The internet is an engine of connection. It has been from the start (email, chat, forums, blogs, social media…)
One reason that so many of the most popular sites online are those that permit people to express and expose their ideas is that those are the pages we care most about. We go back to see how people responded, how the traffic is, what we can do to improve the page.
Lifestyle media isn't a fad. It's what human beings have been doing forever, with a brief, recent interruption for a hundred years of professional media along the way. That interruption is fading away, and lifestyle media is resurging. People publish. Instead of denigrating user-generated content (what an obscure way to describe human stories), marketers need to understand that this is what we care about.
We shouldn't be surprised when someone chooses to publish their photos, their words, their art or their opinions. We should be surprised when they don't.