July 9, 2007

When Blogging is Strange

Sometimes I wonder if my family and friends wish I wore this shirt. My kids probably will wish this when they are teenagers. Actually I do try to be considerate of my kids, family and friends privacy. For the most part I try hard to not blog anything private, embarrassing, incriminating or unfair about people I know. I try to keep personal details out and in general opt not to blog something if I have any doubt or question in my mind. I am sure you can find exceptions but at least I try. While I often wear my "I'm blogging this" t-shirt and Sirah wears her "My entire life is being blogged" shirt I generally am not blogging every detail about everything we are doing and hardly ever blog about friends (unless I am complementing them for how wonderful they are and all the good things they do) still it must be weird sometimes to be my friend or related to me and see those shirts and wonder if you are going to end up on my blog.

I have spent a good amount of time reflecting on this as it relates to our children since Sirah's shirt is actually accurate since I began blogging before she was born. Rhiannon has now had half her life blogged and Ciaran 2/3's of his and obviously those numbers are only going up. A few months ago I wrote down my reflections on this topic, Parents Blogging Kids. But it goes beyond my kids and family. I have been blogging long enough now that many of the usual and even some of the unusual experiences have happened to me that happen as a result of blogging

- I've become friends with bloggers throughout the country whom I have never met in person yet I feel connected to them and their lives.

- I've discovered I have a bigger audience than I thought when I realize how many people read these random thoughts I put down.

- I've helped out fellow bloggers I never met in person with their real life needs.

- I've talked on the telephone to complete strangers in a way that felt like we knew one another for awhile.

- I've been contacted by publishers to review materials.

-I've reconnected with old friends who I have not seen or talked to in years who feel like they know my kids and my life intimately because they have read my blog for years.

- I've opened a PO Box because my blog gets snail mail

- I've met strangers and been in the middle of a conversation only to find out they read my blog. Suddenly the playing field is not even as they know a whole lot about my life and me and I know very little about them.

- I've been contacted via email by complete strangers seeking advice or help on a bunch of random topics

- Recently I discovered by reading a friends blog that her daughter had left her much loved blankie at my house (neither of us knew it) and a joyful reunion was made between child and lovie.

- My favorite: I've received kudos, encouragement and support from people I have never met and probably never will through email comments and the rare real-life compliment.

But probably the strangest thing to get used to is how blogging affects my real-life relationships, with close friends, acquaintances and even family. I've been in numerous conversations where I start a conversation about something I want to share to be cut off because my friend already knows all that because they read it on my blog. Or for my very polite friends I am boring them to tears with something they know but will listen to again. Or I am in a conversation with someone and they start answering something I wrote in a blog post but never shared face to face with them and it takes me a minute to realize what they are talking about and how they knew that. Sometimes blogging adds a whole new level to conversation to navigate. Sometimes I don't know whether to bother talking about something or not, or whether to blog about something or not.

I recently went on a wonderful trip to Ireland and decided to blog about it and this has led to several of these strange moments. They are not bad - just different to get used to - its like a conversation has taken place giving background information to my friends. Still it is not a back and forth conversation (unless of course they comment) so we still talk about it usually but other times we do not. The most interesting situations are group discussions where one person read my blog and one did not and the three of us talk. I suppose it is just like if I told one person a story and not the other but it is still different in some ways.

I like that my family and friends read my blog. It is a great way to keep lots of people up to date with what is going on in our lives. Kind of like the continual Christmas card letter. I also like that fellow homeschoolers and other parents find information I write here interesting and worthy of their time.

It is just odd when faced with it in a real life situation because oftentimes people only sometimes read my blog (other than my parents, parents in love and DH who read every silly thing I write) so I never really know whether someone has read something I have written or not. So it is hit or miss which means there is no consistent way to manage talking about things I write in my blog with friends and family.

I am not really sure about the point of this post other than to share some of the strange results of blogging that I never thought about when I started or even as I have gone along until they happened to me. How about you - is blogging ever strange for you - as a blogger or as a reader of blogs or both?

1 comment:

  1. I noticed this phenomenon last Christmas at family gatherings! I may have to close my blog for the holiday season this year, so I'll have something to talk about at parties!