What entices someone to check out a blog? How come some bloggers have lots of readers? Do you think that what people write about (when they are describing their lives, daily activities, etc.) the truth or is it all fiction? I think people just want to seem more interesting than they really are.
This is from the first paragraph of Antsy's most recent post, and it was so apropos to what has been on my own mind that I had to quote it here as my conversation starter.
This topic has been on my mind because the other day, I overheard someone say, pretty dismissively, that they felt all bloggers were "posers." I of course bristled a little bit, because I feel I am pretty much the complete opposite of that, (i.e., I will admit to you now, shamelessly, that it is 3pm and I am still in pajamas because I was cleaning and didn't want to shower and then get sweaty. I have also eaten four meals today already. There, don't you think I'm cool?! Don't you think I must be such an awesome and interesting person, leading a life far more exotic and sexy than your own?)
I have been a part of the blogger community for over six months, and I now spend at least an hour a day updating my own blog and reading others. I've viewed hundreds of blogs by now, so I think I can say with some degree of perspective that I have encountered many boring blogs, but never one that I felt existed simply to make the author feel smarter or more interesting than they really were. Now, perhaps this was the case and I just didn't know it, but in general I think the opposite is true of blogs: People are more honest about their shortcomings and feelings of dissatisfaction with themselves because a blog is a far safer venue in which to reveal those feelings than say, a conversation with friends and family. I think some people do blog to look for validation, perhaps, but they are not so much "posers" as simply people who are in need of a little feedback or emotional release.
Now, that said, I do think some people's blogs are unforgivably boring. This is probably often the case of my own. But we soldier on. Are we on an ego trip, thinking anyone would want to read our rambling complaints and tiny triumphs? Maybe a little. But I think the main motivation is that we are looking for community in an increasingly unfriendly and isolated world.
For stay-at-home moms, of which there are a large number who blog or read blogs, this is particularly true. We just want to feel like we're not alone. And, when we've had a bad day, sometimes it's just plain cathartic to write about it. Better medicine than, say, hitting the wine or that old prescription bottle of Percocet, right?
Another comment I heard about blogging is that it's "fake," as in, a phony and surreal sense of community in which there is no real accountability or genuine friendship. Now, this supposition I gave a little more thought to, because I can see the point. Several of my commenters I do know personally, but that is because I made the choice to let friends and family know that I blog. Many bloggers do not do this, and so they have never met or spoken with the people who comment. Does this make the connection less valid? Do you guys feel that there is something lacking, even fake, about the relationship between fellow bloggers and blog readers?