Yes, this is a blog post about why blogs are bad for us. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on.
I recently heard a piece of advice that said, “read more books and less blog posts.” In a weird way, it stuck with me and I’ve yet to stop thinking about it. At best, blog posts teach us something. They expand our knowledge of the world around us, shed light into a new perspective, or teach us to do something cool.
At worst, they trick us into thinking in sound bites and snapshot opinions.
The truth is that the primary goal of any blog post is to communicate one singular idea or motive. Take for instance, this Buzzfeed article called, “15 Times Braces Ruined Your Life.” The goal of the article is to make you laugh via a series of funny, relatable GIFs—pretty straight forward and overall relatively harmless.
When I read a Buzzfeed article, I know exactly what I’m going to get. I want a quick laugh or a bit of wonderful nostalgia and I’ll be on my way. Thank you very much, see you next week.
It’s easy to digest Buzzfeed articles because the point is obvious, we all accept it and we move on. But there’s real conflict when we attempt to apply that same logic to say things like politics, or religion, or relationships (or when I consume hundreds of Buzzfeed articles a week and count that as reading).
The problem (and single point of this blog post) is that most real arguments and ideas cannot (or shouldn’t) be boiled down to 400-800 word blog posts.
If I write a 600 word blog post on why gun laws should all be abolished and you share it—all we’re doing (in my opinion) is at best communicating one angle of a broad, and tricky social issue. At worst, we are thumping our digital chests and providing bullet point arguments/facts that support our opinion. To me, it’s the equivalent of walking into a restaurant and shouting, "I LOVE HOT DOGS! Anyone else love hot dogs?"
...then leaving the restaurant.
Books, for those keeping score at home, are these wonderful things which allow us humans to learn about more than a single angle of an argument or idea. Now, I’m pointing this finger directly at myself when I say this, because I should really finish Outliers and move on to the two wedding books I've yet to really start.
The point is that sound bite logic, while easily understood, does less to further our understanding of the world and more to dilute complicated issues/thoughts.
So now I should stop writing this blog post and go pick up a book.
(All that said, please come back.)