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Forgive the following random post.  I know it doesn’t pertain in any way to my usual topics, but I started thinking about this while reading an e-mail from another blogger, and I felt like getting it down on digital paper.

I’ve mentioned before how therapeutic I find the blogging process.  It’s really been quite helpful for me, in that it’s given me an opportunity to express my frustrations and share my various activities without fear of reprisal.  Everyone needs a sounding board now and again, to feel as though they don’t have to hold in everything they think and feel.  That can be highly beneficial to one’s mental well-being.

I feel that the main contributor to the ameliorative properties of the blogosphere is the community that has developed within WordPress and other blogging sites.  When people read the things you write and comment positively on them, it creates a sense of companionship, or perhaps compatriotism is a better word.  Generally speaking, the people who find and read a blog are looking for things within their own realm of interests, so you can usually be assured that anyone reading your work is of a mindset similar to yours.  That in and of itself is reassuring, particularly if you’re writing a blog about something that is inherently taboo.  But the comments you receive are doubly reassuring because not only are there other people out there who share your struggles and concerns, but they care enough to offer words of encouragement, or are simply moved enough to want to chime in on the topic at hand.  Personally, I think that’s the part I enjoy most about being involved in this community–hearing what you all have to say about me, what I do, and what I should do.  It gives me an opportunity to improve myself using the honest opinions of others as a template for where I should end up in this self-explorative journey.

I am surprised by just how tightly knit the community seems.  I mainly frequent the same blogs over and over because I enjoy the content and writing styles of the various authors involved, but I do branch out whenever I earn a new follower, reading through their work, seeing what they’re all about, and discerning why they chose to follow me in the first place.  When I do so, I tend to find that most people discover my site through other blogs I follow.  It’s a Six Degrees of Separation kind of scenario.  This person reads Hyacinth’s blog, then bounces to Gillian’s, then to Lynn’s, and finally, to mine.  Readers stay within their own little sub-genres and branch out slowly, expanding their involvement in other sites, which lends itself to that sense of community I keep mentioning.

However, what I find most surprising is how much we, or at least I, care about the other bloggers in our respective fields.  For instance, I feel somewhat connected to the three authors I mentioned above.  I’ve read every post they’ve written, and I have a certain mental image of them–not physically, but a summary of what makes that person who they are.  Plato’s Form of Hyacinth, a universal awareness of what makes them who and what they are.  I’ve never met them and most likely never will (that would be weird, no?), but I feel like, if I did, it would be like meeting an old friend.  I know nothing about them beyond what they present in their blogs, but I imagine that is their most honest self, writing in the faceless anonymity that only the internet can provide, and thus I feel like I know them personally.

It’s an odd sort of imaginary relationship I share with my fellow bloggers, and I can see why blogging may be so addictive for some people.  It’s social media with complete strangers.  Developing friendships or camaraderies through written word.

Mainly, it’s a way to not feel so alone.

Cheers, everyone.

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7 Comments

  1. Of course you’re forgiven! Its a very interesting post! ; )

  2. Sharing your thoughts is disclosure, when we blog we skip certain steps of engagement.
    “It’s like, this is me “take it or leave it!”
    For those who write from the soul it can be very therapeautic i agree, a more intimate form of self expression.

  3. Excellent Bi! And, oh, so true.

  4. Bi – You’ve stated this so well. I too feel like I’ve developed actual friendships with some of the bloggers who come by and read me and vice versa. I feel connected to you as well. I think of you guys as my online family. Personally, I’d love to meet in person. I have mental images and such myself, but I’d love to sponsor a real blog party and just sit down with everyone … most especially because this is my most honest self because of the anonymity.

    What I think would be great about a real-life party would be that all the “secrets” are exposed. No need for everyone to be worried about the taboos, we all know. Would it be weird to sit across from you and know that you are aware of my nasty details and me yours … for about 10 seconds until I remember an encouraging comment or how you said “I need an adoration button” and how much I needed those kind words that day and cried when I read them then all that I’ll think about is the acceptance you’ve shown me. Then you’ll get a huge hug and a thank you. Hell, I’m tearing up now …

    Regards …

  5. Are they really “imaginary,” Bi? I know I struggle with similar concepts, but jesus christ, I am so happy that this community exists. I would be utterly lost without your voice and those of my other compatriots. I am not new to the blogging world, but I have never experienced this kind of outreach and camaraderie before. This is a special lot of people, indeed. Yourself certainly included.

    And you are 100% right: what I put in my blog is more real than most conversations I could stand to bear, so in a way, you’re seeing everything while seeing nothing. It’s a strange predicament to be sure, but no less authentic than a conventional face-to-face friendship. I’m real, my words are real and so are you. xx

  6. hi bi,

    thanks for the mention. i enjoy reading your posts as well (even if i catch up once a week or so). i really appreciate your honesty and while, unlike some of your readers, condoning what you do, in a sense, i’m not judging you at all. who is able to judge who anyway? But i really like the fact that you are contrite about your cheating, and honest about it, even if it’s not to ashley herself.

    i think THAT’S what i love most about your blog (and your great writing style) just the realness of it. the honesty and the contrast.

    for your mental image, i’m 5’9″ and have long curly brown hair. blue eyes. and a winning smile. 🙂


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