Sunday, May 08, 2005

"Next Blog"

Have you ever clicked the "Next Blog" button in the top right-hand corner of Blogger blogs? You come up with the weirdest things.

Lots of people are pouring out their hearts annonymously. Broken hearts, yearning hearts, lustful hearts, angry hearts, cheatin' hearts, wild hearts, yeah, and some pretty inane hearts.

I've been thinking a lot about the nature of the internet. Blogs make it so everybody can have their say online. But now instead of little girls hiding the keys to their diaries, people are publishing their feelings for, literally, all the world to see. And in the anonymity there is much "safety." So they say things they would never think of saying to a person face-to-face. For that matter, they say things they would probably never say out loud about somebody, or at least face-to-face.

But there is much boldness in the dark.

It makes me think about my own "personality" online. To be honest, most people who read this are ones that I'd never have expected. Which teaches me a good lesson: don't post things online that you don't want someone to mention to you in broad daylight the next day (like your MOM). This isn't a bad thing; it makes me remember that the 'online' in 'online journal' is an important modifier. When I want to pour out my cheatin', lyin', breakin', all-around-sinnin' heart - especially if it's sinning against somebody specific - I shall do it in the little black journal that sits underneath my alarm clock with my black V5 Pilot precise pen. It takes a little bit more time than typing, but that's what it's there for. And it stays between me and the only One who perfectly forgives and sanctifies those problems!

Another lesson: I just read (quickly, albeit) a book called Habits of a High Tech Heart for ethics. It's a bit wordy, but a decent book nonetheless, and he has some excellent points about the way that technology has significantly cut down on how we build community. It's a reminder to me a) to use technology in a way that enhances community rather than mitigates the "need" for me to actually interact with people and b) to be myself online (in addition to not publishing slander online).

Initially when I started this blog, I was hesitant to reveal my 'identity.' Yeah, most of you know who I am anyway, so that doesn't matter. But I've been a victim of ID theft, so I'm reticent to put my personal info online more than necessary. At the same time, though, I realized that if I'm not me and not talking about things that matter to me in a real way, there is only a false sense of authenticity on this blog. So that's the point at which I started to refer to 'WTS' rather than 'my school,' and the like.

Yeah, I'm rambling. That's because it's 12:30 am and it's finals week!!!

Final (but not brief) thoughts: I recently watched an 'extra' to the Bridget Jones's Diary DVD. There's a section on it about dating advice (which is all terrible), and in particular they're talking about the advent of online relationships. The woman who created Sex and the City commented: "Now you can go on a date while sitting at home on the couch in your pajamas - it's a dream come true!" yeah, if you're married to someone and he is there with you! The people giving advice also had no qualms about giving wrong info: if you're 37 and weigh 160, OF COURSE you should say you're 27 and weigh 130! There's just so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to start. So I won't... buenas noches.


Anonymous said...

I really appreciate what you said. Your concerns are the same ones I had for not creating my own blog. Instead I've been posting comments on other people's blogs like yours like some parasite, heehee. Anyway, I was actually thinking about doing it but I thought to myself, why do i want to do this? I mean which 'audience' am I trying to appeal to? I get that from Os Guiness' book "The Call" on his chapter on the "Audience of One." Anyway, I can understand, why people do it, people are lonely and longing for community, life was meant to be shared not to be forgotten. We all long for remembrance, as we should. I'm preaching a sermon on Luke 23 with the two thieves on the cross with Jesus, and God is teaching me so much about that one simple request by the one thief who simply asks, Lord remember me. What a pathetic and yet beautiful statement. Anyway, for all you bloggers out there who will read this, take Brittle Crazy Glass' (BCG) insight to heart. It makes a lot of sense. But please don't think that this is a judgemental indictment of any wrong doing or an assumption of loneliness on your part. I think blogs can be a great tool for people who are say living 3,000 miles away from their closest friends (where all it does it rains and everyone smells like Starbuck's coffee) can go and see what's going in their friend's lives. I really love reading the blogs of friends, but I have to remember that it's not to substitute the emails and the phone calls that would create the relationships to where I would even care to read your blogs. So, sorry BCG that the last two times I spoke to you was through your blog.

Molly said...

As long as you keep commenting on my site, I feel like we're communicating in a relatively 'meaningful' manner. :)

I do really enjoy the fact that being in the 'blogosphere' has turned my geographically diverse world of friends into a bit of a community (at least for those friends who read it).

Melodee said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Molly. I was discussing this same issue with a friend a few weeks ago, and since then it has been on my mind. When I started my blog I realized that yes, I knew most of the people who would read it, and yes, anyone at all could read it if they wanted to. I have tried to be very deliberate about posting only things that "anyone at all" could read, and only things that I would say to someone in person. Of course, in my case I mostly post all the things I would like to ramble on about in person, if only anyone one wanted to listen! ;)