Last night I was catching up on shows that had piled up on the DVR. It happens pretty regularly especially when we get into hang, focus and tech weeks at the theatre. So, after watching the Ugly Betty episodes and the Project Runways we got to the Episodes of House. I believe that it was the second to last episode of House where he was treating a blogger who blogged pretty much everything about her life and even asked her followers for advice.
One of the interesting ideas that this blogger mentioned was that she felt like it was easier to connect with her followers than it was to connect with people in person. She said that she found it easier to be honest and to really speak her mind on her blog than it was to do that with even her husband. It really made me wonder how many people find this to be the case, and how many people blog for this reason.
I work in a profession that really is all about interpersonal relationships. Even behind the scenes, everything we do in theatre is about communicating with other people (especially the audience). So I don’t usually feel like I have issues connecting with people. I don’t claim to have zillions of friends, but I have plenty of friends who I know in person and I also have a contingent of friends who I only know via the internets. I don’t feel like I divulge any more or personal information with the friends that I have made online.
Personally, I don’t think that a relationship formed entirely online, no matter how well you get to “know” someone online, do you really know them? There are plenty of people who I have “known” for a good while in an online way, but I think that it would really make for a much stronger relationship to know some of these people in person. It begs the question, does meeting someone in person change how you relate to them when you go back to your online relationship?
It was also suggested that “real” privacy is a modern idea. In that years ago when people lived in small towns and not in cities, everyone knew pretty much everything that was going on in the town. There are still alcoves where this still happens like in small departments in schools or in summer camps or the small towns that still exist. The concept of privacy though is what makes blogging hard for some people to understand. We put a lot of ourself on display every time we post even if we are not writing about our lives. Why?
Some people just like to have a creative outlet for posting poetry or short stories. Some people actually do blog about everything that happens in their lives. Some people blog to share their art, photos or opinions. All of these things though, show some insight into the personal aspects of a person’s life. Why are we fascinated with sharing this with the world or whoever stops by?
We are social creatures. Maybe we need more connections and more public lives than what we actually live today. Maybe we seek these connections in the online world because we don’t get enough of them in our day-to-day lives. I certainly don’t have the answers, I just know that I enjoy blogging and finding things that move me to write about them.