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?