It is an interesting time to blog. There has been much ado about personal blogging in the past month. Perhaps the most controversy was generated by Emily Gould’s tell all article, “Exposed”. This article and the litany of responses its generated in the blogsphere has brought the subject of personal blogging into the spotlight.
Needless to say there is an addicting quality to broadcasting oneself for the whole world to analyze. Personal blogs pair the cathartic qualities of a journal with the titillating nature of gossip to yield literature that is generally of much greater interest to the author than anyone else. Yet, in this new blogger’s world everyone can be a celebrity, often for the most trivial accomplishments. Some bloggers find motivation in the possibility of this fifteen megabytes of fame, others enjoy the exhibitionist nature of broadcasting intimate details to strangers (even if only a few ever read), and finally some of the more pious type are simply attempting to keep “real” family and friends updated on their activities without drafting 50 different emails. Like most, I find motivation in all three.
That said as a novice blogger I have doubted this new endeavor at times. Most personal blogs seem rather pointless. It takes a very interesting life (read: lots of power, money, action, sex and/or drugs) to make a personal blog consistently intriguing to strangers. I certainly do not claim to have a life worth reading about, and my measly “10 views a day” on Feedburner attests to this. So what is my purpose? It is nice to be able to seamlessly update family of friends on my activities, thoughts, and feelings. But then there is the question of audience. My friends from high school read my blog, and so do my grandparents. Writing an honest blog without need for censorship is a challenge. (But being a blunt personality I find it rather enjoyable, even if I ruffle a few feathers). Finally there is the ugly question of ego.
Personal blogs are the most narcissistic activity since the invention of the mirror.
Those that argue they are simply looking for an outlet for their emotions or a record of their lives should get a journal. Personal blogging is an inherently ego driven activity. Fortunately, I have never claimed to be anything less than an ego driven narcissism.
And so, the endeavor continues…