~ Tuesday, March 25, 2003 ~
I seem to have a blog. This is an odd thing for me, since when I first heard about the concept, I thought it was pretty darn bizarre. Write personal stuff about your life, and then let everyone read it?? EVERYONE?? Even just some random person who happens to surf in from some random place? How inappropriately exhibitionistic. That, and I thought the term "blog" was just the dumbest thing ever...even more annoying than "btw", which I find *really* annoying (although that is probably so only because someone I know added it to his speaking vocabulary, as far as I could tell, solely because he wanted to sound hip, but ended up just sounding contrived--I mean, for goodness sake, it takes five syllables to say "btw" and only three syllables to say "by the way", so the whole goal of being expedient is utterly lost).
It didn't help that when I first started realizing to what an extent blogs were taking over the world, I started accidentally discovering myself on other people's postings, which I found oddly disturbing. I mean, it's supposed to be their own forum, in which they can say whatever they want about anything, but it just seems to me like it's wrong, and an invasion of privacy, to be reading someone else's postings about me, even though it's on a public space and the poster knows very well that it's accessible to everyone. I can't excuse myself for causing harm to someone else by saying that my victim is stupid and should have known better. If I know my victim is stupid (or, at least, is ignorant of some vital information) it's up to me to either inform them or to keep them from the impending harm in whatever manner I could. So I was left with the choice of ceasing to visit their blog (but then how sharp the temptation, every moment, as I wondered what other divulgences might have been made, which I would never read!) or telling them that I was aware of my existence on their blog, which seemed like it would, in certain cases, cause more discomfort and embarrassment on the part of the blogger than I would ever want to create.
So I believe that when blogging, certain ethical guidelines ought to apply. First of all, no saying anything about anyone else that could damage a reader's impression of that person, even (or *especially*) if the reader has never met the person. Same sort of rules I try to follow in everyday speech, only it seems to me as if they should be even more strict in blogs, because there's never any way of knowing who's eavesdropping on your conversation with yourself, and the appearance of having your own private webspace can probably create a very nice false sense of security--C'mon, like Belinda McGreggor is really ever going to find MY blog--but it can happen, and probably has, and I imagine much painful and avoidable drama has resulted. Secondly, no saying anything about anyone that I haven't already told them in person. If I'm going to go on and on about how in love with Belinda McGreggor I am (yes, even if I use initials or cute code names, because chances are Belinda is moderately perceptive and will figure it out), I'd better have the guts to tell her myself, first, and maybe ask her permission to be the subject of my public romantic waxings. And it would probably be a better solution to just not go on and on about how in love with her I am if I'm using a public space and signing my name at the bottom.
But then, another problem arises: if I restrict myself from talking about human drama and interpersonal relationships, I have two things (as I see it) remaining to me: either the "here's what I did today" post or the "here's what I think about this issue of public interest" post (of which this is an example, I realize) and a blog full of one or the other, or both, runs the risk of becoming either boring or disgustingly self-indulgent, or perhaps a frightful combination of the two. Human drama is fascinating to people in a way that can be rivalled by very little else, or else soap operas, as a genre, would never have survived for so long. I, for one, doubt that I would ever keep reading a blog if it had nothing but the daily digest of my own thoughts and activities, unless I were an extremely entertaining writer (which I'm not) or I had some external incentive, and even then, it would be doubtful. Describing my daily life just isn't that interesting. Not to me, anyway. To me it's just sort of transparent. I already know what I did today, and what I thought about it, and the thoughts I had were the obvious ones, the only ones I could have thought. Why consider them noteworthy? Why be so arrogant as to believe that anyone else would want to read them?
But here's the shred of hope--the un-rub, the "doch", the volta. Even if it's transparent to me, maybe my take on things is different enough or amusing enough or otherwise foreign enough to others that they will take some pleasure in looking at boring everyday things through the filter that is permanently stuck over my eyes, this filter that is invisible to me because I've been staring through it for so long, like the cones in front of the retina. It's not necessarily even a filter of optimism all the time, as the "rose-colored" bit would imply (true, I am frequently optimistic and make it a practice to try to explain unpleasant things away with the most benign explanation I can, but I am also sometimes decidedly pessimistic, as some of my closer friends and certainly my family know) but it is a color, and it is always there, and if I had to pick a color for myself, I'm sure it would be something vaguely rose-ish. I hope whoever reads this doesn't gag on the pinkishness of it all, but I like those colors and they're staying there.
Yikes. What a disagreeable way to end a post. I'm not mean like that all the time, honestly.
~ prattled by Miriam at 3:32 a.m. [+]
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