Thursday, May 19, 2005
This is in response to some rather metabloggical questions Storm asked on his blog yesterday. Again I am impressed with his ability to wander away from his favourite topic. (I only tease him as a sign of great affection. ; )
Why do I blog?
-I blog because it is less narcissistic than keeping a journal. All those reasons for keeping a journal - a place to vent, a place to let thoughts percolate, a place to confide in, all those apply here, but in different ways than they would if I was the only one reading. Frankly, I have not proven to be self-involved enough to keep a journal past my teenage years. The prospect of having actual human beings read what I write is sometimes the only thing that keeps me writing. It's a useful motivating factor to have my words be on the internet. It also keeps me in line. If I start to be irritaing, someone will tell me.
-I blog because I love to write but am quite blocked at doing anything genuinely creative, so I do this instead.
-I blog because I enjoy engaging in dialogue with other people who will judge me by the content of my character and not by my appearance -- to quite loosely paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do I tell the truth?
-with alarmingly few exceptions, yes.
-I change names, locations, and identifying details, for privacy and security reasons only.
-I occasionally leave out information or remain intentionally vague, but really that qualifies as "not lying" rather than being completely honest.
-I try as much as possible to protect those closest to me, and so I tend not to publish overly private or embarrassing details about them without their knowledge and consent.
Do I stretch the truth?
-again, rarely. I have been known to exaggerate on the odd occasion, but that really has more to do with my flair for the melodramatic than with any actual penchant for lying. I will often read over something I've written about how upset or annoyed I am and want to slap myself for how bloody exaggerated it sounds in hindsight. At the time of course, it may have felt all too real.
Is what I print really me or someone I wish I was?
-I really believe that every person acts a little differently depending on who they're speaking to. It's not that they're not being themselves, but more that different people bring out different facets of their personality. That happens a lot here. I am a student, academically-inclined, inspired by books and art, at times sexually adventurous, kind, thoughtful, outspoken, a little racy, shy, outgoing, studious, rebellious, intellectual, easily entertained, highly demanding, completely passive, and utterly in control -- all depending on the situation. Everything you read here is all different bits and pieces of me. It is extremely rare that I write something that I feel didn't come from some part of me somewhere. Needless to say I have influences, but this is really me in all my openness and vulnerability.
Does it help?
Yes! Sometimes tremendously. I can say that blogging has made me feel great and cheered me up when I'm sad. The experience of meeting other people in Bloggerland has really helped me come to terms with who I am and what I need from life, and I'm immensely grateful for it. It can be a time-sucker, and leave me feeling like my friends are all a million miles away, and yet it has also made me feel connected to a lot of people, and it has given me something entertaining and inspiring to do whenever I damn well please
Do I express my dislike with things I read and don't agree with?
This completely depends on the circumstances. If the person has commented on my site, I generally feel obliged to at least address what they have said, and if it is offensive, I have no hesitation in telling them to back off, sod off, or fuck off. If the person is someone whose blog I read a lot and someone I know and like, I will almost always open up a discussion. I do not tend to go to openly controversial sites like Conservativepolitics.com (I hope that's not an actual link!), or Abortionmeanskillingbabies.org and start big debates. Why? Too big a can of worms for me, and I'm just as likely to get emotionally involved and end up not solving anything.
Do I like being the hero to those that are always down?
With the exception of the word 'hero,' yes. I want people to know that they can always count on me for support, no matter what. I expect a certain degree of reciprocation here, and anyone who helps me can always count on my returning the favour. 'Hero' implies that this is somehow extraordinary behaviour. I think it is our basic duty as human beings, and so I do it as a matter of course. This is not to say that I do this for everyone. I simply can't help everyone, and that is something that has frustrated me again and again. Obviously, I have to put my own oxygen mask on before I can help you with yours. And if you have hurt me, beware. I may forgive, but I don't forget.
Do I care what people think of me?
Of course! This is not to say that their opinions make up the basis of my self-esteem, quite the contrary. I have a pretty strong sense of self-worth, but it is always nice to get a boost here and there, especially when I'm having a tough time of it. There are also so many things that depend on perception. For instance, if a single person were to say that they liked my writing, I cannot take that to mean that I'm a skilled writer. But I will accept their compliment nonetheless.
Thanks, Storm. That was fun.
Now to lunch.