Thursday, May 04, 2006

Everyone has their ipod on - and who's going to listen to me?

I only started this blog a short time ago, but I‘ve been reading blogs for quite a while, and it’s only recently that I’ve started questioning the whole phenomenon. Why do bloggers blog?

I'm not sure why I started one. I’m still acting on a spur of the moment decision to try it out, and being the self-analytical person that I am I’ve been trying to understand what prompted this. Maybe loneliness, maybe attention, maybe finding a creative outlet, maybe finding a place to verbalize my thoughts to help me work them out or maybe just a personal exhibitionist dare... I think on the surface I was just curious to see what it would feel like to have my own little space on the enormous and often intimidating Internet.

Whatever the reason, blogging is proving to be more difficult that I had envisioned. For a long time I had wanted to start one. Those close to me have heard me say it on a number of occasions and all of them have responded in the same, off-handed way – ‘so just get one! What’s the big deal, its anonymous!’

I know myself, and if I’m going to do something, I’m going to be 'real', and truthfully, I’m not sure I’m ready to be real for the World Wide Web to gawk at. In a way the anonymity helps, I almost don’t feel like anyone will notice. But then I think of all the blogs I’ve read, all the private thoughts I’ve barged in on, all the pain and confusion I’ve gawked at, all the attempts at intelligent thinking I’ve mocked and I wonder.. how many are out there who are reading what im writing ..and why does it matter? More importantly, I wonder, why do I keep wanting to do this?

I read in Treppenwitz a few days ago something that’s made me think about this, and if anyone is reading this, I am curious to hear what you think. He wrote:
“It's nice to be noticed, but...
Any blogger/journaler who tells you that he/she doesn't give a whit (no, that isn't a typo... look it up) about mundane things like traffic, 'hits', links, track-backs, comments and other indicators that their writing has been noticed by the world beyond their computer screens is, in my humble opinion, a big fat liar. “
.. and

I wonder if that’s true.

I expected that when I started this little experiment that I wouldn’t want anyone to find it or read it. I thought I would want this for myself, to challenge myself, to find out more about myself. But it didn't take long for me to start wondering who was reading it, if there were any comments... Selling my soul to the devil. Why would it matter if anyone was reading my thoughts? Why would it matter what anyone would comment? Why should I care? But apparently I do… and I don’t like it.

Of the hundreds of blogs I’ve come across, no two seem to be alike - even when they touch on similar issues. Everyone gets a voice. Some deal with politics, others discuss personal struggles with their religion and beliefs. Some are more artistic, using pictures, poetry, music to express their author’s views and emotions. Pictures from travels, desperate attempts at getting attention, teenage angst unleashed and mundane events recounted fill these blogs. Some are written beautifully, others are barely readable. Some are imaginative, others are boring or predictable. Some are real, some are deep, and some are just an expression of the superficial outlook some people convince themselves is their reality. Some bloggers use their blog as an ego-boosting forum to shove their views down the throats of all those who would never give them the time of day in person, and others use theirs to unleash the brilliance they’d never have the courage to express in person. Some bloggers do it to be heard, and... well, I don’t think there is an ‘and’.

That’s the conclusion I’ve been leaning towards.

I think in the past people lived in way that allowed them to develop close relationships to their families and communities, that people had a sense of who they were in relation to those around them, and didn’t desperately crave being different or standing out. People had value. Each person had a role, a personality, qualities that were appreciated and noticed. With the deterioration of values, the breakdown of the family unit and of close-knit communities, people started drifting apart, losing sense of their inter-relational worth and started to measure those around them, and eventually themselves using superficial standards. We lost touch with ourselves, with who we are, with what we have to offer. We started to disappear. The invisible man. In today’s Walmart-Starbucks-Gap blur, we no longer know who we are and why we are.

According to Wikipedia, blogs have been around in some form or another since 1994. That’s 12 years of people anonymously putting down their thoughts and feelings and ideas for the masses to read. An attempt at being heard, at being noticed, at finding what it is that makes them different, that’s makes existing worth it.
I wonder how much longer we can survive unheard, nonexistent.

Honestly, I don’t want my thoughts and ideas and emotions to be scrutinized by the anonymous multitudes, but who else has the time to listen?

