What does blogging do for you?
Is it a forum for tips?
A place where you reflect and have conversations with yourself?
A safe haven; an escape?
A commentary on social, political, economic issues of our times?
A minute-by-minute record of your personal life? A journal that was meant to be personal, but really isn’t?
Do you have one eye on the traffic stats and the other on the number of comments you received?
Isn’t your blog like a monologue that you stage for your audience? Craving recognition, applause, critique, and fame?
The show is based on an eccentric genius of a doctor with no interpersonal skills but plenty of diagnostic ones. This particular episode focused on a patient whose life revolved around blogging. Thinking about having kids? She’d blog about it. Had an argument over dinner with the boyfriend? It’s going on the blog. Seeking comfort? Yep, you got it! Read the blog.
Here’s a snippet from her life:
She: So-and-so said you’d react this way.
He: Who is this so-and-so?
She: It’s one of my followers.
He: You blogged about this?
She: Of course I did!
He: I don’t want you writing about me or us. You take it down right now.
She: No I’m not. You’re part of my life and that’s what I blog about. I blog about my life.
He: You like bringing strangers into our life? To weigh in on things they don’t even know about?
She: They give me perspective.
She was so obsessed with blogging that when the doctors asked her to choose between a pig’s heart valve or a plastic one, she turned to her boyfriend and said, “Can you please pass me the laptop?”
Here was a woman seeking advice from people halfway across the globe instead of taking a moment to think about this life-altering decision for herself or conferring with her significant other.
When she was being prepped for the operation, she asked her boyfriend if he’d still be there when she woke up. He kept quiet and she wistfully said, “I wish you’d blog. At least then I’d know what you were thinking.”
I know this was an extreme portrayal, but it brought to fore an important point. How far removed are we from the people we live with, work with, interact with? And how close are we getting to those physically a world away?
The internet is a great thing — it’s brought so many people together, but at the same time is it increasing the gulf between those who live under the same roof? Have we become slaves to technology? And so much so, that before we open our mouth to talk to someone standing next to us, we look for a keyboard?
For those of us who blog, does every real-life conversation become fodder for the next post? Are we always thinking about what would resonate with the readers? Is this an attempt on our parts to record our lives and our times, or is it just a reflection of our vanity? An endeavor to feed our ego? To rally the troops in favor of our ideas? To find like-minded people?
I see my blog as a medium to spur conversations — not necessarily with me, or with people in your lives, but with yourself.
I put my thoughts in words, so that my words can spark some thoughts in your mind.
So, yes, as much as I say I write for myself, I am inadvertently writing for an audience.
And while stats and comments don’t matter per se, it’s encouraging to have a readership to validate this undertaking.
But I tread these waters carefully. Not treating my partner or friends as characters in this “play.” Not getting swallowed into virtual existence. Not treating this space as a personal diary that will serve medical practitioners with valuable information some day.
This is not where I “live” my life.
What about you?