Use Your Power For Good: A Call for Responsible Blogging

Sunday, November 19, 2017

tappiyah falls benguet

We Travel, We Care is a series of essays discussing and exploring issues related to travel and tourism.

Ask all bloggers and they'll tell you one thing: blogging is hard.

It may seem easy, but it really isn't. In order for a blog to thrive, its creator must commit to it. And, as we all know, commitment is never easy.

Blogging can be considered an art, for it requires you to constantly create, to express ideas into phrases and paragraphs. And like all artforms, blogging comes with both benefit and burden.

The rewards of blogging are mainly personal. For many bloggers, their own little spaces in the World Wide Web are vessels for their passions, like a modern version of a journal or a diary. Except that a blog was never meant to be private. Bloggers are artists and all artists, regardless of what they say, want an audience for their works. Art, after all, is fully realized when consumed.

In this day and age, reaching an audience has never been easier. Thanks to the power of technology, virtually everyone is accessible. Distance is no longer an issue. Artists can now directly connect with their target audience. Their content easily and instantly available in just a click.

For bloggers, the widespread use of social media had meant one more way to reach more people. And now that there is an audience – and one that grows larger by the second – the art, blogging, evolves.

Knowing that there are people who read you invariably adds another dimension to the process. Some mistake this new facet for pressure, but artists are never pressured to make – we are necessarily selfish. Having an audience means you have, however slightly,  an influence. Influence means power. And in the words of Uncle Ben: great power comes with great responsibility.

Foremost is your responsibility to yourself as a blogger-artist: to stay true to your ideals, to never relent, and to create what you set out to. So that when the time comes that you must compromise, you would do so without regrets.

Then, there is your responsibility to your audience. In the case of travel blogging, treading the line between self-serving and helpful can be difficult. Travel bloggers should always keep in mind that their blogs are resources – not just of the creative kind but of the factual and informative. When readers look to you for travel guides, you better make sure what you put in there is real and accurate. Do not unnecessarily embellish. Portray your experiences as honestly as you can. Guide. Do not mislead.

And since you are now a guide, you must do your best to lead your audience to the right path. Use your influence and the power that comes with it to do good.

I know a few travel bloggers who wanted to quit blogging because they apparently "caused" the destruction of a place by writing about it. Honestly, I believe those who think this way should get over themselves. Of course, I know where they're coming from. The greatest ethical dilemma of travel blogging is whether to write about a place and risk having hordes of tourists "love it to death", or not write about it at all. But, see, your blog is a weapon and you always, always, have the option of wielding it for good. Talk to the people involved. Make your intentions known – that you plan to write about the place and there's a chance it would reach a lot of people. This way, they can at least brace themselves. Offer assistance. Work together. Then go ahead and write about the place. Raise awareness. We've lost many a wonderful place simply because we didn't know it exists.

Blogging is an art. Like all artforms, it inspires. It incites. It's a catalyst. It can make people care about worthy causes and push them to do something about it. I assure you at least one person would find words of affirmation in what you write and, who knows, that person could do something incredible for the world.

Let's hold our art to the high standards it comes with. Blog with the intent of not only creating, of not only expressing, but also of fostering a community of perceptive, mindful, and responsive individuals.

Use. Your. Power. To. Do. Good.

You Might Also Like