My wife and I (and mostly my wife) underwent quite a traumatic event today. Don’t worry nobody was injured or taken ill or anything.
When the initial shock of this event had calmed down a little, my mind eventually turned to the fact that I haven’t yet written a blog post today. Well strangely I had the urge to regale you all with the details of what had happened. But when I analysed the urge, or rather when I thought about it for half-a-second I realised what a maniac that’d make me.
This is just some hole in the internet that I’m filling with junk, its not like any of you readers know me or anything. Why do you guys get the details of my personal life that should only be kept for my friends? This isn’t your guys’ fault of course its mine. Maybe I’ve got to chummy with the idea of the community that surrounds this blog. Maybe my gossip gland, or my self-pity gland or whatever it is; is too large to allow me to keep anything to myself. Any way, whatever it was got me to thinking again about this blogging thing and just what it is.
Just what is it that these little open holes in the internet have that a journal or a diary has not? Is it the mere fact that in the click of a button you have access to thousands of people who you can be sure will agree with you… no matter how crazy you’re being. I’m not saying reader that you specifically will agree with anything… but what I mean is there is somebody out there to agree with any viewpoint. Were I to say to you- ‘the earth is carried on the back of a giant grizzly bear’, I bet I’d find someone on the internet to agree with me.
Certainly the thought that there are people out there who will notice should I miss a blog post motivates to write. But why are so many blogs filled with such personal stuff when this is one of the most public of public forums? Maybe as a society, (or at least the demographic that writes and reads blogs) we try to use the blogosphere as if it were like a church. I mean we are always calling it a community, maybe so many people bare their souls on blogs because this is their fellowship and support network. If thats true then what are the ways in which our churches and physical communities fail to provide a safe forum for these things. Or maybe that has nothing to do with it; maybe people do it online for the anonymity it provides: You could tell your whole life story to someone and then pass them in the street and they wouldn’t know who you were. If its the freedom of secrecy that is blogging’s attraction then it is not like a church community at all, at least I hope it isn’t. Christian tradition requires us to own up to who we are and receive forgiveness, it also aims to promote humility… blogging perhaps allows us to perpetuate stories and half-truths about ourselves to make our triumphs bigger and our tragedies more scarring. It allows us to indulge in ourselves without examining ourselves; the whole invisible readership thing, the whole ‘webness’ of it removes us from reality.
This whole spilling the personal in public being done so often and feeling so appealing on blogs is an anomaly I cannot explain. Maybe you guys know… let loose in the comments below.
Follow these links for previous musings on the nature of blogging.