Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Blogging in Secret

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine here in Portland and I were hanging out and she announced to me that she just started a blog. She eagerly told me that she’d love to have me read it and sent me the link almost as soon as she got back home to her computer that day.

Did I volunteer to her that I’d been slogging away at a blog since last August? No, I most certainly did not. Unlike my friend, I do not want anyone I know in real life to read my blog. None of my real-life friends or family reads this blog--not even B. This is not because I want to be able to bitch about my friends in my blog--not at all. There are several reasons I keep my blog a secret. Mainly, I never want the following conversation to take place when I get together with a friend:

Me: “These irresponsible kids moved in next door with a huge-ass drum set.”

Real Life Friend: “I know. I read about it in your blog.”

It seems to me like it would be a real conversation killer to have something like that happen all the time. And it’s not even like I record that much of my daily existence in my blog, but still. It sort of smacks of the broadcast e-mail or holiday letter. I wouldn't want friends or family to read my blog and start thinking of it as a sort of substitute for actual contact with me. That would be tragic. When I'm talking to someone I want the conversation to be a two-way street, with equal input from the other person. On a selfish level, I also suspect that the control freak in me wants to be able to be able to pick and choose just what I tell which people. Not that I have dark secrets I’m trying to keep under wraps or anything, but I know I’d end up censoring myself more if people I know were reading it. And we can’t have that.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy blogging, and I love all the new friends I’ve made through my blog. You guys totally rock! When I started out I never dreamed that the blog would turn out to be as interactive as it has proved to be. I started it simply to force myself to do some personal writing--and to keep my brain from going soft. I figured that if there was the chance that people were reading what I wrote, I’d be less likely to abandon it after a week, and I’d probably also put forth a little more effort than if I were just writing for myself.

So I’ve been reading my friend’s blog and enjoying it. Interestingly, I don’t find that reading her blog impedes our conversations or steers them in a predestined direction. She’s using her blog mostly as a sort of creative space for short fiction and poetry, so actually her posts have served as springboards for interesting conversations. It just goes to show that probably every blogger has different goals and expectations for her or his blog, which is cool and quite fascinating, I think.* I’m still pondering if I should “out” myself to my friend, although I’m about 95% sure I don’t want to. I have to admit, though, that I felt a bit disingenuous as she explained Blogger’s features to me, presuming that leaving a comment on her blog might flummox me!

*Anyone who wants to weigh in on why she or he started a blog or the experience of blogging in general, please feel free! I’d especially like to hear if anyone now regrets having told real-life friends or family about a blog.


Post a Comment

<< Home