Keep Trying

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Problems of Objective Blogging

A friend recently emailed me contending that my statement: "This is a big myth about blogging, that since blogger's are individuals they are trustworthy and truthful - they're not." implies that I think that bloggers and other individuals are untrustworthy liars.

That was not the implication. What I did mean was that our human limits on objectivity make the highest levels of trust impractical. Although I feel that most people do not outwardly lie, the fact that we see the world from own perspective colors our opinions. I believe most people take this into account when reading blogs and other periodicals.

The objectivity and trust issue has become a hot topic in regard to journalism, because it seems that most journalists believe they are being objective. What's interesting is that in the political arena most media consumers view a given media outlet as having either a Republican or Democratic slant, so there's an impedance mismatch somewhere between the reader and the writer.

I believe the disconnect is that we are not usually introspective enough to examine own biases. The two main reasons are: we don't have or take the time to examine our beliefs and actions and it is a painful process which most of us would rather avoid. As a result of this lack of introspection we fall into the trap of believing that since we believe objectivity is good and we truly want to be objective, that we are objective - and this is not the case.

Of course, blogging is a tool and as such, does not change basic human nature. If anything it causes us to be less objective, since when we put something in writing we have more invested in it and that increases our bias and lessens our objectivity.

Your comments are welcome.