We're not professional writers.
We don't get paid to spend time on this website.
We haven't received a calling from an authority in the church to sacrifice our time to do this.
So, why do we do it?
On our main webpage...it states:
StayLDS.com is one of a gajillion blogs out there. There are some general observations about blogging beyond our little site.StayLDS.com is not affiliated with any group or movement. We are not “Middle-Way Mormons”, inactive Mormons, apostate Mormons, or anti-Mormons. We are Latter-Day Saints with a desire to support other LDS members with real faith issues, with a hope to encourage active involvement in the church, and not to attack the church or its leaders. We have no agenda to organize any types of groups to promote changes to the church. It is about individual growth and support. All are welcome to join the conversation in an uplifting and positive atmosphere.
Did you know:
- There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States alone.
- 42 million blogs are found on Wordpress.com alone, which only makes up 43% of blogging patforms (others include Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, Posterous and others).
- 329 million people view a blog
- 25 billion (with a B) pages are viewed a month
- 500,000 posts a day, with 400,000 daily comments
Something I didn't know is that some people actually do this for a living. 81% never make $100 from it, but 8% earn enough to support a family, 9% make enough to sustain their lifestyle on 4-6hrs a day blogging, 2% actually spend 1-2 hours a day blogging and make $150k+ blogging from exotic locations (I could go for that gig!)
Even businesses are using blogs now. At my work, as executives or employees visit customers or make new market discoveries, they blog internally for all our employees to share the info and others discuss it on encrypted intranet secure sites.
The world is blogging, as the Internet has changed life for us, and new generations have new tools to grow up with.
Our niche here is about mormonism and how to stay mormon (whatever that means to you), and difficult topics that brought us to the Internet to research and learn, and then want to discuss with others.
Here are some of the benefits I thought of for why we blog at StayLDS.com:
1. Feel supported by others
2. Ask questions in a safe environment
3. Keep anonymous, but express our voice, we want to be heard by someone, anyone...even strangers
4. Learn new facts about the church or our religion or the world
5. Learn others' opinions and viewpoints on things we wonder about but can't express in church or in person
6. Be able to focus thoughts through writing them down
7. Be able to express emotion with little repercussion to personal relationships or careers
8. Practice challenging the ideas of others in a respectful/productive way
9. Feel connected with others who share similar questions or beliefs, perhaps to fill the loss in live personal relationships
10. Feel confident and validated that we are not alone with our worries and doubts and troubles. This confidence helps us to deal with life day to day, and find new meanings and solutions for being happier.
11. Develop new friendships. Some even lead to meeting in person, and become very influential relationship in our lives.
12. To smile.
In all complete honesty, I don't think any of us come here to try to justify our thoughts, or justify sin because we don't want to listen to church leaders, or to build pride by developing our theories in place of God's, or to cheat on relationships we already have, or to pretend to be someone we're not and live a fantasy online. Some of us get some flack from others about it, even calling into question our fidelity or testimony because of it.
I also think there are likely phases or changing reasons a person may start looking on blogs, and then perhaps other reasons take over to keep them blogging well after their initial need is past.
But, for many of us, we continue to find it useful in our lives. Even sometimes despite getting comments like, "Why do you even look at that stuff?"
Some feel the need to step away for periods of time, or feel maybe a sense of addiction to it, feeling they should be more productive in life if they don't let it keep them up at night, or even tempt them to blog when they shouldn't.
But we keep blogging on.
I have found it meaningful in my life. I thank all of you for sharing pieces of you that have helped me get through extremely difficult years. I thank all of you for tolerating my wandering, and often lengthy, expressions of my inner thoughts. I thank all of you for taking time, voluntarily.
I'm interested more on why many of you find value in coming here to blog?
- What brought you here at first?
- What keeps you coming back?
- Why do you like to blog online?
- Has blogging changed you (good or bad)?
I'm interested to hear from many of the lurkers who read, but are content to not join the conversation, but keep coming back to read.
- What brings you to read other strangers' thoughts?