So I’ve taken two weeks off from Social media …..more accurately I was forced to take two weeks off because of work. The first week I attended a training course for assessors. We were in class for about 11 hours and then we had at least 5 hours homework. I was exhausted all the time. Between the long hours of class and homework I was also waking up for a new member of the family (more about that tomorrow or maybe Wednesday….cruel I know but mystery is the spice of life)I was needless to say more on the cranky side and its probably best for me not to spill my cranky thoughts onto a worldwide format!!!! The second week I attended a Group H R strat session and let me tell you the strategies although good were rivaled by the strange goings on in the hotel……..more mystery.
So in my forced “downtime” I have been thinking (always a dangerous pastime) about the impact of social media, more specifically FaceBook, Twitter and blogs on our lives. It seems like we are constantly on our smart phones or pc’s updating a FB status or tweeting because if you don’t people will think you have fallen off the face of the earth and you are in a social media wasteland. It seems that our lives have become dictated by our need/desire to keep every aspect of our lives “out there”. We live in “real time” and therefore have to be logged on, plugged in and online 24/7.
Blogs are different in that you write when you can and there is little to no pressure to do so on a daily basis………unless you me and feel the need to spew your thoughts and opinions regularly. I enjoy blogging because I don’t really know who is going to read my posts. Unlike FB and Twitter I don’t feel the need to censor my thoughts nor to put a guard at my mouth with the words I use. I feel free to say what I want to say when I want to say it about what I want to say …….my mother, father, preacher and boss does not have my blog address but they can easily look me up of FB and Twitter. It’s sort of a safe way to rattle on and on about well anything. I am sure that although no blog is complete without followers it is more of personal, nearly private space where you can air all the dirty laundry you want to.
There seems to be such an influx of the types of blogs out there that it can be a little overwhelming. There are blogs on fashion, cooking, jewelry , blogs which review books, celeb blogs etc etc etc. Pretty much every topic under the sun is covered by blog somewhere in the blogasphere.
I like normal everyday blogs about people’s lives. Pretty much blogs about life, love and everything else. I read one or two fashion blogs and even have one or two cooking blogs that a visit on a semi regular basis but overall I like to read blogs……………..like mine. Blogs which contain personal thoughts, opinions, experiences and mundane day to day things which happen to the writers. I know that blogs are open for reading by the public but more often than not you don’t know who they are (or in my case if they even exist….pls comment so I know someone is reading my daily drivel) but often times it feels like I am writing for myself and I like to read blogs which are written in a similar way. For me personally I don’t think about the audience, I don’t tailor my thoughts and ideas to what whoever may stumble upon my blog may want. I write for myself……
I know that there are some bloggers who’s posts I read daily that do take the would be reader into account. Some need to because of their social standing, some need to because what they have to say may hurt those they love and some need to because there really is such a thing like TO MUCH INFORMATION!!!
The blogs I choose to follow have been selected because the author’s words, phrases, stories or situation in life appeals to me. It may be a bit of a scandalous story behind the “Our Love Story” portion of the blog, or it may be the sigh of relief because I don’t feel like I am the only crazy person out there or more importantly that a blog reminds me that there are people who are worse off than I am.
If I find a blog I like I will spend hours upon hours reading the archives and picking out labels which appeal to me and going through photos and on some level getting to know the blogger. This once again gets me thinking……..STALKER but no. Thanks to the internet we have easy access to the lives of others and we (me) have become voyeurs. I guess if I am trueful (and if not here when???) I follow blogs which allow me to pretend for a moment that I have their lives, that I am in that relationship, in that city, that I am pregnant, that I am the mother of those adorable children, that I am moving into a new home, that I am living a high society life. That’s why I follow the blogs that I do……..does that sound creepy, well honey don’t you judge me because you know you do it to……. We are ALL stalkers.
Think about how many celebs you follow on Twitter or how many of your favorite bands you have “Liked” on FB. See what I am talking about!!! Now on Twitter more so than anywhere else you have easy access to celebs. Just the other day I sent Russell Crowe a tweet about the rugby world cup. Then last week I was watching an episode of Nikita and tweeted the very yummy Shane West. When news broke of Kim Kardashian’s marriage falling apart she received thousands of #tags. Thanks to Twitter every Tom, Dick and Harry with an opinion about her 72 day marriage had a platform not only to raise it but to have it seen by the world!!! It was at this point that I began to realize that social media has invaded our privacy making all of us voyeurs. We have direct contact to anybody with a FB profile and a Twitter account.
I read an article recently and the author said “ We’ve become cultural voyeurs, taking pleasure in the illicit observation of someone else’s imitate acts and the internet has become the medium through which these act become exposed to a potentially unlimited number of others. Taking out the sexual aspect of it, we’re no different from peeping toms……and the unguardedness and unawareness of the bloggers we read only add to the observers (i.e. our) thrill.”
So the question is…..”are we the master of our own blog reading experience or are we mere spectators, attempting to live vicariously though the blogs we consume?”
I know that there are moments when I stand naked and vulnerable before my blog audience (do I have such a thing) and perhaps there is a part of me that hopes that those reading will for a moment live vicariously through my pain, experiences and life because then I am not so alone in this world………