This is a good question. I don’t think I write on the Internet in order to change minds. It may be the reason for some pieces, but it is not the (main) reason for writing on the Internet. I also think that it is an incredible bonus when it happens.
It is to know the you that goes unseen when you are certain no one is looking,
But that doesn’t answer the question about “why write on the Internet.” I had no intention of sharing my writing when I started writing personal narrative. But it is powerful to take the “unseen” and have it be seen.
What I hope for most when writing is for someone to read my piece and feel less alone in the world. Or to feel, if only briefly, connected to the characters in my story. I hope that people can look at life a little differently by hearing about a perspective they may not have considered. I hope that my writing makes someone think more deeply about a topic. And if there is something that resonates — then I’m happy. These things feel way more important than changing someone’s mind.
Similarly I read not to have someone change my mind, but so that I may consider ideas and perspectives I haven’t considered; To complicate my understanding of life, and to find experiences that are similar to my own so that I can reflect in new ways. I may or may not change my mind in those instances but it is not the reason I read so I’m ok with that.
Thanks for asking the question.