a journal for me. But with an audience. So I get the benefit of anonymity and lack of biased judgment but great feedback and support.

    And it’s great to really find people that might be going through something similar or have similar perspectives although they may be from a completely different background.

    🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. […] fellow blogger’s post I read recently titled Where’s This Train Headed got me thinking a little deeper about some of the questions the author imposed upon my mind by […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Part of it for me is connected to an art practice. I passionately believe that everyone is creative in their own way, and if we can find an outlet for that, it makes for a richer life. I blog as part of my commitment to myself to take my creativity seriously. Writing is a big part of that (along with painting and drawing and weaving, and and and ), and blogging turns out to be more satisfying than journaling.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oops, I hit send too soon. Premature posting. I meant to add that another thing blogging helps me with is some social contact at a pace I can handle. I struggle with PTSD / anxiety / depression, and am just managing to hold down a full-time job and take reasonable care of myself and my pets. Making as much time as possible for art in any form, and for some social interaction, is crucial to my mental health. I am careful about following new blogs because I don’t want to overextend myself, but I am growing very fond of the short dozen bloggers I interact with regularly. It’s been a really encouraging discovery.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with this too. It’s funny, being an introvert, yet interacting with lots of people. This is safe way to do it. I’m with ya on that point. Living where we do, we’re isolated to the nth degree. But here I can have interaction, but on my terms. It works, huh? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. SOBeach, this post mirrored the questions I’ve asked myself on a regular basis. I ask myself those same questions every day as a way of balancing my expectations. I write or toss around ideas for new art work every day but do not post as often as that. I ask what I get out of maintaining a blog and why I’m posting something. A lot of potential posts remain in draft mode, are set to private or get deleted as a result. If it makes sense to do so, I will continue publishing posts to my blog. If it stops making sense, I will not post anymore. I used to archive my paintings but having a blog is good for testing ideas and getting feedback on what the viewing public (who are not friends or personal acquaintances) might be into. Not everyone in my world likes abstract art or poetry so does that mean I shouldn’t paint or write? It is very hard for me to show my work but I am slowly breaking out of the habit. Having a blog is for me a way of remaining detached from the outcome. Hopefully, I should be setting some new goals for myself.

    On a different note, I have found it disconcerting to see a few meta posts about how many people are “following”. I bristle when I read that because I wonder how many people think I’m following and adoring them, like a fan, as opposed to reading their blogs or watching their feeds with interest. Having a balanced perspective is so important.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well said, as usual. I agree, that if I were an artist, or wanted to try to sell my photographs, this is a great place to be. If I had that burning desire to let words pour out of me, a passionate need to write, this makes perfect sense. But I don’t. I’ve said it a million times, I’m not a writer. I’m not an artist. I consider myself a photographer, but have little interest in selling my work. I…I think “struggle with” is a bit too severe…but I wonder I guess, why I’m doing this. I could really just as easily journal, or ask advice from my wife or friends. I could find good music, books, art, etc any number of places, and without exposing myself. I ponder my motivations, and potential outcome, of why I, or any others like me, do this. It’s an odd dynamic. And like I just said in a response to another comment, I’m an introvert, loner by nature. Here I am pulling my curtain back with the light on. Not sure why? It’s interesting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is interesting as you say. Introverts are not necessarily lacking in confidence. It is just easier for us to self evaluate. I think it’s not so much for feedback but to impose a perspective on the world in the hopes of nudging some portion of it towards a certain outcome. If I were to offer an answer to your question, I think you’re preparing a place for your children to see you think, feel, breathe, opine and interact. There are things about yourself they can’t understand yet. One day, they will read this conversation and respect you immensely for setting aside time every night to build this for them. Best of luck, my friend. xo

        Liked by 3 people

      • Well, whatever the reasons, I plan on continuing. It’s fun and I’m enjoying myself. As long as that’s the case, I’ll carry on. I hope you do too! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

    • Follow sounds too “twittery” for me. Fortunately, I don’t receive that much “follow my blog” comments anymore…

      Liked by 3 people

      • I don’t really either. I don’t know what my niche is, or if I even fit one. I’m like that Seinfeld episode, “The Show About Nothing. That’s my blog. 😃

        Liked by 3 people

      • I don’t think that my blog is considered to be in a niche as well technically speaking. Maybe during the first few months, but as time goes by, the topics of my posts have become more varied.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mine too. Sorta takes on a life of its own.

        Like

      • I think I’m an introverted extrovert and, like you, enjoy interaction on my terms. There is freedom to be real in anonymity. Btw, 20+ years on and we all still love Seinfeld. 😘

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ha! I know I still do! 😃

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’m so glad you don’t, Abyss Brain. People can be vulgar sometimes with that. In November, someone visited a post where the world was mourning and wrote, “Hey guys, follow me on Instagram, I need lots of likes.” Just because a lot of people were sad and commenting on that post to find comfort. Imagine selling tickets to Rio Carnival at a funeral. I was like, “Goodbye.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • That’s just very rude and insensitive of that person to make such an inappropriate comment in the wrong place.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Crappy. I know I’m new to this community, but those are the kinds of posts I don’t like. I don’t criticize, it’s their site and they can do what they want. I just ignore those though. Not that anyone cares. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      • The most important points are that you are authentic and have made genuine friendships. On that note, have a great Friday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Likewise, mon amie! TGIF! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a great post!

    I don’t blog for statistics even though I blog about statistics sometimes. Considering that I primarily blog about “recreational math”, which is a niche within a niche, getting some views would just be a bonus.

    I certainly don’t blog in hopes of earning from it as well. If I really wanted to earn more money, then I wouldn’t be blogging right now.

