The Blogger Identity

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Blogging is such an interesting concept.

Why do we do it?

Why do you do it?

I was thinking about this the other day when I wrote up something about the past. I shared personal details to an audience that I have never met, nor will likely ever talk to, but without pausing for one moment to question why I was writing the post or if I should be writing the post.

I wrote the post, published it, and moved on.

But I found myself thinking about it a few days later.

Why did I write the post?

Why do I write any of my posts?

And I came to the quasi-conclusion that my reasons stem from the evolutional age-old need to create human connections.

I am a next-level introvert. Seriously. When taking any test where introvert versus extrovert is measured, I am usually over 95 percent introvert. I am not shy, I was a journalist and you have to be able to talk to people, but I tend to be a deeply private person. Personal interaction is exhausting and I rarely share personal details with people.

Unless I am blogging.

To strangers.

And perhaps it is this strangers aspect that pulls me towards blogging.

Like my twitter account, no one who knows me in real life follows me here. Unless they are super sneaky, I don’t think those in my personal sphere even know I blog. Which I find… reassuring.

Straight away, this has to do with with a psychosis stemming from a deep-seated need to protect myself. If no one knows the details of my life, they cannot judge me and find me lacking.

But taking this psychological aspect off of the table, I also shy away from deep conversations with people because, generally, people talk AT you rather than talk WITH you.

Do you know of what I write, dear readers? I am doing it right now in this blog. I am writing AT you. It is a one-sided thing. But it happens constantly in conversations. Have you ever been in a conversation where it seems like the person you are talking to is just waiting for you to finish so they can continue from wherever it is they stopped?

Yeah. Me too.

A good ten years ago I came across a description in a book where a character was described as a deep listener. I don’t remember the exact quote or even the book it came from, but the character was described as someone who always seemed to be interested in what the other characters were saying. The narrator described how the listener leaned forward, connected, and truly seemed to hear what the speaker had to say.

I decided after reading that description, I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be the character who truly listened. I cultivated this skill, working on it constantly, which made me a very, very good journalist (yeah, self-plug, sorry).

But what I’ve noticed is listening is both hard and not often reciprocated.

Which is okay. Truly. That might have come off as complaining (okay, and yes, sometimes I do complain but I am not complaining right this second). It is just as it is and it is okay.

But that brings me back to blogging and the why:

It is a way of being heard without interruption; of taking hostage the listener.

As well as a way of interacting with people… without interacting with people. Like most others, I do yearn for human connection but also run away from human connection. It is the same tendency that has me super paranoid on twitter when someone actually interacts with my tweet or tweet comment. Like, “Oh shit, I am going to make a fool myself. I am such an idiot…” And so forth.

Blogging allows space around this paranoia, a buffer if you will.

The ability to word vomit with limited consequences. Sometimes the word vomits are lecture-like; sometimes personal anecdotes; sometimes random thoughts that pop in my brain while taking a shower (why do ideas come to us in the shower?!).

A space to lay down whatever it is that goes through my brain.

A space to communicate, but communicate within a very rigid set of inherent boundaries.

And I wonder if that is why other people blog as well. I know there are some that do it with the intent of making money, going viral, or promoting their books/products/etc. And some say they do it as a way to capture poignant moments of their children etc.

But really, is that not just another version of wanting to be heard?

Creating that moment of human interaction?

Or. Maybe I’m wrong.

So, why do you blog, dear readers?

Is it to share your wisdom; expertise; love of something?

Is it to release pent up emotions, thoughts, ideas?

Is it to be heard?

What space are you creating here on WordPress?

 

4 thoughts on “The Blogger Identity

  1. Yes! I agree with you about connection, and the buffer 😂 I think it also helps to have ideas vetted in a safe space. When dialogue and disagreement are done well, I learn there is more to the story than I see. This forum seems to be more successful in that arena than other forms of social media, where I find more people looking to militantly convince, rather than converse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Militantly convince is such a great description! And yes, I’ve witnessed the exact kind of dialogue and conversation that you reference. I just started reading this blogger who is white and his daughter is black and he writes about racism. His commentators are overwhelmingly respectful and thoughtful, even if they don’t agree with him. And he returns that same level of thoughtful respect in his reply to them. As you said, I don’t think that is found on any other social media site. It truly is unique.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you tried public speaking? I came to the EXACT conclusion myself when I realised how speaking in front of a crowd never gave me the same dread that came with one-on-one interviews.

    I literally told myself “maybe I like talking at people instead of with them.”

    Great to know that I’m not alone. Super introvert here too by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, but public speaker often requires one-on-one talking afterwards. 😛 But, yes, public speaking usually doesn’t bother me too much, though I don’t know if I have ever spoken to a crowd that didn’t include colleagues and/or my students. I imagine speaking to a crowd of strangers would definitely change the dynamic.

      Like

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