Opium and the Writing on the Wall

Aug 29, 2011 by

Blogging is the new opiate of the masses.  No, really.  Karl Marx claimed that religion was the opiate of the masses because it sedated them, keeping them from getting angry enough to revolt.  Well, blogging also keeps people from action.  When a person is angry, he goes straight to his computer and writes an angry post that everyone who visits his blog can see.  After the person has vented, he not only feels better for getting whatever he had to say off his chest, he feels like he is making a difference by spreading his ideas.  When people ‘like’ his blog or comment on it, he feels justified for ranting on the internet and satisfied that he has made a difference.

Blogs don’t even affect people usually.  When was the last time a blog changed your life?  Writing a blog is like writing on the bathroom walls:  some people will see it, some people may even read it, but no one is going to give it more than a few moment’s thought (unless it’s funny, in which case they may laugh and think about it for a whole thirty seconds).  And the fact that there are so many blogs makes them even less influential:  all the power they might have is disseminated among them.  Your scribbles on the bathroom wall are hiding among all the other messages that people have left there.

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing except that it keeps people from actually doing anything.  They sit around and talk all day but they never take the next step into action.  Instead of talking about what you want to happen, just do it.  The truth is that you can never change anyone else, but you can change yourself.  And it turns out that the best way to get people to do what you want is to show them through your actions that it your way is desirable.  So leave this blog, get off your butt and go be the change that you want to see!

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  1. Gerber

    But isn’t blogging doing something? Blogging is a way to change hearts and minds. While it may not change a lot, as you have noted, and can, from time to time, be nothing more then ranting. However, when someone blogs with reason and sense, isn’t the effort to change hearts and minds, the open debate DOING something. Leading through example is good, however, it is nothing without a reasoned argument.

  2. Heather Malone

    Without action, a reasoned argument is just wind. I don’t see why you need to have an argument in order to lead through example.

  3. Gerber

    I am not arguing action must not be done. However, to say that blogs and arguments of the sort are useless, even when done not to rant but to find truth, is to miss out on REASON. Reason is not simply action. One who acts without reason, is acting on passion. If I am acting on what someone said or how I feel without hearing other points of view, I am not being reasonable. If I have a reasoned argument, but do not see how it stands up to other arguments, then I am hiding my reason from scrutiny, which is unreasonable. If I have an argument that I do not share because I ONLY want to act, then I am not trying to change hearts and minds, which should be the first goal. What course of action are people to take, out of curiosity, other then trying to change hearts and minds, find the truth, and implement it in their own lives?

  4. Jesse Harris

    Too often I think we hide the true light of action beneath the bushel basket of a blog. We think putting an idea out there is enough – But how often does blogging, signing an e-petition, or “liking” something on a social network give us the false sense of satisfaction at having taken an action. The transmission of ideas, the discourse of hearts and minds is a necessary first step, but if we stop there we still lose the battle!

  5. Gerber

    I agree that there is a step of the transmission of ideas and a step of action. However, I do not think that there is a problem with blogging, I think the problem is in the second step. There are idiots who have nothing to say, but, there have always been idiots like that. They have just become mass produced now. If that is the problem, then it is not blogging, but Gutenberg to blame. The problem lies in a growing inability to act. Narcissism is setting in our society. Some people only take action when what they want doesn’t get done, and others sit and complain about it not getting done and don’t even take action then. This kind of narcissism revolves around the idea that people want to do LESS. Doing less has been equated with the good life. The problem lies not in the too much transmission of ideas, but in inaction. People shouldn’t communicate less, rather act more.

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