Real life

I’ve been thinking lately, idly, about real life and blogs.

When does your real life make it onto your blog?

It’s a weird thing.  Because blogs are sort of in between.  Ok, sometimes I blog about my lunch, but usually it’s not the day to day stuff I blog.  It’s the abstract thoughts or particular events.  Not the things that you see if you live with me every day.  Not the hanging up socks and mopping the floor, or the sitting on my bum looking at the floor and thinking ‘hmm, I really should mop that’. 

It’s almost exactly the things that don’t get seen, that I blog.  The things I think about while I mop.

So what happens when something big happens?  Good or bad?  You have a death in a family or you get sick, you start a new relationship or have a baby. You buy a house or lose it to a fire.  How does that make it onto the blog?  There’s often a disconnect – those are the times that you are too busy dealing with your life – good and bad – to want to sit down at a computer and talk about it, even though you might be dying to tell everyone.  Or even though you feel like those other people, who are in your life because of this wonderful thing that is the internet, deserve to know about it.  I consider many of you much closer friends, who know me much better, than the people I see everyday at the office.  But they often know far more about what I did on the weekend than you.  They don’t know what it meant to me, but they know what I did.

What about privacy?  What do you not want to tell the internet?  I’ve had a few chats with a couple of non-bloggy friends, including S.  They don’t read my blog, and I like it that way.  It feels… intrusive.  Intimate.  Exposing. 

Maybe it’s partly because they don’t have a blog, so it’s not reciprocal.  It would just be them, staring into however many years of my thoughts and whims.  The things I am proud of in the moment that look silly, two years later.  The resolutions I made that only lasted a month.  The thoughts I thought (like this one) were deep, but turn out just to be idle musings.

It’s not like there’s anything in my blog that I wouldn’t, and haven’t, talked about with them.  In fact, they get the more detailed, custom fitted versions.  On the same vein, there are plenty of things that I am happy to email or chat about to all of you that I wouldn’t put on my blog – or might put a different way, filter through something.

But often that means, I think, that people feel like they can’t put real things on their blog.  It feels like whinging, or bragging.  Like you are asking for help or attention, when all you really want is somewhere to put it all.  And, yes, maybe someone to hear you. 

And it means that often, when you stumble accross a blog, you have no idea what the life behind it is like.  The blog might be full of pictures of happy crafts and smiling children, but that doesn’t mean that person’s life is happy and whole.  Or a blog where the person talks about being depressed doesn’t mean that their life is ALL about that, and there is never any sunshine.  It can be misleading, like a zoomed in photo of the one corner of a room that’s clea and tidy.  And I think it leads us to judge ourselves by false measures.  To think that if our life doesn’t look like that all the time, it’s not as good or as happy.  And then we find ourselves both trapped on either sides of a glass that we both helped to make, but never wanted.

Another post with a hanging conclusion.  Ok, how’s this.  What things would you NEVER EVER blog.  I would never ever blog about my sex life.  I feel like I’m walking a line blogging about S, even – about my personal romantic life.  I think if I had kids, that would be a really tricky one – how much of their story is mine?  How much of my story am I allowed to tell?  I would never blog, in depth, about someone else’s grief or hurt, unless I could do it in an abstract, this made me think, type way. 

What do you wish you blogged more of?  I feel like a lot of the interesting things never make it onto my blog – for instance, last weekend we went to the Roller Derby Grand Final, four adelaide teams played off, and it was SO GREAT.  But by the time we got home I was getting sick and now I’ve lost the impetus to talk about it.

How about you all?

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11 thoughts on “Real life

  1. I have those tulips on my kitchen windowsill RIGHT NOW. Well, close enough. What wouldn’t I blog about? Self-identifying stuff. And I’m careful about talking about other people. And work. Which is why I’m left to talk about cats 😉

  2. If it’s my story to tell and I feel like telling it, even if it is about something boring/mundane/what I did this weekend – I will blog about it. Time is the issue – there’s much more I’d go on about if I felt I had the time. Areas where I hesitate – work and family. I really wanted to write about my family craft issues – but some of them read the blog and it involves my parents separating so I thought it best not to go there. And yeah, prolly wouldn’t blog intimate relationship details – an especially bad idea when you’re going to be eating breakfast together for the forseeable future.