To you bloggers out there, I’m curious to know, why do you think you blog? To you closet bloggers lurking around, why do you wish you could blog?


At Friday, May 05, 2006 3:30:00 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

First of all, I want to tell you that your blog is excellent!!!!

Not that you should care of course, but you know what? It's ok!!

Blogging is like group therapy without borders! You find you're not alone in alot of what you're experiencing and if people in your day to day life don't appreciate you, then there's always someone in the blogosphere who will!

Keep up the great stuff!
I for one, really appreciate it!

At Friday, May 05, 2006 8:15:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

kasamba, you’re right, i shouldn’t care.. but i do :) so, thanks!

i like your take on blogging - 'group therapy'. it’s not just a personal, cathartic experience of releasing one’s thoughts into the anonymous abyss.. there’s actually a whole interactive side to it which i hadn’t considered.. looking forward to seeing how this whole experience turns out..

At Friday, May 05, 2006 8:51:00 AM, Anonymous Tal said...

You write SO well.. you should be a journalist :) or just write reviews about stuff - films, shows, food, or whatever :)

As for the content of your recent blog - You are dealing with questions that shouldn't bug you here.. You feel like bloggin'? do it. You feel like getting some attention? nothing wrong with that.

I think it was brilliant what you said about people losing touch with themselves. This phenomenon becomes more and more real as time passes by..

All in all, you're making an excellent work.
Keep it up!


At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:05:00 AM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

You write incredibly. I didn't understand the point until I started my own. Hard to explain in words why it feels good but it does. Keep it up.

At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing can be totally beneficial to you, if you keep yourself focused on your writing and not on your readers (which is where it's about marketing and not about feelings, arts or anything).
So perhaps I shouldn't comment.

At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:34:00 AM, Anonymous a doomsday prophet named s.J. said...

blogging- humanity's final stand.

the one place where you're allowed to be you; without the glitz, and ads and filth that follows everything public nowadays.

and too soon, this too will be gone...

At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:35:00 AM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

Thanks for the visit! Hope to see you more often!

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:10:00 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

I just came back to re-read this post. It is well written, and beautifully composed. Right on!

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:38:00 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Why do I blog?? Because I am SO damned opinionated and I get mad when I can't express myself. If I could, I'd shove my blog into every frum person's face so everyone can know how I feel. And I love to write.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Tomboy said...

Wowza. An intelligent blogger.
I blog to read others.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 6:55:00 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

I agree with every compliment the previous commenters have written

That said.... I blog for an artistic outlet of expression. Every little post, as silly as it may be, to the most serious is very personally attached to me. I also did not begin to blog for the attention. It is nice to get it though. And the feedback really helps. (As long as you dont let negativity affect you.)

I must say, when I go back and read my posts from the beginning it is truly a documentation of my life. Only I understand it, but it is truly priceless.

What do you want your blog to do for you?

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:06:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

thanks for all the compliments and the comments. very much appreciated!

frumgirl, i think this is also a creative outlet for me,
along with being some type of group therapy,
a place to be opinionated,
a place to be heard,
a place to hear others reflect on my thoughts,
a place to think,
a place to write,
and like a 'doomsday prophet named s.J.' said, a place to be me without all the glitz and the filth

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:43:00 AM, Blogger A Chasidic Buchar said...

Now that I had finnaly let my blog fall I have time to Commenting...

I never had a counter, because I was sure if I will knew how manny people were visiting my blog it will be impossible that it won't influence my writing.

At Thursday, May 11, 2006 6:58:00 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

sounds amazing, mookie!

At Thursday, May 11, 2006 10:18:00 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Your Blog is like a breath of fresh air.
Blogs serves many purposes..I hope you figure out what works for you..
I'm enjoying reading

At Sunday, May 14, 2006 7:01:00 PM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

I was thinking of the same question myself; why did I start blogging? It started by accident: I wanted to post a comment on a friend's blog and I had to register. Once I started, I couldn't stop.
I agree somewhat with your idea that the breakdown of the family is a contributing factor, especially the extended family. Surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandparents, a child could often find one someone who would listen. A blog is like an online diary; it's confiding in your grandmother. Keep up the wonderful blog, Mookie!

At Monday, May 15, 2006 11:30:00 PM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

p.s. I don't even OWN an Ipod!


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