Wonderful Words, Kind Comments and BTS Banter: Six Months of Being and Niceness

If you’d told me back in July, when I started this philosophy blog, that I’d have racked up more than 25,000 views from countries in every continent on the planet, I’d have thought that was rather unlikely (I was expecting my mum and wife to provide most of the traffic – yet my wife hardly ever looks at it!) I had originally intended to write a book for my son to read one day, so he could get to know the type of person I am if I somehow missed or messed up the chance to show him myself. I had put together a few pieces – on Nietzsche, existentialism and Taoism – and had plans to cover a range of other topics.

Well, if you’d told me that after six months I’d have a blog website with more than 20 posts covering a variety of themes from feminism to ontology, with book reviews, a series of TEN physics blogs, a critical examination of my fave TV shows and tributes to my late nan and Alzheimer’s-afflicted father, I’d have thought that was quite lovely. And if you’d told me that I’d have written a blog post about how I inadvertently encountered fans of a Korean pop group which would be read by thousands of people and lead to me transcribing and then singing several of their songs, I’d have thought you were crazy. And that’s just a microcosm of what’s happened since I launched beingandniceness.com in July!

All apologies

By the way – let me just quickly apologise at this juncture if any of this comes across in an arrogant sort of way. It isn’t supposed to be some grand, unpleasant boast – I’m just really happy with what’s happened and wanted to share my beautiful, bizarre blog journey with all the brilliant people who have been involved. Because it really has been quite delightful. What started as a means to put some of my essence, character and soul into words has grown into something far beyond what I could’ve expected – my aim now is to write pieces which help improve people’s well-being, bring more kindness to the world and also give a little joy to the reader.

I hope that my work challenges, entertains and informs – and makes people think about who we are, how we want to be and how we can be better. I’m no expert in anything – but I know what Niceness looks and feels like. And I’m so glad to be able to do my bit to spread positivity and love to people all over the world. I really hope some of you have found what I’ve done helpful, informative or enjoyable in some way. Well, actually I know some of you have, thanks to the amazing comments I’ve had from people on both my blog and Twitter account @being_niceness over the last six months. So allow me to share some of these with you now. Sorry for missing out lots of wonderful comments here – I really do appreciate all of them!

The comments

Smells Like BTS Spirit

Here are just a handful of comments left on the website post for this blog – by far and away my most popular read. There are many more on there and my Twitter feed which are equally fantastic. I’ve found them really inspirational and appreciate all of your kind words – and I’m particularly blown away by the warm sentiments behind pretty much all of them.

Love Yourself Answer review

I felt it was only right to give BTS’ latest album release a listen – and again my heart was warmed by the responses.

Dad’s Dementia

These comments are from my Sutra bandmate Gav Kelly’s father Jack, and another schoolmate, Mark Wheeler. I had a lot of people comment personally on this article – friends, family and workmates – and the response was wonderful. Most of them had encountered similar issues with their own family members and found the article helpful, which made me really happy.

I also recently (November) received this comment from someone my dad used to work with. Needless to say, it made me and my family feel very emotional, and was worth writing the blog piece for alone.

Twitter song cover videos

I love playing music – as anyone who’s read this blog will know. So it was a pleasure to cover these BTS songs. So many of the comments I received were so kind, positive and funny. It was worth all the time I put in to learning them to hear your appreciative vibes. Thanks.

Women and Niceness

This piece was written quite early on in my blogging days, but the comments are among my favourites received. Give this young woman’s poems a read (Existential Poetry) – they are quite beautiful – and it was nice to hear from someone who respects Simone De Beauvoir’s oeuvre as much as me.

Existentialism and Genuinity

I was thoroughly excited to have a doctor of philosophy in the US comment on my work – and align my ideas with those of the great Martin Luther King. Existentialism is a humanism, folks. Don’t forget that!

Science, Silliness and the Nucleus of Niceness

This is my most recent body of work – and I’m really proud of it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, and I really appreciate the kind of debates I’ve entered into, like those in this comment – deep philosophical shit, my friends…

This is from my piece on thermodynamics.

And these are from Highlights Proposal blog.

Fab feedback

So as you are beginning to see, it’s been a pretty bonkers six months – but a wonderfully fulfilling six months. I’ve put a lot of time, effort and hard work into these posts, and I hope that comes across in the content. My various philosophy posts have drawn the attention and comments of philosophy professors, PHD candidates and other scholarly types, as well as people like me, who either studied philosophy, or just love it. I’ve had said some great feedback and engaged in amazing debates with some real specialists in their fields, and I’ve really enjoyed that. Similarly, I’ve had lots of discussion with friends and family on Facebook and in more private forums about my work, and I’ve been really touched by the support and kind words I’ve received. I think quite a few people were surprised to see this side of me – I’m usually just an annoying dickhead!

