Thursday, May 8, 2008

Regarding Blogging part 2

My last post talked about how blogging encourages the blogger to write often, and doesn't reward him for putting a lot of time and energy into each post. One of the side effects of this, I think, is that it tends to move people toward writing about themselves and their lives. You don't have to do any research for your post if you're posting about yourself, you just write about what's happened to you since you last wrote. I think this works well with our current cultural obsession with personality and celebrity. You can start a blog and treat it like your personal Reality show, continually updating your audience with the new things you've done and had done to you.

The problem with this for me is that I don't like reality shows, and I'm usually uncomfortable talking about myself and my life. On this blog I have posted a few "diary" style entries, talking about things I've gone through and my emotions and all that, but each and every time I felt embarrassed and silly for having done so. I feel like using myself as the subject is a way of buying into that cultural obsession with personality and celebrity, which I perceive as a rather shallow and demeaning interest. The people on these shows willingly exploit themselves for attention, knowing that they will be represented in a way that can't possibly communicate the entire complexity of who they are. The audience isn't interested in the details of their lives--it's curiosities are much baser than that--so the people who seek celebrity willingly reduce their humanity for the sake of fame. Using myself as the subject of my writing, in a forum presented primarily to an audience of people I don't know and will never meet, feels uncomfortably close to that same sort of pathetic celebrity-pursuit.

And yet I'm still drawn to the idea of blogging. I still want to have a chance to communicate with the wider world, and that's why I haven't given up on this blog entirely.

In an effort to keep away from that uncomfortable ground of celebrity pursuit, I've recently turned the focus of this blog toward some of the books I've been reading. I thought that if I used something besides myself for the subject of the posts (books in this case) it would allow me an opportunity to communicate without exploiting myself. I've had mixed results with this so far. Maybe I'll write more about them later.

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