April 21, 2009

The Person Behind the Computer Screen

A funny thing happened recently.

I realized that I am kind of over reading blogs.

But that's not entirely true. I love reading blogs that reveal the innermost workings of a person's soul. I love reading about people's lives.

But I keep running into people who have the same voice (not anyone who actually reads my blog, I'm sure). They like the same things, post the same recurring series on whatever new things are awesome right now, use the same film (and cameras), read the same books, listen to the same music.

And not only that, they are all incredibly sweet, loving, non-trash talking people.

What's up with that? Doesn't anyone talk shit anymore? Is everyone nice all the time? Doesn't anyone have an actual opinion, other than "This photo is sooooo beautiful" or "I love Anthropologie!"?

I just don't get it. It's like there's a bunch of clones out there blogging, all taking pictures of their feet or leaves or food, constantly name-dropping and linking to each other, saying, "I love the look of a beige interior, don't you?" or "come check out my Etsy shop full of vintage items!" or "I found this through this blog; check her out, she is so darling!".

Don't get me wrong, I like taking pictures of my feet and leaves and even food sometimes, and I love Etsy and some vintage stuff. (I'm not a big fan of beige, though, and I don't say "darling.") And I love beautiful things as much as the next person. But I feel like I'm in junior high again, staring at the popular kids' table in the cafeteria, realizing that they are all wearing the same clothes and have the same hairstyles.

I have to wonder what these people are like in real life and whether they've sort of molded their personalities into something that will resonate with all the cool kids in the blogosphere. Maybe each and every person really is the sweetest person on the planet, but it seems to me that I'm only getting part of the story (and that feels like the part with the least amount of depth).

What do you think? Do you consciously shape your blog personality? Do you feel that your blog is an accurate representation of who you are?

I'd be curious to hear from others about this.


Brenda said...

Sometimes, I think it is an accurate representation of me, other times, I use it to post random stuff and then it becomes very non-personal. I have so much more to say, but little to no time to say it. I think if I posted more, it would be a better representation of who I really am. :) Until then, I think my blog is kinda "fuzzy". Like my Zoomie's belly.

inflammatory writ said...

Dude, I talk shit all the time! hahaha.

Yeah, my blog is an accurate representation of myself, except I really don't whine as much on a day to day basis. I do try to be relatable and I try to be interesting but there's only so much you can do when your blog is basically a glorified journal of sorts, you know? I'm just glad people give a crap!

I know what you mean though. People are getting a little one note. Come on internet! Get with it!!

Erika said...

And that's EXACTLY why I don't blog anymore.....I felt like everyone and there brother writes one and i didn't want to become a drone.

I will read tho....comment.....cause i like reading into people's lives too.

But my own blog? I'm not feeling it anymore.

Angie Eats Peace said...

I was just thinking about something along the same lines when I was writting my last post, like, this shit doesnt sound like me, I cuss way more in real life.

But, I think my personality still shows through, minus some F bombs.

alejna said...

Interesting questions.

My blog reflects only a part of who I am. To some extent, that personality is...well, if not created by me, then filtered by me. A main reason for this is that I use my real name, and it's an easily identifiable name. I just don't feel I can expose too much of my inner workings. Partly because I envision some future employer googling my name and asking me awkward questions. And partly because I am careful about saying things that might negatively impact my relationships with friends and family. (I once wrote, at a time when I thought she wasn't going to read my blog, that my mother said something that hurt my feelings a little bit. She read it that day, and was deeply wounded and it marred our relationship for many, many months.)

I try not to whine too much on my blog, though I often feel like whining. Sometimes, I write a really whiny draft, and then realize that's not the way I want to go. It makes me annoyed with myself for being so whiny when I have things so good. So I post something that makes me laugh, and it cheers me up. Both candidate posts accurately reflect aspects of my personality, but I tend to choose the one that I'd rather project. (Of course, there are plenty of times when I post the whiny. But if I can also be silly and amuse myself while I whine, that makes me happier.)

I guess I must steer clear of the popular kids of the blogging world, because I don't even recognize your description. (Or maybe I come across them occasionally, but instantly forget them? I guess I do sometimes wonder why some people bother blogging.)

I read quite a diverse set of bloggers, many of whom have very strong opinions. (I even sometimes disagree with those opinions!)

I actually spend a lot of time thinking about blogging. A lot more time than I actually spend blogging, even, since I can do it while I'm driving or making dinner or during those rare occasions when I take a shower. You see how I can fill up this comment box? Yes, this should be a post, though that bit about my mother can't ever be on my own blog.

phairhead said...

i think it's that mentality of really wanting to assimilate. different = bad.

i don't think i really fall into that category but what the hell do i know?

Anonymous said...

I definitely think that people try and make their blogs something that will resonate with more popular, ("cooler" i guess?) bloggers. Weird to think about bloggers, anonymous people you don't even know in person, as popular cliques at school...

I don't think most blogs are an accurate representation of who a person is. Few people are willing to share their personal stories on the internet. Bloggers chose what side of themselves to expose. It sucks when that side is the least bit interesting.

I write my blog mostly for my own self interest. To help me remember books that I've read, things that I did, my feelings/emotions at certain times of my life. I know I'm not an amazing writer and I don't even know if more than 3 people actually read it. But whatever. I was never one to try and fit in with the cool kids anyway. I just like knowing that blog is out there.

Myra said...

I think that you and I hate beige for the same reason. We've both spent hours at a time trapped in tiny beige boxes...at the Institute. ;)

Lydia said...

I have two blogs. My first one is much easier to write since all it deals with is makeup.

My other blog? IDK. I don't think it has much purpose and I'm often wondering why I both and if I even care. I think the more time I put into it, the more i like it. when i'm writing just to post something? Meh...whatever. I find I whine too much.

So yes, I am probably a shitty blogger when it comes to my personal blog.

Amy said...

I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over with all the blogs I was reading. That's why I narrowed it down considerably and why I'm probably not done with it either. I figured if I couldn't remember who the person was the second I started reading their blog why bother because they apparently weren't memorable enough and just fit into the same mold as everyone else. So I understand where you're coming from.

I do feel like my blog is a good representation of who I am. It's the one place I am completely real and honest with no walls up.

amber said...

Like others said, my blog reflects part of me, but not everything. I definitely don't shy away from sad or uncomfortable topics, but I also am a fairly happy, upbeat person in general, so the blog reflects that.

Crazy Daisy said...

This is a very interesting post!

My blog... hummm. I believe it does represent a part of who I am. I have been challenged in the way of those my blog is generally private, I do have a few friends/family reading it as well as my blog friends. I have posted some frustrations about life, however don't post everything, as I don't want those few people that have my phone number to call each time I post a frustration I have with my husband, or mom, or sister... It is a difficult balance for me.

WeezerMonkey said...

I think my blog is very much an accurate representation of who I am. I am what I eat! :)

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