My Cringe-worthy Blogging Past

My Cringe-worthy Blogging Past

Today it has been exactly one month since I decided to get back into blogging. Naturally, I have been rereading many of the 136 posts I have published over the course of the last 5 or more years that the blog has existed. Boy oh boy, did I find a lot of cringe-worthy content!

I suppose it’s only natural for most people to cringe a bit when they look at things they produced years ago, but it really stirs all sorts of horrific feelings in me. I won’t delete anything – not a single comma – even if I really, really, really want to. In the end, doing so would be counter to what I want to achieve from here on, which is to display an increased level of openness and authenticity as a writer and human being.

So if I can’t sweep those posts under the carpet and pretend they never existed in the first place I figured I might as well address why it is I feel so embarrassed about the majority of the content on this blog. So without further ado, here’s is the 4 types of posts on The Measured Life I cringe the most about.

1. The overly personal “personal  development” posts

Throughout the years I have written A LOT of ” personal development” type content because, well, I was doing a lot of personal development those days. I was utterly hopeless with women, I was near hopeless when it came to my work life, in general I was pretty much as hopeless as one can be.

Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point. Things were not going well for me. I believed that my “discoveries” gave me a lot of insights, and certainly they where huge insights to me, but how I thought anyone would take advice on personal development from someone with a very long way to go in terms of his own personal development is beyond my current understanding.

I guess I still like to write personal stories (sigh), so maybe I haven’t learned much at all, but at least I know how to be at least somewhat self-ironic about it these days. Not all people would agree about that last bit, though…

2. The “unsubstaniated science” posts

Well, to start off with giving myself a small pat on the back here, I guess I was miles ahead of Donald Trump when it comes to source criticism, but that doesn’t say much does it? It’s not that anything I have written was ever wrong as such, I did (like I still do) look up scientific articles on sites like google scholar, but somehow those posts always ended up very incoherent and messy anyway. (Probably because of my incoherent and messy mind).

I think that when I realized this I just stopped writing this kind of content altogether. Which made the blog go south in general. And that’s a huge shame. When I look up cultural anthropology (my original field of education), or even behavioral science online theses fields doesn’t seem to get nearly enough attention they deserve. I’m no journalist, but I think that every bit of attention people give important topics like this counts. The world needs ethnography, god damn it!

For example, a topic I have wanted to take up on the blog for years is Facebook and other social media’s (often negative) influence on people’s self esteem. There is a lot of great research done on this trend, but much of it doesn’t get a lot of attention from the media. I  don’t know why that is, actually. Maybe people don’t care to read about it. Maybe it’s bad for business for the social media companies who rule the net.

Either way you should never make statements about something you don’t know enough about. Well, it’s sort of comforting, sort of sad that people much higher in society than me seems to also need to take that class again. Trump, let’s take it together!

3. The “spiritual enlightenment” posts

Boy, have I thought and written a lot about Taoism. It’s not that I’m NOT into Taoism. I still remember when I first read The Tao Te Ching and fell in love with this simple yet very wise ancient Chinese philosophy. But I’m certainly a novice at best when it comes to really understanding it. You have to spend hundreds if not thousands of hours of rigorous study if you want to look at yourself as someone who could teach others about a philosophical tradition such as Taoism. I guess my point is the same of that above: don’t preach about something you clearly haven’t researched well enough.

The Tao Te Ching is less than a hundred pages long, but its verses aren’t very straight forward for someone like myself to understand. It is something you have to give a lot of deep thought if you want to get the subtleties of the text, and I certainly didn’t at the time.

4. The “ins and outs of personality typology” posts

Many of my posts on MBTI were actually quite popular and those are typically the ones still drawing traffic to the blog to this day. Like all of the above they were well meant, and based off of sound theories (if you believe in personality typing anyway) but simply not well composed or anywhere near researched enough.The MBTI has many layers, the cognitive functions are especially hard to understand for a novice.

I have a plan to right this wrong, though, and write the series of posts I originally set out to write. I think understanding the whole frameworks behind the MBTI and the Enneagram can help you greatly in life, and since the main purpose of this blog is to be (even a very minor) positive force in this world I’ll be looking very much forward to getting started with that.

The conclusion

So whats the takeaway of this post? Isn’t it just another cringe-worthy / head stuck up your arse type post?

Well, for one, if anyone ever decides to comment on the quality of my “back-catalogue” I’ll send them here.

Will I stop writing personal stories, though? Or insights into the latest in behavioral science? Or bits on personality typology? Or (if god forbids) even the occasional “spiritual” post?

Those are all topics I still love, so they will naturally be an integral part of the fabric of The Measured Life. Also in the future. But you hereby have my promise that I will think about this post every single time I have a “great” idea for a post about any of the above.

…and then I’ll probably write it anyway.

Jakob Scheel

Jakob Scheel

Jakob is a Copenhagen-based Anthropologist who does Project Management by day and Photography by night.
Jakob Scheel

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