The BTS success

And yet, for all the things I’ve written that I’m really proud of; for all the topics I’ve covered which I really love and have been so excited to explore – the success of this blog over the last six months would simply be nothing without the wonderful BTS Army (or is it ARMY? I can never work out which it’s supposed to be, if it even is one or the other? Oh well, I’m sure it’s not important!) What is important is that I say how thankful I am again for all their kind words, support and encouragement. I am not a fan of the band BTS – at least, not like I’m a fan of, say, Radiohead. My musical preference is more indie rock. Of course, like most people, I appreciate a broad spectrum of stuff, and so I do enjoy listening to some BTS tunes, but it’s not accurate to say I’m a conventional fan of theirs. What I am a fan of, though, is the inspirational work they’re doing, and the wonderful, collective, familial support network that their fans, the BTS Army, are providing for each other across the planet.

In the six months since I had my utterly ridiculous yet thoroughly enlightening encounter with @TheOnion_BTS on Twitter (if you aren’t familiar with the story, you can read it here – there really is no fan so dedicated and bright, I can assure you), the boys have broken all sorts of commercial music sales records, performed sold out tour shows all over the world, addressed the UN on behalf of a UNICEF project to tackle violence against young people, and earned highly prestigious Korean cultural awards. They’ve also made great inroads in building their profile in the US and here in the UK – with captivating performances on Jimmy Fallon and Graham Norton’s popular TV talkshows. They’ve blazed a trail, not just for East Asian music, but culture generally, here in the West. And they’ve done so by promoting love, acceptance, support and kindness for people of all ages.

People who know me well find it hilarious that I now know so much about BTS and have such a good relationship with the Army – but I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be charmed by the positive messages this band are spreading around the globe. There is of course a capitalist element which underlies the whole project – BTS’ success has made BigHit Entertainment a huge amount of money. However, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network also makes a huge amount of money – by capitalising on fear, hatred and paranoia. I know where I’d rather see my hard-earned cash go!

And so I don’t regret for a second the way things have developed in terms of my blog and my link to BTS and the Army. The philosophy behind their work and their messages are often aligned with mine, and I now feel like Being and Niceness is inextricably linked to the Army – I don’t mind that one bit. In fact, I’m proud of it. Even if I’m still not totally sure what the following words from their enchanting Twitter lexicon actually mean – stans, armchairs, kings, locals, low key, fighting, etc…

STATS

Stat’s amazing

To put into context the impact of the BTS Army on beingandniceness.com, allow me to share some cool stats with you:

25,257 total blog views!

(as of 29 November 2018)

19,396 different website visitors!

(as of 29 November 2018)

12,525 views in one day!

My Smells Like BTS Spirit blog had more than 12,000 views on just Saturday 18 August 2018 alone.

28,800 combined Twitter video views!

My cover of Truth Untold is currently on 18,700 views. The Dimple cover has 10,100.

154 different countries!

Smells like BTS Spirit was read by people in every continent on the planet in August 2018 – and these 154 different countries included the likes of Swaziland, Micronesia and Curaçao!

400% follower increase!

@being_niceness Twitter followers has increased from around 200 to more than 1,000 since the BTS Army involvement.

Four blog translations!

Smells like BTS Spirit blog translated by readers into Italian, Korean, Spanish (for Paraguayan Army) and French (the latter was then shared to 26,000 Army Francais members!) These are only the ones I’ve seen – there could be more. If you’ve translated that blog, please get in touch – I love seeing them. It’s wonderful.

2,978 YouTube views!

I was honoured to be asked to take part in a fantastic Love Myself Army video made by the lovely gang from @BTSRadioUK. Please give it a watch here and share the positive vibes.

UK Blog Awards recognition!

Being & Niceness made it through to the second stage of the 2019 UK Blog Awards in the Well Being category. If you’d like to vote for my blog, click here, find my blog and then click the red heart. Thanks for your support!

The 154 countries!

Here are the 154 countries mentioned in the Smells Like BTS Spirit August stat if you want a sneaky peak. There’s a tiny bit more from me below so scroll past if you’re not that interested!

Back to the future

So thank you once again to everyone who has read, shared and commented on my work – and a special thank you to the BTS Army for their involvement. I know full well that the Army is far from just a bunch of crazy, young fan girls, and I hope some of the things I’ve written will help to abolish such unfair stereotypes. I’ll continue to do what I can to show the world what a nice and diverse bunch you are.

I have plans to cover a whole range of new philosophical topics going forward (as well as stuff I just find interesting and enjoyable), so stay tuned for lots more Being & Niceness blogging. I now hope to put everything I write into a book some time next year for Sammy and my family to own. If you’d be interested in getting hold of a copy let me know and I’ll make some inquiries into how I might print more.

Otherwise, I hope that I can continue to write pieces which help improve well-being, bring happiness to people and promote Genuinity – that childish, feminine inner voice which I believe is the essence of all human beings; a compassionate yearning to connect and survive. A will to Niceness. Together we can make the world a better place.

Click here to vote for Being & Niceness in the 2019 UK Blog Awards!

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