For their most recent assignment, my students had to participate in the public sphere in some capacity, whether that be by creating a blog, posting a video on Youtube, writing letters to the editor, or submitting political poetry or a literary essay to an appropriate venue. My hope is their participation will spark something in them, make them citizens, make them realize how very much they count.
Which begs the question: do our blogs count? Do they matter? Do we have readers who, if nothing else, we entertain briefly?
I went through my "Stats," a new tab available to me as I am posting a new blog. I can see how many views specific entries have received over the many years I have been writing this. It is entertaining to me to find that the entry that has received the most views is one where I have posted a picture of Mandy Moore's hair. I believe this to be the result of the intersection of Google Images and my little blog. It has received an awful lot of hits. That Mandy Moore really has a following, and so do I, because of her - it would seem.
But I think this blog (and that blog and that blog and that blog) does matter even beyond the star power of Mandy Moore. It matters because of how democratic it is. It matters because there is a forum. It matters because I am educated, and funny, and articulate, and a wife, and a mother, and a teacher, and because I'm very likeable and people are probably wondering how I got to be so great. Probably.
What is for certain and not hinging on probabilities is the beauty of the Internet. Here I am, girl in Tennessee, writing self-referentially about my own blog, wondering if I matter. And the Internet, in all its glory, gives me an outlet for all that meta-ness. Thank you, Internet. I will keep trying to matter.
Toward that end, I will just say this - I like having a blog. I like reading blogs. I hate that people who are interesting and inspiring and cute and charming and funny live so far away. Blogs make them closer. I want to hear about your politics, your kids, your careers, your shopping lists. It all matters very much to me. Keep writing. I promise to read it. I promise it matters, even if what we sometimes care the most about is how cute Mandy Moore's hair is.