Saturday, 3 July 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog

A little while ago, when I was waiting for my daughter at the dentist, I read an article that has been playing on my mind ever since.

Basically it was a piece by someone who was clearly irritated by the whole social networking trend. It was a witty piece where he gave his views on Twitter and Facebook which I suppose I share to an extent as I’m not involved with either. But then he moved on to the blogging community which he said was a complete and utter waste of time.

He questioned exactly what sort of person feels the need to share information with the world in a blog and then he went on to answer by saying it was losers who clearly have a lack of identity because they need to share who they are. He said it comes from living in a very narcissistic age where unless people recognise you, you cease to exist and that in the real world, they were probably very uninteresting people. Blogging, he said, was a way of making sure you are connected to someone and that most bloggers are they types who secretly wish they had the guts to be on Big Brother.

I was a bit miffed. Maybe because I recognised something in what was written but not totally.

Why do I write a blog? Why do I record such detail which, if discovered and traced back to me could, no probably would, destroy the family life I have?? Is it to do with a lack if identity?? I don’t think so. I think it’s more about feeling safe enough to show a part of me that I don’t have the freedom to do in my everyday life. But why do I need to do that? Is it narcissm to want to document who I am for public consumption?

I may admit to dipping in to Big Brother from time to time and imagining how I would deal with various situations in that house but I certainly have no desire to be on that or any other reality show. I’m not that much of a wannabe but if I’m honest, I suppose deep down I wish I was a someone. Maybe that’s why I was the first to encourage my daughter when she showed a clear talent and desire to perform. I’ve done my motherly duty in warning her that she is entering a cut-throat industry where few make it but I also feel I owe it to her to encourage her dreams. And of course if she does make it, I’ll be a “someone” through her…..

However, I have taken that article quite personally as it demeans and mocks my need to blog.

It’s been nearly two years since I started this online diary and I believe that writing it has really helped to improve my emotional wellbeing. I’ve always known from when I used to keep a handwritten journal that the act of writing allows you to explore your inner self in a deep and intimate way. My blog has become my place to document and then examine the situations I find myself in, confront my fears and work out how to get on top of my emotions. Together with comments (positive and negative) from those who have followed my journey and those that drop by, it has become a great sounding board.Those comments have also been useful for seeing more positive aspects of myself and this has been especially useful in battling my recent almost overwhelming feelings of depression.

I read all sorts of blogs. Ones like mine that are quite personal, ones that invite discussion, records of parenthood, ones that contain the most amazing photos. There are no rules but each one satisfies the writer ….and me, the reader.

For me reflective writing is immensely therapeutic for lots of reasons - self improvement, a way to vent fear, anger, humour or depression, and a way to learn new perspectives.

So I don’t care what that bloke said, I’m not going to give it up any time soon.


  1. Ignore the views of that particular writer, is my opinion. He is one of life's sneerers and they are never to be taken seriously about anything. He thinks he has all the answers but really his "piece" says more about his own inadequacies and his need to bolster his own self esteem by putting other people down than any true analysis about why blogger's blog. Bloggers blog for a million different reason. Yes, some want to connect. Some have terrible lives and blogging is the only way they can gain some kind of cathartic release. Others, like me, simply love to write, simply love the challenge of writing something that is hopefully entertaining and thought provoking. What I write isn't the gospel truth or authoritative. Just like this magazine writer's output. Only difference is: he thinks his opinions matter and sway public opinion. They don't. He's the loser.

  2. Well he doesn't know what he is missing then - and he is totally wrong anyway

  3. wow,
    follow your instincts..
    enjoy yourself!

  4. Ah, you gotta love the way that we can all communicate - who cares why. I enjoy coming here and reading, as much as I like piddling about on my own blog. Each to their own and if you're not hurting anyone, what does it matter.

  5. Please don't give it up, my love. I for one would miss it horribly, mainly because I'd miss you horribly. I like you very much and like your thoughts on so many things, as well as your huge honesty about you and what makes you work. Of course, if you do stop it I'll only be forced to email you more often and that would be nice, too.

  6. Good for you. Bum to him, that's what I say. I've met some lovely people over the years through blogging: some 'virtually' and some literally. I love my blog, and adore discovering other people's. Carry on regardless, I reckon! xx

  7. Glad to hear that you're not giving up. I also get annoyed about the pronouncements about why he, she, we, I, blog. I do it because I enjoy it. Quite why is no-one's business but my own. No-one forces anyone to read and if we do, it's because we choose to do so.

  8. I've, literally, only just started blogging and I, like you, are doing it for me. I enjoy reading other peoples blogs (including this one that I've just found) and it is because of you, and others, that I will continue to do so.

  9. Establishment journalists are every bit as vain as any blogger.

    Why does this man write a column? What need for validation does he feel, that he must submit his thoughts on unimportant topics to the public for review?

    He may criticize blogging, but I'd bet he checks the letters to the editor after one of his articles goes to print.

    Blogging, like anything else, can invite narcissism, and there are plenty of bloggers out there who are clogging the Internet with photos of themselves and stories about how great they are. There also plenty of bloggers, however, who offer tips on cooking or housecleaning, who point out wise advice for new parents, who exhibit the instances of beauty they see in everyday life, or who, like you and me, speak anonymously from a platform that gives us the ability to write with total honesty.

    If all this is an exercise in self-aggrandizement, I’m not sure how those of us with pseudonyms, bloggers who can never by their very nature be publicly recognized, benefit at all.

  10. youknow we each have our outlets...some it is to paint, some to write...i dont put much stock in someone that will single out a means of people communicating with one another and put those people down...

    hope you are having a great day!

  11. I suspect the only time anyone reads the author of the article is when they're forced waiting in the doc's etc.

    He's entitled to his views, but I'm surprised that the article affected you so.

    The irony is that you're writing about him on your blog. I call that sweet revenge!

  12. Good for you - of course you shouldn't give it up! Very interesting post there. I do actually agree that there is an element of selfishness to most blogs - but that's obvious and inevitable if you're choosing to write about what YOU want. On the positive side you're hopefully being entertaining and diverting, as well as informing and educating your readers (my, I love "ing" verbs don't I? That's quite enough of that...) I also agree with all the other reasons you give for why blogging should be encouraged.

  13. Phew. Ignore that daft comment. I reckon we are a very interesting lot with strong personalities and plenty to say. Well, we are probably more of a mixed bunch and we all blog for different reasons but we enjoy it so why not? Comments like that are not empowering. Blogging certainly is. x

  14. Don't stop blogging.
    I find I wish I still blogged as often as I once did, but time constraints do not seem to permit. I also love reading other blogs and love to have feedback to what I write. I don't think of it as narcissism, more a form of touching, or reaching out to other kindred thinkers- and sometimes not too kindred!
    I totally love the wide diversity of friends I have made through blogging.

  15. It's just a continuation of face-to-face social relations - everyone's an 'attention-seeker'. Some people are a pain in the arse to know in real life, and there are pain in the arse bloggers - nothing new under the sun.

    Plenty of people I listen to, I think: "you probably just shouldn't talk as you have nothing interesting to say." - but whereas that would be considered an unacceptable thing to say out loud, it's strangely alright to tell people they shouldn't blog. Hey.