Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The delicate politics of blogging...

So, I got raked over the coals yesterday. Apparently, I goofed. Again. (This seems to be the week for it... I wonder if Mercury is in retrograde or some other such thing?)

This particular strip that was torn off me (by someone who shall remain anonymous) because of my newfound love of blogging. It went something like this:

Anon. - "So, what's with this blogging thing, anyway? I mean, whatever happened to real conversations?"

Me - "We - meaning you and I - still have real conversations - pretty much daily, in fact!"

Anon. - "Yeah, but it seems like all the good stories go on the blog lately. I have to read the blog to get the stories!"

(I suppose that that point I should have been flattered that she thought my stories - in any format - were good. But instead, I was dismayed.)

"Whaddaya mean 'all the good stories go on the blog'?!" I asked, with incredulity in my voice.

Anon. said - "Well, you never even told me about that student hitting on you. Not once in any conversation. I mean, I suppose that I don't tell you all my stories either, but you'd think that because we're friends that you'd at least tell me stuff like that! That should be the kind of stuff you share with your friends in person, not put on the Internet for just anybody to read about!!"


As usual, she had a point. (Her logical and analytical approach to life is one of the things I appreciate the most about her.)

It made me think about that story in particular and blogging in general. Here are some reflections:

About the story "That invisible professional line"

I was definitely surprised and taken aback by that incident. Even though it may have seemed that I gave a good response, the whole thing pretty much threw me for a loop.

As I reflect on the blog posting, I'm quite sure that I mentally processed what happened through writing about it. I mean, the very nature of a blog (web log, web diary) is that it is a space for a person - any person - to write their thoughts.

And, truth be told.... I was a little bit embarrassed by the whole incident! So... much better to keep it "at arm's length" by writing about it.

I would add, by the way, that the comments I received on the posting (both in public on the blog and in private) helped me to process the event even further and eventually, just laugh at the stupidity of it all! (He really was acting stupid, after all!)

About blogging in general

The timing of when I started this blog should not be lost on you, gentle and sweet reader. It was just a few weeks before I started back to school as a full time student. I did let most of my friends and family know that my obsessively dedicated and loyal e-mails and phone calls would have to be cut to a dull roar if I was going to have any time at all to study.

So, this forum becomes one way for people to check in when they like, find out what's new and pick and choose bits to read.

I try to include a little humour and fun stuff, as well as some personal reflections in each one, just so they're at least half interesting to read.

And on a purely selfish note, I must say that I absolutely love it when you leave comments on the blog. So far, private e-mails and comments about the blog far outweigh the number of comments people leave on the blog. But the idea of a dialogue is part of the fun.

The term "blogger slut" came up in one conversation, but I think that people who fit that title might actually be found on some of the adult blogs out there, rather than on this one - or any blog that I'm linked to. ;-) But having said that, getting comments on postings does rather make my day! (Hint, hint!)

Oh yeah, and speaking of fun... I actually find this fun! Most of you know that I have a writer's heart. I'll take e-mail (or a letter!) over the phone any day. When I can escape from the absolutely hideously crazy schedule I've been keeping, and sneak off to write a blog entry, I re-charge my batteries and relax at the same time. Yes, it does take a bit of time -- a bit -- but I need to do something to re-energize after my full-time studies, teaching, coordinating projects at the research centre and being a research assistant to a prof in Education. That's about 70 hours of week a work and study, if I tally it all up.

Helllllloooooo?! Going a little nutso here!

And blogging is one of those "little" things that keeps me sane. :-)

On that Myers-Briggs psychology/personality instrument, I've come out three times in a row as a borderline extrovert/introvert. I need people. I love people, in fact! I love being around friends and loved ones, having coffee (mmm... coffee!) or doing whatever... and I also need some alone time. And writing, blogging, is part of the alone time.... it just happens to be "alone time" that ultimately I share with you because whatever gets written gets published on the Web.

I will try, however, to share stories in person as much as possible. And as a few of you have recently found out... there are some stories that will never make it to this blog. This is a pubilc forum, after all... :-)

And so, don't worry, those of you who are close at hand... blogging will never -- never, ever --replace the conversations, experiences and most importantly, the fun and laughs we share together. Those are more valuable than any degree, any job or any hobby. They're what make the memories and stories we treasure so much as we look back on life!!

Love to all,


zouzou said...

Hmm. knotty (not nutty) dilemma. I think you should do whatever the hell you want. If your friend is annoyed about it, tdb (too damn bad) - tell her to check your blog more often!
- so that's the hard-nosed side of me speaking.

In general, blogging is a great creative tool as well as a cathartic one. Also, it helps build life events into stories that are entertaining, pithy and maybe even evocative. I love chatting with friends, I also love blogging. Love me, love my blog. So to speak. A friend will understand that kind of thing. In fact getting a blog address is a bit of an honour - when else do you get to read someone's diary?

I think part of the problem is that your friend assumes you will "report" every event that happens in your life. I don't think that's what friendship is about. I frequently forget to tell my friends things - and that should be okay. I'm only human after all(there's a song in there somewhere) :)

CM said...

I love reading your blog. Being far away means that I can't see you for coffee anytime I'd like, and I'm so busy myself with work and a certain house remodel project that I barely have time for phone and email sometimes. In fact, most of my personal emails get done on my lunch hour at work.

So, being able to read your blog helps me catch up on events in your life that I might not otherwise hear about because I'm not local, and because when we do talk on the phone, we can't possibly remember every single little thing that the other might want to know from however many weeks of history have occurred since our last call.

So I, for one, am very happy that you began blogging, because even though I'm far away, in some odd way, reading your blog makes me feel closer to you.

But about those stories that don't make it to the blog...ahem...(I'm on vacation for a week as of tomorrow, but you can always call me after the 10th of October if there might be anything you need to tell me!)

B.E. said...

Perhaps your friend is simply suffering in some blog-free world (and not by choice). She feels cut off and left behind as you forge into a new realm of communication. The fact that she mentioned her concern to you speaks volumes about her trust in your friendship.

You should do what you want and communicate as you see fit. Blogging is great, for example, for those that are far away. Of course, it's fun and brings all kinds of advantages and benefits that you mentioned in your blog.

Just try not to leave anyone behind accidentally (try as she might, her plodding may not be up to your pace as yet...) Eventually, they'll get into a rhythm that includes your blog, especially when the phone isn't handy. Maybe your readers will even start to reply on the blog more often than on email (or was that just wishful thinking?)