I have been thinking about why I blog recently, and why I read other people’s blogs (often “mommy-blogs”).
First I came across this recent House episode about a woman who blogs her whole life, even when her husband would rather she keep some things private. It goes into the question of why blogging is attractive to people and where the line is.
Then my mommy made some comments to me (which, while not a big deal themselves, added on to things she has said before), asking why I blog and am OK sharing so much personal information with not only strangers, but the whole internet.
After that Christie over at Mommy Drinks Because You Cry wrote her post accepting the award I passed on to her, in which she described me as such:
The lovely Eileen from https://givingherallshesgot.wordpress.com has bestowed this wonderful award unto me. I am very grateful! She is a crazy dog lover and self proclaimed nerd. OMG I just got the name of her blog, she is a totaly Trekkie! She uses her blog as her own sounding board for life’s issues and never holds back. Plus, the girl just gets me. No explination!
and I just love that description. So I’ve been trying to figure out why. (Also, glad you “got” the name of my blog, Christie :-) It was kind of an accident based on blog ineptitude that I ended up with it, but I totally AM a Trekkie!)
And finally, just 5 minutes ago, I read this amazing post by Corey Waters. (I do not stalk this woman much, I promise. She just has written some amazing pieces of late. But seriously, go read this one. This quote is kind of a side-note in it, it’s not all about blogging.)
But. I sit down on my couch with my itty bitty HP Mini in my lap and start typing away at whatever strikes me, and those social graces don’t enter into the picture because I’m not talking TO YOU, per se, I’m just talking. I’m just sharing what I think. And I don’t really think that you’re going to take offense at it, because.. I don’t know, because I don’t take offense when I’m reading what other people write on their blogs. If they write something I don’t agree with and I feel compelled to, I write a comment about it saying, “Hey, here’s a different take on it..” but I don’t usually get mad about it because… it’s their blog. If the person writes about a topic I don’t want to hear about, I skip those posts. If it gets so I’m skipping more posts than I’m reading, I just take them out of my reader.
See, and that just so totally sums up on how I feel about things.
I blog, as Christie said, as a sounding board. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life sucks. And unfortunately, my bestest buds now live far away from me and thus are not available for sounding-purposes. Oh sure, we can talk on the phone, but I hate/am scared of talking on phones (this is why my hubby does all the calling). We can e-mail, but then it’s just not as personal. And we’re all busy. One has a new baby. One is in grad school. And I am..well..you hear about my life. It’s a lot easier to live with/right across the street from them and talk non-stop about what is going on in life, it’s easier to take a break to physically sit down with someone and talk to their face. It’s a lot harder to pick up the phone and try to catch each other when we’re both free, since we can’t see what the other is doing. Or to get e-mail and know I really should be writing back, but I’m too busy to type it all out right then (and I know the same thing happens to everyone). Blogging is not as personal as talking to a good friend..but it’s not supposed to be. That level of disappointment isn’t there.
So blogging is not the personal talk-to-a-friend type of thing.
But it is a talking type of thing. And I do get support from it. Support that means a lot.
I guess I view blogging largely as a journal. I always hated keeping a diary. It was so pointless. And I’m bad at things without points (sports, anyone?). What’s the point in writing if no one is going to read it? But when I blog, it gives me a chance to get all the journal stuff out. To put it down. To sort it in my mind. To have it physically electronically to come back to. And to let those who want to read it. I’m not writing to anyone in particular. I’m just writing for my own catharsis. But I know that I love reading other people’s writing for themselves..and so I feel like there are probably some people out there who enjoy my rambling. And that’s enough purpose for me. Not to mention comments. I <3 comments. I’ve gotten some amazing support here.
Blogging also makes me aware of what is going through my mind. To some extent, I am aware that people are listening. And I don’t want to come off as 100% negative. So, through blogging, I force myself to focus on the positive. It’s using my phobia of what other people think of me to work on handling the depression! Ha! The upside of multiple illnesses! Anyway, when I get practice focusing on the positive, through writing about it, it helps me focus on it more all day. I’ve definitely noticed that I’m more positive since I started blogging. (I hate to think how much worse quitting would have been if I’d done it pre-blog. Of course I could have gotten through it. But this was way better. All you awesome people in my computer + more positive outlook = VERY HELPFUL)
Now, would I say some of this stuff to strangers or people I’m casual friends with face-to-face? No. But 1) I’m fairly anonymous here. You know my first name and the general region I live in, and I’m sure you could find me. If you really wanted to. Which leads me to 2) I don’t so much care if strangers KNOW the stuff I put on here. I just don’t want to vocally SAY it (the whole phobia thing can stop my throat). Beyond that, I’m careful not to give this address out to people I’m casual friends with (i.e. my blog is NOT on facebook and I do not link there), very few “real life” people know about it. Those who do are close friends I’d say this stuff to anyway. But I do realize that anyone could find me. And so I’ve decided I don’t care. I’ll take some steps towards privacy (no home address, no last name (not that it’s identifying)) and I won’t admit to illegal activity (if I ever partake in any) and I’m gonna call it good.
Because it’s far more valuable to me to have this resource, this journal, this place I can come and pour my heart out, and try to leave a little bit less for my heart to have to handle on its own, than it is to keep utter privacy. I spend too much time and energy worrying about my privacy. It’s nice to have a place where I don’t.
It also gives me a place where, as Corey said, I can just TALK. If I’m talking to a person I put so much energy into reading them and trying not to offend. Here, I don’t have to worry so much. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, they can skip. And like Corey, sometimes I come across posts I don’t agree with or don’t want to hear about…so I skip them. I figure people will do the same to me. If they aren’t mature enough to do that, well..I don’t really care about them.
I read other people’s blogs because..I like feeling the connection. I like hearing about other people’s lives. It’s the same reason any of us chat with friends, or strangers on the bus. There’s something good about being shared with, and hearing about how someone lives. Eventually I was reading so many blogs, which seemed like good things for their authors, I decided to join in and write my own.
And I do.not.regret it.
Could bad things end up happening because I blog? Yeah. Bad things could happen a lot of different ways.
The tangible, definite benefits outweigh the possible costs to me.