    My goal when I started blogging was to share some of my knowledge to anyone who may somehow stumble on my blog. This is the motivation that drives me to post more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great answer. I was an accounting major in a previous life, so I had my share of stats classes, disguised as macro and micro-economics. Oh, and finite math too. My brain aches a bit every time I think about it. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Personally, I’m not that fond of stats since some of its applications can be quite shady. I studied pure math btw and it’s more focused on infinity 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I have a nephew who is autistic. I know that keeps you busy as there are many challenges there.

    I started my blog to help me navigate through my thoughts. I love writing and I love sharing my work. I am not expecting to become rich or famous out of this. I check my stats but mainly with the expectation to see if my writings connect with people.

    We are all layered individuals and this blog is just one layer of you. It doesn’t define you or attempt to make up for something lacking. Likely the main reason you are here is because you enjoy it.

    I have actually written about my journey in blogging. Hope it helps you on your own.

    http://thehauntedlullaby.com/2013/10/11/why-the-blog/

    And this is why I started writing poetry:

    http://thehauntedlullaby.com/2013/11/04/poetry/

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My husbands ask those same questions of me….and after great thought, I have come to the conclusion,quit simply, it makes me happy….I started this blog for myself…to blog to me….and what a great bonus to find I was not alone….I love the simplicity of this community….take it, leave it…no matter…..like it hate it….no matter….give back and be appreciated for it….yes…..and I found you or you found me, no matter….life is just a little better for it…..leaves me with smiles and nice thoughts of others at the end of the day…nice post….and really nice to know that, yes we are not alone in our personal quandaries….nice to be back at it…kat

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Kat. I’m sure the reasons people do this are varied. But one common thread in the responses I’ve gotten is that we enjoy it. It feeds something g in each of us. It’s an interesting dynamic. For me, the conversations that come from a single thought are what I like best. I started as a journal of sorts and it still is to large degree. But it’s become more.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I write/blog for myself mainly, I don’t care if I received zero likes.
    I’m here to learn from amazing, creative and talented bloggers.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I like writing. I like the ability to put thoughts on to paper without being interrupted, forgotten, or pushed to the side. Sometimes it takes 3 days to get the post out there primarily because I like to sleep. Also, it sucks hoarding the thoughts to myself. I do communicate with hubby, a lot, but to get him to read everything I write would be like asking myself to really listen when he is talking about the parts he needs to fix stuff. I also like the photo challenges because it gives me an opportunity to critically look at some pics. There are thousands. I also don’t talk to too many people on a day to day basis. It amazes me how comfortable I am here, specifically at your site and a few others. As I type this out, my feet are up, I am drinking my coffee and watching the time because I will jetset to work soon. I am genuinely excited/saddened/happy for the people that I have met here. It’s weird because I usually don’t let that many people into my circle…TGIF btw ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! I have such a small circle, and that’s not by mistake. Yet here I am, putting myself out there for whoever wants to look. It’s an dichotomy of personality, and one I can’t quite wrap my little mind around. This whole deal is so unlike me, I have to wonder why I, and others, may find this even possible. In my case, the anonymity allows me to participate. If everyone knew exactly who I am, no way in hell I’d being doing it! 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • I know! I had a fair bit of anxiety using my first name on here and posting that one picture of myself. Anonymous or not, I think it takes a fair bit of balls to hit publish. I think that’s why I am still here, pushing myself bit by bit out of my little comfort bubble at a pace that is slow and steady. Communicating with other like minded people helps, a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed it does, and you’re very accurate. I like my bubble, it’s mine. But it’s good to step out of it every now and then, albeit anonymously.

        Like

  15. I think it’s the freedom to write what ever you want. The support from readers allover the world no matter if you have many followers or few. That no one expect something of you and just show happiness over that you continue to post. No one is trying to interpret your writing/thinking to something else that what the text and pics tells. No one hold it against you, like family and friends sometimes do, which often leads to that you don’t talk to them about stuff you know they will ask questions about that you don’t want. You just want some support or some “I understand” or “I’ve been there” at that time instead. The blog allows you to be in the mood you are for the writing moment. I recently realized that blogreading and writing is like chapters in never ending books. I like all of the books we are creating together. That’s why I’m here on wp. I don’t have to write a proper book or paint a perfect painting. I just do what I do for the moment and I always have someplace to go talk to people:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • That sums it up exceptionally well Anna. Great response. I love that I can put just about anything out here, and no matter what, I get feedback. And it’s almost always positive and encouraging, with no judgement or preconceived opinions. It’s been pretty great. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree! What if we could learn to act like that in “real life” too. Just listen without prejudice (I know, it’s a George Michael album title) and then give positive feedback. That isn’t so difficult really. If we can do it on wp, we should be able to do it I.R.L too. And I try to do that both in and off work.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You’re so right! It shouldn’t be that difficult. Maybe someday humans will learn. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe. I think this wp community is a peace project. We learn so much from each other and have such a nice time. That’s how the world should be! 🌍😀

        Liked by 2 people

  16. My husband asks me this and I think there are many reasons for me. Writing my thoughts has always helped me work through my emotions and heal. And I like to think once in a while we help someone or make them smile. That’s good enough for me lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. For me it’s kinda like coloring on a colorbooks?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] Where’s This Train Headed? […]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Here is a beautiful avenue for self expression that would otherwise not be possible due to previous physical limitations. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I don’t know. Where is this train headed? Maybe people like you and I do this, just for the sake, of connecting with people period. To test the limits of human affection and bonding. Maybe we just want to create another world for ourselves to create an outlet when the real world isn’t working… I don’t know. But one thing is clear. We are on this train headed for who-knows-where and while many stops have been passed, we continue to ride on… Thanks for posting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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