Monday, August 4, 2008

The Hidden World of Blogging

Today guest post is by Frogdancer, an Australian mum of four boys. She's an avid knitter and quilter; teacher of English and blogger of high caliber. Enjoy!

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Bloggers are creepy. It’s true, you know we are. I mean ‘creepy’ in a good way. (Come on, I’m
sure ‘creepy’ can be a compliment. Work with me ….) Think about it for a bit. We expose selected bits and pieces of ourselves on the internet, (and rumour has it that it’s a world wide thing nowadays), and then we burrow into the lives of other people and read selected bits of their lives, we comment and then….

we go out amongst the General Public and we look just like everyone else…. except far more attractive, of course.

We’re a real life version of the Harry Potter world. We’re like the magical people living among the muggles. Here we are in plain sight, but our bloggyness is hidden away from the sight of most of whom we come into contact.

Creepy….

Think about it. We could be formulating a post on anything. At any time. Maybe right now….. and how would people know? Maybe a vague look might cross our faces, or pupils dilating might give it away too. But they’re subtle things that could be explained away by a myriad of other things. So we walk amongst the population. Silently noting. Photographing. Documenting.

Creepy.

Think of the actual word “blog’. That’s not a sexy word. You can’t tell me that the first time you heard the word ‘blog’ you felt an instant magnetic pull towards becoming a ‘blogger’. It’s a bit of a turn-off, to tell the truth. And how brilliant is that? Who would ever suspect that someone as scintillating and witty and drop-dead gorgeous as you are could possibly be one of those … (whisper)…Blog People? Aren’t Blog People nerds who are incapable of dealing with real life people so they hide behind a computer screen and blog instead? What a brilliant facade blogging has! And so we are able to weave the magic of our words in peace, going about our day to day lives and indulging in our bloggishness when and where and how we please. Oh the power.

I really wish I’d discovered blogging when I was trapped at home with small children for 10 years before I went back to work. Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty fond of my boys. They can’t help being ugly and a little slow. They did the best with the genetic material they had to work with, and I applaud them for that. But that decade was very isolating. There’s only so many episodes of Playschool and Sesame street a grown woman can watch before she starts acting like a teapot at the most inappropriate times. Those years were difficult financially. I didn’t have the cash to pop into the indoor play centre and do coffee like a lot of mums did. I had to turn down a lot of invitations. I’m sure that those years would have been easier if I’d had access to the humour, support and sharing that bloggers so generously pass around.

It’s true. Blogging may be a creepy (but totally hip and cool) thing to do, but what a vibrant and generous lot of people we are. (Well… you guys are. I’m just nibbling at the edges.) There are so many people out there who are amazing writers. They take their lives and thoughts and shape them in ways that can make me LOL (as daggy as that looks) or make me weep. (That has happened. Not often, but it has.) Or they describe something that happens in such a way that they absolutely nail it, and I find myself nodding in total agreement, saying, “Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like.” Or… (and in some ways this is the best one) they write about things that I’ve had absolutely no experience about at all, and windows are opened in my mind about what it’s like to live in another kind of reality. After all, what do I know about being a guy? Or a midwife? About parenting a child with autism? About surviving a childhood of horrific abuse? About being creative enough to try dying wool with food dye to make fabulous colours? And what about all of that snow that people on the other end of the world live with? Are they crazy? No wonder they’re always knitting. They’d all freeze to death otherwise. Imagine having to shovel snow from the driveway every morning before you go to work. That sort of weather just isn’t civilised.

We (creepy) hip and happening bloggers have deep, unseen connections with people from all over the place. We connect with people from everywhere and almost every socio-economic level. If we see something we don’t like, we simply slip away and move onto the next blog. No fuss, no drama. I love it. I wrote a bit about this on my 100th post. I love the fact that so many different aspects of my life are fed by blogging. Every day I read mummy blogs. Teaching blogs. Reading, knitting and quilting blogs. I read blogs by people far more intelligent than myself, (yes, such a thing IS possible. But only just…) and I love the insights they give me. I’ve become far more conscious of my photography and my son now has his own photo blog, which would never have happened without having his imagination opened up by seeing the work of others. There are also really fun things to do like The Great Interview Experiment where bloggers take turns passing the baton and interviewing each other. Though seriously, aren’t the comments almost the best fun of all?

And all of this activity and creativity happens sight unseen. We look normal. Little do people know what boundless things we explore and friends we’re making while we’re busily tapping away on our keyboards.

Creepy….

but in an excellent way.

http://dancingwithfrogs.com

5 comments:

Jill said...

great post, I love this creepy world I escape too for a few minuets each day!

Suzy said...

Blogging has always amazed me. It reaches out and touches people you would never get to know.

It's an interesting community and seems to be an incredibly supportive community from where I sit.

Suzy

Tenakim said...

now that you put it that way, I guess I am kind of creepy! Thanks for the self-awareness!

Patrice said...

This is a brilliant post. Not quite sure how I stumbled upon your blog.. but it was obviously some creepy way! This post sums up blogging so well. I love it! Thank you..

Andrea said...

This perspective on the whole thing is awesome. I can't tell you how many times a funny scene is tamped to silence by my saying, "I'm blogging this!"

*crickets*

It sucks.

I'm off to look at your blog and see about a bookmark or if I want to slink away. Based on what I read here, I should just bookmark now and consider myself lucky that our virtual paths crossed.