Blogging, connections, self

Is blogging egotistical?

I had essentially this argument/conversation with my brother over the weekend. It started when I read a piece in Jezebel about a story about a blogger. Whoa, that sounds complicated.

Essentially the Jezebel story kind of pulls out pieces of the news profile about a blogger to highlight some of the more obnoxious things this young blogger says/does. I kind of agreed with their estimate of this blogger. I mean I just don’t get people who spend $750 on shoes. Sorry.

And while I think we all live the best versions of ourselves online (I mean I never post terrible photos of me on Facebook), I think it is quite another thing to completely create a life for yourself online — and then even crazier to actually create that life in reality.

Judy tells me that a few years ago, she gave the home a huge makeover to reflect their “online lives.” When I mention that this sounds like what futurist writer William Gibson once said, about presenting a world that doesn’t exist and making it real, Judy smiles. “You know, it’s true,” she says. “Our life out here is fantastical. My ex-husband says we live in our own world.” (from the article)

When I tried to explain it to my brother, he scoffed. Any blogger, he said, that criticizes another blogger for being “egotistical” and making blogging their life/career is “like the pot calling the kettle black.” Every blogger essentially is egotistical, he said. Who would care so much to read about your life?

Whoa. Deep thoughts.

At the time I just rolled my eyes. My brother does this. Soapbox and all.

Then I started thinking about it. Do I blog because I feel like people really care so much to read about my life? Is it a way to “show off”?

No. That’s not it at all. I’ve kind of already been through this before (see post here) about why I blog. After this conversation though, I realized it’s because it’s an outlet. Yeah, somewhat sort of like an online journal maybe, but also a way to communicate, to form relationships and have conversations.

That’s why I blog at least. And in the blogs that I like the most, well, those are the ones that I like. Like Gretchen and Clare and Ashley and Katie. (just a few of my favorite bloggers)

I like these blogs because I can relate to them. It’s like finding someone who understands bits and pieces of what you are going through.

Sure, maybe, it’s a little voyeuristic to kind of look in on someone’s life or to share my own. The truth is, however, that if you only know me through this here blog then you don’t really know me.

I haven’t “created” anything. I don’t post photos of my glamorous lifestyle like say some other bloggers do. My goal isn’t to get you to change your life or to make you envy mine. I would much rather you say you relate to me.

This is something I think previous generations didn’t have. Just watch an episode of Mad Men and you can see that women weren’t so into sharing what was going on in their more personal lives. In the blogging era we don’t have to feel alone. Just Google it.

While I don’t share with you my medical history, I’ve written some pretty “intimate”-ish post (like this one about fertility or this one about death). That’s because these are the kind of blog posts I like, the kind that I star in my Google Reader or re-tweet on Twitter.

It’s not egotistical to hope there’s someone else out there who wants to say “hey, that’s what I’m going through.” Or that someone is looking for something great to read or good to listen to or for a nice restaurant in the city to eat.

I think like a journalist and so I write/blog about what I think I’d like to read as a consumer of blogs. Why do I do it for me? Is it someway to make myself feel better about my life?

I don’t think so. I think, again, it’s about finding those connections to people that sure, I don’t actually know, but also to people I do know. Sharing just a tiny part of myself and hoping someone out there understands.

If you blog, why do you do it?

3 Responses to “Blogging, connections, self”
  1. Clare says:

    This post exactly explains how I feel about blogging too. In some ways it is a way to document my life. I love keeping track of what recipes I’ve checked off, what trips we’ve taken and sights we’ve seen, restaurants we’ve gone to, etc. While a lot of what I publish is for myself, like you I hope that others who read my blog will be able to relate to things that I post or that they will see something that sparks their interest. Maybe there is a restaurant that someone is looking up a review for and they happen to see it on my blog. I love that!

  2. mom says:

    I think it reads like a journal and people have written and shared those for centuries
    Some people most like reading those-even the details of what Thomas Jefferson planted hmm

  3. lattelovek says:

    First of all – thanks for the mention!
    Secondly – I too, have been thinking about this a lot lately. I always find that my favorite posts (and the most popular) are the ones where I’m sharing about life like I would in an email to a friend. It’s a way to connect, which is why for me growing the blog has become significantly less important than just getting to know better my blogging community! That has been a weight off my shoulders when I sit down to write.

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