Friday, June 08, 2007

Who Are You? Really?


“There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.”

Carol Shields


I love this quotation.

And it made me think of blogging.

I sincerely believe I’ve made friends through blogging — despite what some non-bloggers may think about “virtual” friendships.

In both the “real” world and the “virtual” world, you only know as much about a person as they’re willing to share — what they choose to reveal.

Of course, with blogging, you don’t get visual cues via facial expressions. However, you do get a regular (often daily) glimpse into each blogger’s world.

Whether their blogs are personal or not, you’re able to get a sense of what makes them tick. Even if they simply review a book or discuss a specific topic, their opinions offer clues.

Am I naïve in assuming the bloggers I read are honest? I don’t think so. If someone wants to scam others in the blog world, it would take a lot of effort. More power to you.

I’m as honest as I can be with my blog. Not only must other people’s lives be considered but “off-limits” areas always exist in one’s life (real or virtual).

Some “chapters” of my life I share. Others will never be read — silently or aloud.

Being part of the blog community is a wonderful experience — the sharing of whatever each blogger chooses to share — be it slice-of-life moments, drama, angst, opinions, information or laughter.

14 comments:

patricia said...

Amen, sister!!

MyUtopia said...

Great post! I shared a little bit about myself this morning in my blog. I am thinking of doing it every Friday.

Beth said...

patricia:
And who was it that "bugged" me to even start? Hey, that would be YOU!


myutopia:
Thanks - and I'll check out your "little bit."

Mike M said...

I agree!! What people write is what is in their heart.

John said...

I write whatever rubbish comes into my head. Although every now and again I'll reveal things that are really important to me.

I do like reading other people's blogs though. Most fascinating!

And I did like that quote too.

Trish said...

yes true....

I like that aspect of blogging that you can't "cheat" by seeing someone's expressions or body language.

Beth said...

mike:
Some with more caution than others - but always an interesting read.

john:
Yup, it is a great quotation.
And I enjoy reading both your "rubbish" and your "important" revelations.

trish:
Right. What you "read is what you get" - no interpreting or misinterpreting body language.

oreneta said...

Here here.

Though I am not sure that I agree with Trish here. I think it takes a more sophisticated dissembler to successfully lie with body language, but it is pretty darned easy to be misunderstood in type, especially if you are going fast and not reviewing what is written carefully.

Beth said...

OMG! Patricia said EXACTLY what I was going to say! amen!

I agree whole heartedly....I think I like my blog friends more than my "real" friends!! And ya, maybe some would call me crazy for believing what I read on blogs...but I do! Most of the time. And I wouldn't waste my time with blogs that aren't real.

I can't wait to read them and to interact with the writers and find out what's going on in their lives. It's exciting to read about Spain(Oreneta) or Canada(You, Trish)....and enjoy other people's happiness and care for them when they're sad.

It's called being a friend, whether you ever meet that person face to face or not.

cipriano said...

Really interesting blog, Beth.
I really think that people can be even MORE themselves on their blog, than they are elsewhere [in life]. Of course, they could be fake, too.... but I mean, what would be the point of doing that? Being fake.
I trust the circle of bloggers I have come to know, because really, I think that they are just being honest about their interests and situations.

Now.... here is a neat phenomenon --> and perhaps I am an anomaly in this regard [wouldn't be the first time]... but, I prefer to meet NEW people in the blogosphere.... like, what I mean is that my own family does not read my blog, my siblings.... my boss at work has asked me a million times for my blog-address, but I keep it to myself.

Why?

BECAUSE!

Specifically because of the fact that I do want to be able to be my REALEST SELF in the blogworld.

[I am doing a poor job of explaining what I mean.]

But let's say I love poetry. [And I do]. And let's say I write some. [Which I do]. And let's say I post it [Which I do...] You are getting the idea, right?

Well, I want my poetry, and my blogs, for that matter, to be read and appreciated in a sort of generic HUMAN sense.... [as opposed to a personal way] I want it to be read in the light of the solidarity of what it means to be a person on this planet.

Blogging affords us this privilege.
It is a real neat privilege involving a combination of the most intense personal contact, and yet, a maintenance of comfortable distance.

What I mean by this, is that I don't want my boss at work the next day, pointing his finger at me and saying.... "Oh my God. You wrote a poem entitled LILACS? [Which I did!] A little light on the loafers are we?"

But see..... you reading that same poem, or anyone else in the blogoshpere, is not going to ridicule me for my honesty on my blog.

YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO APPRECIATE WHAT I SAY THERE, WHETHER IT IS THE FORM OF A POEM, OR A BOOK REPORT, MORESO THAN MY ACTUAL DAY-TO-DAY ACQUAINTANCES CAN.

That is the treasure and beauty of blogging, in my opinion.
And see, if some of my actual friends heard me saying even THAT sentence, they would ridicule me.
But you won't. [Or will you?]
Do you see what I mean here, though?
Blogging gives us an outlet to be even MORE real than we can be in day-to-day life.

I would not tap someone on the shoulder on the escalator in the Mall, and start reciting my poetry to them!
BUT......... I can tap YOU on the shoulder [in a sense] and read to you! [TALK with you].
Why?
Because you are the one that willingly tunes in!

There is no coercion, in the blogworld, in other words.
We can communicate freely and honestly with others, and all the while know that we are not invading their own privacy or space!

Isn't that neat?
The result is, in a very real sense, the "bloggee" can come to know the "blogger" [if you choose to, and the choice is always yours] in a way that is clearer, and more profound than people that blogger [which in this case, is me] interacts with on a personal daily IN-YOUR-FACE basis!
You can "know" me in a way that is even more deep and REAL than what is afforded my brother, or sister, or boss at work!

david santos said...

Thanks for you work and have a good weekend

Beth said...

oreneta:
Communicating via word only can be risky. I try to read over anything I write. You can't take it back!

beth:
So glad you agree - my friend!

cipriano:
I struck a chord with you, for sure.
A beautifully written comment - you stated so eloquently what blogging can offer.
I wish my blog was private - I'd love to have the freedom of expression you have.

david:
Thanks for the comment!

Princess Pointful said...

Lovely post.

Blogging has gotten me thinking a great deal about the nature of friendships.

I often wonder what it would be like to meet one of my bloggie friends. Would it be awkward, having someone know more about certain aspects of my life than my "real life" friends, yet not knowing all the superficial things, like what they looked like and their mannerisms?

Beth said...

princess pointful:
I've wondered too. Would those superficial things matter to me? I don't think so. And maybe it would be nice to meet someone who already "knows" a bit about you.
Another factor of interest? That whole age thing. Bloggers become friends despite differing ages. Would age matter in "real" life?