  3. This is a question I have been thinking about, since I reviewed my blog last week and realised it looks like I never leave the house. I think the answer is partly to be found by considering why we blog. I blog for the shallowest of reasons, to show people what I’ve been knitting and yes, sometimes to brag.
    Awesome tulips btw.

  4. What a wonderful post. I too am queen of the hanging conclusion – it is both a blessing and a curse!
    I think, though it is not an ultra strict rule, that I try not to blog in the heat of the moment. Being rather prone to strong feelings on many things that are subject to revision once I simmer down. Not that I don’t blog them, but that I try to have a period of reflection before I write it down.
    Because I am the queen of disregard for privacy, real name, kids names, the whole shebang, I would rather not come face to face with my opinions coming back to haunt me.
    Soozs sent me over to read your post – I am very glad she did.

  5. This is a tough one. I don’t blog about a lot of things that occupy my mind, honestly. I wish I could blog about arguments I have with people, grievances…my job…my real-life relations with my family and friends…but I always, always, always have that filter on that says, be careful.

  6. I won’t blog about intimate details (sex life etc) or the particular issues I struggle with.
    I’d like to blog about what I read and what I thought about it. And about the interests that fire me up.
    What people get is sewing, gardening & domesticity – ha,ha!

  7. I do wonder what my blog would be like if I’d made it anonymous, from time to time. Sometimes it would be really nice to vent about all the things that bother me. For example, we’ve had a family situation recently which has been pretty intense and the urge to put it all there so other people can hear about how awful it’s been and maybe agree and sympathise is pretty strong. But it’s not my story and I don’t want to make it worse by putting it out in cyberspace so I’ve kept quiet. My real-life friends get to hear the ins and outs, and be my venting point…

    See, I’m happy with the way my blog is, a family chronicle where the tone is “keep yourself nice”, in that I don’t really bitch about people there, and try not to say things about people that I wouldn’t say to their face. And I think that means the blog will age well, that I won’t look back in years to come and think jeez I was a whining malcontent. I’ll be able to look back on a time of my life that could so easily get lost in a blur of daily doings and remember it well. I’m glad about that, especially because my long-term memory is so pathetic.

    And what if I hadn’t told everyone of my friends and family about my blog? What if I could say anything I liked about them? On the one hand I could lay bare all my deep dark angst and anger, but then would I ever want to meet with my internet friends who knew my darkest secrets, the horrible thoughts I sometimes think, the small minded pettiness I’m capable of? And would they want to meet me, hmm? I think if I’d gone that route I’d have to stay only virtual friends with the bloggers, and never go on craft camps with them xx

  8. So know what you mean. I blogged about painting, sewing, the sunshine, cooking and lovely walks, but when it came to my son being diagnosed with Tourettes, my marriage breakdown, the start of a new relationship, those things were just too tender to discuss.
    Too raw.
    And now that my life has changed so dramatically I have no time to blog, and hope people arn’t hanging there wondering what happened. Some readers will want answers, but do we really owe a faceless reader anything? Complex eh.

  9. I have two blogs, Fat Lot of Good which is my Fat Acceptance blog and my Live Journal blog. I don’t tend to write any day to day or intensely personal stuff (that isn’t related to fat) on FLOG but I go to town on my LJ. The LJ is friends locked because of a stalker I had (possibly still have) some years ago who followed me around email lists and websites collecting a dossier of everything I ever posted in order to use it against me in my personal life. So I try to keep the personal stuff for my friends on LJ. I do friend new people (and people I havent met in person) on LJ but I also have filters so I can decide who gets to read what. I think my FLOG readers would be bored stupid if I talked too much about my personal life so other than obvious references to my life as a fat person, some mention of my academic and professional pursuits, my photography and occassionally a mention of immediate family, I don’t go there.

  10. hello. I just followed a link from someone on twitter which somehow brought me here. What a lovely, insightful post. Many of these thoughts and questions float around my mind too. Thank you. Food for thought.

Whadya reckon?

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