Do we blog for ourselves or for the entertainment of others?
If it was really for ourselves we would probably just write in a notebook or a journal like we used to when we were kids. Putting it on-line for whoever to see is moving beyond the therapeutic writing that we used to do. When we wrote in our journals, we knew that no one would see it, we could really write whatever it was we were feeling. Now, at least for me, the words run through a filter in my brain so that my fingers don’t reveal all of those little dirty secrets that I’d never want anyone to know – the thoughts that I feel would make me less desirable of a person to know. I can say that what I write is true, but there are ideas that are omitted to protect the innocent (meaning me) or not so innocent (also meaning me). Do I blog to entertain or to heal? Sometimes one, sometimes the other and many times both.
I’ve been reading the blogs of some friends of mine lately and I can see that there is a lot of pain in them. They deal with very full and busy lives filled with developmentally challenged children and much more. In their writing I can see the loneliness that fills them. They are surrounded by their children, families and friends, but there is still an emotional solitude. Through their writing they are seeking community with other women that are struggling with the same issues that they are. I’m impressed with their strength and stamina to keep going day after day knowing that the next day will be very much the same. When I read their entries, I don’t feel that they are attempting to entertain me, they are trying to survive.
I have read blogs though that are pure exhibitionism. I don’t get the feeling that there is any bit of emotional cleansing at work. That’s fine as long as the writer and the audience is aware. They write to see how many hits they can get and how many viewers are subscribing. They are fun and witty and many times catty about their chosen subjects. I really don’t have a problem with these writers, I just wonder how much of them is really there. I also wonder how much of them is in me. Do I write to make myself feel better, or do I feel better because people like what I write? Is that the true therapy, knowing that at least a few people care about what I’m thinking?
I do hope that there have been some days that someone read my blog and found inspiration or just information that they needed. Does that make me kind or just egotistical? It’s a fine line I guess.