One thing I absolutely love about the Internet is the open exchange of ideas and the diversity of thought conveyed in different articles, videos, images and messages. As a naturally curious learner, I thrive by finding out new things online and connecting with different people. Especially as bloggers, we are in a position to interact with a stream of people from different backgrounds, cultures and languages than us. The Internet is huge and powerful. And this blogosphere is getting bigger and bigger everyday. But I have been thinking about how much I am really tuned into diversity online.
I have definitely fallen into the trap of researching and reading blogs by people who are similar to me. I love it when I find other college students who have blogs who live in North Carolina or Virginia. I love it when I can peek into the lives of graphic designers online. I love it when I find a blog with a design that I love–whether it uses my favorite font, some of my favorite graphics like stripes, anchors, beach themes or mint green and teal colors. While I absolutely love connecting with these people and building strong, fruitful communities, I ask the question–am I really trying to connect with a diverse group of people?
Let me first preface this by saying that “diverse” can mean a lot of things. It can mean different ethnicities, nations, cultures or backgrounds. It can mean different beliefs, world views or perspectives on different issues. It could mean experience. Bloggers who are just starting out or bloggers who have been blogging for years, and everything in between. Diversity can mean different socioeconomic backgrounds. It means different interests: sports, fashion, food, traveling, books, art, math, science, music, writing and a wide array of hobbies and life pursuits. Diversity is a huge word, and sometimes we try to narrow it down to a single idea, but we have to realize that promoting diversity means being open and accepting of new things and ideas that may contradict with our own culture or beliefs.
I want to say that I think the blogosphere is one of the most diverse virtual places–but even as bloggers we can form habits that put up walls around diversity online.
I confess that sometimes I don’t read a blog or a website based on the design or layout of the site. If it’s hard to read or distracting, I would close the tab. But it’s this just like judging books by their covers? We all do it, but what if all those blogs that I came across–for a specific reason–had incredible messages to share? But I settled with only websites that are easy on the eyes with an attractive design? As bloggers, we all have a common goal to share our stories, and I think that comes with supporting each other in this diverse world. Madison of Wetherills Say I Do wrote a great post on this, on why bloggers need to support other bloggers. Check it out for more ways to support this blogging community.
But why promote diversity in the blogosphere?
Because these are real relationships and real ideas we are sharing. These blogs are our creative productions. They are communities we are forming. Information has power, as we can share stories that can stick with people throughout their lives. Seeing the world from different points of views widens those stories and gives us a more authentic and genuine approach to them.
In addition, diversity in general helps us fuel our creative spirits. Studies have shown that exposure to different cultures promotes creativity. By opening up to all the ideas and diversity of thought online, we are energizing our creative gifts and absorbing more information to help us understand our creative calling and our abilities to make a positive impact in the world.
What do you think about diversity and blogging?