I could not ask for better readers! Read on if you want to know why.
During the pandemic I consumed a lot of new content: music and books, but also blogs and podcasts. I tried out some social media, including Twitter and YouTube, and explored newsletters. This led me to a few observations, the most important of which is this: the audience determines what the creator makes.
At least for the most successful creators, the audience is the unseen, but very real, guiding hand. What are viewers or readers reacting to? What do they ask about? What do they upvote and what do they criticize? The savvy content creator looks at all this as invaluable feedback and adapts. After all, I am not trying to convince you of anything. I'm just trying to shed light in areas that are of mutual interest.
So the first observation is that you are important to what you will see here. It is for this reason that I hope to hear from you. You can interact with me and your fellow readers in a couple ways, which I am still exploring. See Contact for your current options. What I want you to know is "I'm listening," as the fictional Dr. Frasier Crane used to say on his radio program.
Here are further observations I've had while consuming new content during the pandemic: a great deal of content is shallow, much content is designed to arouse strong emotions, and consuming this content comes at a cost. The cost comes in lost time, but also in having your emotions manipulated, and in your mind being influenced in ways you may not directly appreciate.
Ultimately, the experience for me was dissatisfying and a little scary. I could see how people become addicted to social media platforms and develop unhealthy thinking habits.
As a result, here are a few guesses about those of you who end up spending some time here:
- You are looking for more than shallow entertainment and are in fact eager for an intellectual challenge.
- You are interested in understanding yourself, including what motivates you and what makes you happy (or unhappy).
- You may have spent time with other methods of self-improvement, including philosophy, psychology, meditation, or self-help books of various kinds.
- You are an over-achiever, used to doing well, but also pushing yourself hard.
- You have self-doubts: are you pushing too hard, does what you are striving for make sense, is there something else you could/should be doing?
I am like you in this regard, because I have had all these thoughts and feelings. See About Me if you want to know more. Like you, I would rather explore topics to see where they lead than go through life uncritically. This means confronting tough questions, both regarding the world and regarding yourself. I am convinced we will be better and happier for it. I am reminded of the words of Julian of Norwich, the English anchoress, who said:
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well!
Ultimately, it is my desire for you to be well, for me to be well, and for society to be well. By the explorations we take together, I think we can help alleviate unnecessary suffering, in ourselves and in others. This is a worthy goal, and that is why I could not ask for better readers.