Why Blog? Escape your echo chamber!

Plus journling, flushing my brain and finding my doppel-gangers.

So people kept asking why I wanted? and so I compiled my list of reasons.
Enjoy and if you blog, feel free to add your reasons as well.

TL;DR

  1. Escape your echo chamber 🏠: We are creatures of bias. Blog posts get read by just about anyone. Their feedback could change you forever….
  2. Journling with a pressure ⏰ to publish : Writing for future-you is great, but sharing will multiply the value of your thoughts. Plus pressure is great for creating healthy habits.
  3. Flush 🚽 your brain in a structured manner : The quality of the written word is way higher than unprepared discussions that lead nowhere.
  4. Virtual networking ✋ : Networking is hugely important in real-life, but limited to your physical reality. I love to meet wonderful like-minded people. My doppelganger might live at the other side of the globe.
  5. Broadcasting 📻 information : No matter how digital the world gets, information still spreads mostly through word-of-mouth. If you care about something and feel like people are underinformed, spread the word!

Escape your echo chamber 🏠

Human beings have always been surrounded by a limited set of viewpoints existing in their social environment. The internet and social media have increased the amount of echo-ing because the algorithms that serve you content are filled with confirmation bias re-inforced by your network. I love to travel because new people and their cultures open you up to new viewpoints. Writing is another way to share your thoughts with random strangers. With the 2017 commotion on fake news and social media echo chambers, blogging went to the top of my todo-list. You never know who is gonna read and comment on what you write. Although the algorithms of some of the internet giants are clearly a part of the problem, my hope is that people with differing viewpoints will ind my posts and add their 2 cents to the conversation.

Writing is sharing your thoughts with random strangers and thus a great way to escape the echo chamber.

Journling with a pressure to publish ⏰

In primary and secondary school, I had the habit to journle. It was great to look back on how my thoughts changed over time. It felt like a conversation with my future self and gave me confidence that I would learn from my mistakes. Above all, reflecting about my life and my choices, made me come up with new goals, hopes and dreams. I don’t really remember why I quit. Maybe I outgrew it. Maybe I had enough hopes and dreams to last a lifetime. Maybe life just became way too busy.

Since I graduated from university, I have wanted to restart this habit. I miss the feeling of being able to track my progress in the world. It’s so important to understand if you are going forward or stepping back. However, life hasn’t become less busy and having the discipline to set everything aside just to write to your future self, doesn’t seem realistic. With a blog, someone might be interested in reading what I write. Someone other than future-me, might value my words. And this added value, just might make it worth the cost.

Someone other than future-me, might value my words.

Flush my brain in a structured manner 🚽

I have ended up in so many discussions in my life that I regret.

Hours of time wasted bending over every topic you can think of: politics, AI, why so many IT projects fail, a random startup idea, why blockchain is revolutionary, the meaning of life, the fermi-paradox, the difference between what we want and what we need to be happy etc.

Some discussions might have occured multiple times. Some might have occured over a drink in a bar. Some occured while I should have been working on something else. Some ended in agreement with my talking partner, but most just ended because we ran out of time. The busier life became, the more I regretted wasting my time on discussing things that I couldn’t immediately change or have an impact on. Yet the desire to discuss remained. Because I wanted to understand something. Because I wanted to hear what someone else had to say about it. Because I wanted my thoughts on the subject to be judged. So I kept doing it anyway. Until I realized:

Writing is just superior to talking.

Certainly in this case. Probably this is a very old wisdom, but basically it keeps you from running around in circlues. Because it forces you to make a list my arguments and think about my words carefully. It also forces you to add context. Context avoids you from talking simutaneously about something slightly different. Plus you can re-work the argument until you’re satifisfied that it communicates your thoughts correctly and concisely. You can add to it over time, without forgetting some insight that you already had. You can come to admit why parts of your argumentation is wrong.

Finally others can structure their counter-argument by pointing to parts of your reasoning that they disagree with. Instead of just continuining on the last thing that was said. And more importantly, you are not constantly interrupted by each person’s thought-flow. (No wonder Amazon is trying to bring back briefs instead of powerpoints.)

I encourage everyone to comment, but show some courtesy to the writer. No argument is perfect, pointing out flaws is great, but give constructive feedback and don’t hesitate to show what you agree with as well.

Virtual networking ✋

Networking is hugely important in real-life, but limited to your physical reality. Many people dislike doing it. The discomfort of talking about yourself is extremely familiar. However it’s important to get to know all kinds of people that could play an important role in your life.

Networking is like blogging in so many ways. Most people you meet will never see you again. You get better at it over time. You get surprised by the feedback of others. You provide a lot of value that you never expect something for in return. And sometimes you have unexpected encounters that feel like you struck gold. However even if you never do. People share their energy, inspiration, thoughts and ideas that can act as a fuel for your fire. You can improve how you communicate your ideas and discover about stuff you never heard about. And last but not least, you might make new friends.

Your doppelganger and your worst sceptic live on the other side of the globe. If you occupy ZERO real-estate on the web, they won’t find you.

Writing can turn strangers into connections that matter!

Broadcasting 📻 information

I am constantly amazed by how many people ask me:

FJ, how do you know all this stuff?

Well I read 📑 a lot, more than most apparently.
I love it. I love being surprised and learning something new. 
And I love to talk about what I read. Sometimes a bit too much, resulting in people asking me to talk about something less serious or more fun. (If you are reading this, you know who you are!😐). But most of the time, people are just fascinated and ask me about where that information comes from and to talk more about it.

I always wondered why I cared about sharing?

Was it just to make my friends laugh or make them like me.

No. It’s about sharing:

I care about information being spread. Because we should be aware about how the world changes around us and what that could mean.

How will it change our lives ? How can we steer that change in a positive direction? How could we use it to change the live of others?

So I decided to start broadcasting. 📻 Here’s my 2017 overview

Call to Action❓

These were my reasons to blog. 
I’ll try to keep this page updated as I go through life. And let me know:

Why do you blog, write or journle?

Thanks

FJ.


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