So you think you know about your blogger friends, do you? You think you know about what makes them tick. What they like. What they don’t like. How they act. How they don’t act.
We read our blogging buddies day in and day out. We get a glimpse into a Life. And we imagine we know the person. We imagine we know the blogger inside out. We like ’em; we don’t like ’em. But we think we know.
Ladies and gentlemen: I am here to make a pronouncement. I don’t think we know as much as we think we know about the blogger.
I think we know a slice of them. A particular slice that the blogger decides to show the world. But we don’t know everything…we often don’t even know a LOT. We know the blogger only within a limited scope of what she or he shares.
Some of us have had this conversation before, haven’t we? How the on-line world accentuates and limits relationships. It’s much easier, sometimes, to be intimate on a blog than face-to-face.
Heck, we’re often freed of some of the limitations and hesitations that keep us quieter in everyday encounters. Sometimes an on-line relationship becomes deep very quickly as people reveal themselves without so much timidity and fear. Hearts open. Relationships blossom. There is an intimacy which presents itself often in the written word which rarely finds its way into physical encounters–until much later. Until the body has decided everything is Safe.
We have to remember that the blogger is so often writing a narrow view of the totality of his/her existence. I am often amazed when people say, “I know all about your life after reading your blog!” I always silently shake my head and think, “No, you know a small story about what happened during my day. You have no idea about the other 90% which isn’t being broadcast to the world.”
If you read a blogger for a long time–you start to pick up more accurate information, perhaps. The blogger fleshes into a real live person. Perhaps in a year. Perhaps two years. Perhaps ten years (heaven forbid! Will we still be blogging in ten years?) If you talk to the blogger in person, or meet them in the street or in an unlikely place—HI JANE! Nice to meet you yesterday!–you’ll start to get a deeper knowledge.
So often when we blog, we choose a format. We say, “I’m going to talk about the place where I live.” (What is often not being shared is our angst, our insecurity, our challenges.) We decide, “I am going to write about nature and the Great Outdoors.” (What is not being shared might be our spiritual search, our deep inner life.) We think, “I’m going to write about positive ways of interacting and thinking.” (What isn’t being shared is our suffering, our not-knowing, our confusion.) We specialize in blogs in certain areas and do not even address other areas.
My prior blogging experience (before my 365 day outdoor commitment last year) was a spiritual blog. I wrote it in a particular style, attempting to explore a specific way of looking at the world. It was another slice, another snapshot, of this life. Was it who I am? In some ways yes; in other ways no.
Do you know anything about me? Yes. And no. As with all your other blogging friends, you know a slice. A particular slice.
It’s a good start. I love meeting bloggers in real life. Or chatting with them on the phone. Or corresponding through email. Because then a depth develops. You can become more intimate. Share more about your concerns, gratitude, puzzlement, suffering, joy.
So, what about you? Do you think you know your blogging friends? Do you reveal everything about yourself in your blog? Or do you reveal only a snapshot? Are you completely present in multi-shades or do you pick and choose your revelations?
Isn’t this a fascinating topic?