The First Amendment of the US Constitution defends the liberty of free expression and the liberty of conscience. I call them liberties and not rights because many people exploit what they call rights in wrong ways. Nevertheless, we see the protection of our freedoms written in the Amendments of the Constitution of our country. I won’t get into too much detail as to why these freedoms are important, or what they mean. The First Amendment is a starting point. Moving forward, I will show you how you can exercise these liberties and even how I am doing just that by writing this blog! Are you ready?
To start, I’d like to address a few questions about how the First Amendment applies to blogging and how I exercise my freedom through this platform.
Out of all the platforms I could chose to freely express myself, why blogging? Outside of a love for literature, and a compulsion to tell a message, blogging is an interactive journal or logbook of my life. I can look back on this blog in the future and see where I came from and how I came through. It also serves as an outlet. I find that when I write things down, I comprehend them better. I’m actually learning as much as you are through this blogging journey.
Freedom of Speech:
This one should be fairly obvious. By stepping up onto a bloggers platform and sharing my message, I am actively exercising my freedom of speech. On this blog, I can say whatever I want, whenever I want, about whomever I want, with no restrictions outside my conscience.
By default, a total freedom of speech incurs a freedom of expressing religion, however, this blog is also at liberty to instruct and educate in religion as well as promote and endorse it. I have the freedom to write about any and all aspects of my faith and faith in practice on this blog.
Let’s get technical. Because, why not? Beyond the laws of the land, there are certain laws of the airways: the arbitrary government of cyberspace. And it is pivotal for free-speaking, free-expressing citizens of the World Wide Web to have their own space. A WordPress, Blogger, Reddit, or any other hosted blog is like renting an apartment. You have the liberty to do whatever you wish in the apartment, so long as you realize the landlord can evict you.
Why domain purchase?
Why have a name? Why trademark a word or symbol? It’s all the same principal. When you own a domain, it is yours. If you watch any investor shows like Shark Tank, or have ever owned a business, you know the value of building a brand. Often it’s not the product, but the brand that sells. Kraft, Jiff, Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Keurig, iPhone, and all of the huge name brand companies retain customers because of branding. They are known, even if their products are not superior to others, they have the name.
Freedom of Speech:
Having a domain of your own means that no one else can have it. It causes a distinction of your voice from all others in cyberspace. When you own a domain, you own your identity and your message becomes that much more valuable to you and others. A domain is an establishment of your free speech and a loud declaration.
Because a domain, once purchased, is 100% yours, it can be whatever you want it to be. No one can place restrictions upon the type of name you use, whether or not it is religious or favors a specific religion. A domain sets you apart, and as Christians, that is what w are called to be.
Back to the practical side of life. If you don’t own your domain, you have nothing. Sad, but true. You can use it, but you run the risk of someone else purchasing it and building their content on your name. You then run the risk of your audience reading their content under the name you used. And it is essentially an endorsement of someone else to use an un-purchased domain.
After blogging for about a year on the WordPress server, I took the advice of CK Hicks, and moved to this website. Why did I do that? What was the benefit of having my own site? How did that allow my to exercise my American freedoms?
Freedom of Speech:
When you own a website, you own property on the WWW. It is yours, like a piece of land, you can develop it and make it whatever you want. This site is wholly mine. It’s not like posting on Facebook, I don’t have an overseer with an agenda who can pull down my content if they disagree with something I said. This is my soapbox, and I can say whatever I wish.
If you been around the site much, you’ll realize that it’s cluttered with the gospel, with Scripture, and with messages of salvation. I have no fear in posting this kind of content. It is an exercise of my religious liberty and freedom in Christ. Because I live in a free country, they don’t monitor and actively dictate what kinds of content people can publish on their sites. And as long as that is a thing, I will continue to share God’s Truth through this blog.
A website is an indelible mark on the web. It is permanent, searchable, you can promote it, advertise on it, sell through it. But more than all of that, it is yours and it is home. People looking for you can find you at your site. Sure, you can have a Facebook page, but it isn’t really yours, it’s Facebook’s. You can be on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked-in, but until you have a site of your own, you don’t own any web front property and your content is subject to the moderation of someone else.
Hopefully you now understand why it is important to have a place in cyberspace, and why blogging is my way of reaching the WWW. It really is a viable and consistent way to effectively exercise your freedoms and liberty as an American citizen. If you blog, blog on; if you sell, sell on; if you consult, consult on; if you account, compute, troubleshoot: keep it up!
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist