24 May 2008

The kind of blogger I am not

It is only Saturday night and already 3 people have recommended I read the cover story of this week's Sunday NY Times magazine. For those who can't access it, it was written by Emily Gould who gained some kind of fame -- enough to get her this wikipedia entry at least -- about her experience blogging for Gawker.com. I believe the reason the article was recommended is because these 3 people know that I have a blog and that I enjoy blogging as well as reading other blogs. I just finished reading the article and I am kind of annoyed.

Beyond the word blogging my experience with blogging and Ms. Gould's have very, very little in common. I am slightly distressed to think that people who know I blog will come to the conclusion that I blog for similar reasons as described in this article. What I find more distressing is the fact that this article only propagates the same problems Ms. Gould was faced with when blogging about her private life publicly. The same secrets are now appearing on actual physical pages as well as the internet being the only difference. She says herself:
I understand that by writing here about how I revealed my intimate life online, I’ve now revealed even more about what happened during the period when I was most exposed. Well, I’m an oversharer — it’s not like I’m entirely reformed.

Frankly, she is not at all reformed. She has just found, in the NY Times, an even broader audience for her own brand of psychological issue of "oversharing." I don't blame her for anything but being young, naive and allowing others to continually take advantage of her, but her story reminds me of a much, much less publicized Monica Lewinsky story. She cannot help constantly exposing herself. If my boyfriend won't love me, maybe you will. It is both sad and compelling in the same ways.

Every time I write something for my blog I ask myself, is this something I would want my Mom to read? What about my boss? What about someone interviewing me for a job? And, of course, what about my blog's namesake? (I have already decided that in a couple more years or less I will have to re-name this blog for her sake.) Sometimes the answer is easy and I click "Publish post" and sometimes I have to do some editing (read: deleting). Some thoughts, feelings and actions are just better left unsaid. Apparently that is a hard lesson for some.

(Stepping down from soapbox now.)


Emily Barton said...

Hmmm...do you think that one day The NYT will actually have an article about blogs/blogging that's positive? Somehow, I doubt it...Like you, I didn't see myself or the reasons I blog in this at all. I do, however, feel so lucky whenever I read these sorts of articles that I seem somehow to have found the corner of the blogosphere where people seem to be experimenting and honing their craft more than yelling "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" Thus, I'm hanging out with mature, kind, thoughtful people who know the definition of the word "boundary." Oh, and they're laugh-out-loud funny. They just know how to be so without being cruel.

tracie valentino said...

I read that article late Friday night, and was at first enraged by this girl's immaturity. Then my age caught up to me, and I realized I might have been this girl, if I had a blog-like platform to broadcast my life on way back in the day.

Nowadays, I write knowing that a potential client might be reading my blog. That, and I know for a fact that Ashlee (and some of her friends) read it. Anything that she shouldn't be reading, I shouldn't be blogging about (I do lots of "editing" too).

You know how sometimes, if you go back in a journal and you just cringe: "what was I thinking??!" It's nice to have that moment to yourself, and not have to share it with millions of readers.

ZoesMom said...

Emily -- Not sure about the NYT's feeling on blogs because while their articles trash them, they seem to add a new one to their site every week.

And I also consider myself lucky to have found this corner of the blogosphere. It is so completely unlike the blogging described in that article that I think they should be called different things!

Tracie -- I know what you mean about thinking you might have used a blog in a similar way, but the thing that amazed me about her story was how she never learned what a bad idea it was to "overshare" and she still clearly hasn't figured that out. I do cringe when I go back and read my high school or college journals, but I'm fairly certain no one but me has ever read them.

Luckily we've grown into mature women and model mothers :-).