Wednesday, January 07, 2009

why blog?

I read a newspaper article (ed: just added the link!) today about how people are sharing too much information these days - in reality TV shows, Facebook and MySpace, Twitter, etc etc etc.

"Today we all live with the expectation that we must happily spill our guts for whoever cares to slosh through them. Once considered a virtue, discretion is now viewed as either a character flaw or a sign that you're hiding one."

It made me stop and think about my use of blogs and Facebook. Am I being exhibitionist or something to like writing a blog (or two)? It's certainly not my nature to overtly draw attention to myself - I'm quite shy. I like to think that I do keep private the things that should remain private, but maybe I cross the line ... not sure!

I do know that I have always been a diary-keeper. Sometimes I'd let it go for a while, but then a year or two later I'd start another one. However until I started blogging, it was never for public reading. I started this blog when I went on an overseas trip and it seemed like a cool and easy way to keep friends and family in touch with what I was doing!

Then the blog site was put together and I wanted to participate/join in, even though most of the other blogs there are from much more advanced and/or dedicated ashtangis than me! And so this blog did turn into an on-line diary, and my paper diary faded away! But really, I'm pretty much writing here for me/my benefit, not for anyone else. Just like with a diary, it's fun to look back to where you were/what you were doing a year or more ago. And with my yoga journey especially.

When I was diagnosed with NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) 18 months ago it was different. I decided to set up a separate lymphoma blog to write about what happened, how it was in hospital and going through all that unbelievable stuff!

But this time it was not only for my benefit (and I have now re-read it a few times, from a distance, marvelling that this really happened to me!) But also for other people who found themselves in a similar situation, to read about someone's experiences, the good and the bad. I have certainly found it incredibly helpful to read other "cancer warriors' blogs" as well as discussion boards etc. You get so much information, and reassurance that other people have gone through the same thing as you, and they've come out the other side! I really think this is one big example of the fantastic way the internet has brought people together.

So, I can reassure myself that the lymphoma blog is definitely for a good reason! And this one? - well, I'm a web developer. I live in the technical and online world! So it just seems normal that I'd be using at least some of the tools that are around me. I don't think I need to be too concerned that I'm turning into a Britny or Big Brother type person!! Really!!


karen said...

I'm a technical person, too, and I feel like it's really important that we develop the "human" side of technology. I *love* that I can build and sustain relationships with people via technology.

I think the article writer mistakenly conflates technology and exhibitionism: there are plenty of people (in fact, the vast majority) who are using the web in a perfectly friendly, non-pathological way!

susiegb said...

Yes you're right. I don't think she was mostly talking about blogs - more about Facebook/MySpace and general publicity stuff. I've put the link in to the article - should have done that yesterday!!

Ronni Gordon said...

I agree there is a lot to be gained from reading/writing blogs. I've found so much support out there and feel like I've been able to offer support to others. Of course you have to weed through scary or irrelevant stuff, but so far the pros outweigh the cons.


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