Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Do I Say Too Much?

"I understand the benefit to writing about your feelings, Rebecca. But why," asked RaRa (my grandmother) two weeks ago, "do you need to make it so public?" She seemed quite distressed about it. My cousin and I both tried to explain... but it's hard to know what to say when neither of us really understand why it upsets her so much. I consider the British concept of "airing your dirty laundry" and wonder if she feels it immodest to allow others to see one's true feelings. I wonder if she's simply concerned about the feelings of one or two people who might find offense with some of the things I've written. Still I fail to see the problem.

One of the ways I benefit from writing about my feelings on this blog is not having to bloody go into my personal life in detail every time I talk to friends or family members. Certain things can be difficult to explain, and rather than gloss things off or avoid the conversation entirely, I can always tell people to go read it on my blog if they really want to know. Not to be cold, but some things you just get sick of talking about if you know what I mean. Also many things (particularly matters of the heart) seem one-dimensional or, on the other side of the coin, too complex to relate in conversation, and take on a more vivid and cohesive understanding in written form. I used to pour out myt heart in exquisite detail in e-mails, only to have to cut & paste or start all over again or forget to tell the next friend. Certainly Ra herself never would have known/understood what went wrong in my last relationship or how I finally quit smoking without reading it on my blog... not that I wouldn't have wanted to tell her, but we can't always take the time. Is she saying I gave her too much information?

I have, in over a year of sporadic blogging, modified the amount of detailed information I include in my writing. I have learned to be more private in certain areas, and attempt to respect the privacy of others by using varying degrees of vagueness when discussing them. Still, I try to maintain a level of openess in reflection of a concept my cuz and I attempted to explain to our grandmother that day: who cares? Yes, my blog can be accessed by anyone in the world over the internet, but I can hardly consider that a global audience. Most people are not wondering about my life.

I am not so egotistical to think that my feelings and life experiences are that unique. This, in fact, is the true heart of the reason I feel the need to make them SO PUBLIC, as my grandmother has described. There are people who read this blog who have never met me, and yet they know me - to some extent - by the honesty expressed here in cyberspace. There are strangers who might land here via google or a comment thread, a link somewhere, or even the "next blog" button. These strangers might be logging in from California or Venezuela, North Dakota or Saudi Arabia, or even the next street over - neither of us would ever know. They might read or they might just pass me by for something in their language or with more pictures. Some might be bored with what I have to say, but every once in awhile, whether the person comments or not, someone relates to my written thoughts. Maybe it gives them insight to a struggle they have gone though or are trying to sort out now... or maybe it just assures them that they are not alone. Maybe it gets banked in the memory for a later date. Not that I think I'm actually helping people with my blog, mind you, or that most things I write about are that significant... but it's funny how much the same we all are, and how much we can learn from each others' experiences.

A great deal of fuss has been made lately about blogging in the professional world. It seems that blogs can hurt people in the job application process, and (in more rare cases) also help them. While I don't need to worry about being fired, I suppose I should consider whether blogging hurts my chances of being hired by clients... which is why I recently moved this blog. Still I don't feel the need to blog about things that ought to hurt such chances, like a bad client experience or something like that. I'm not sure what a potential client would glean from this blog aside from an understanding of who I am as a person... and if they don't like who I am enough not to hire me, I suppose l'd rather not work for them. Beyond this professional realm, I'm still struggling to understand what my dangers are.

I'm sorry if I offend with my open-ness... but I am not sorry about being open. If you wish to be more private with your own thoughts and feelings, no one is objecting... I only ask: why should I be more closed? Is there something objectionable to my honesty? I hereby challenge anyone who thinks I am too open and honest in my blog to follow my lead on that in the comment thread and tell me so - and WHY I SHOULD NOT BE.


Blogger Lynsey said...

You go girl! I agreed with you the entire way through the post. Blogging has helped me in a number of ways and if there are people out there who object to it...here's an idea, don't look at our blogs then! I also feel our blogs shouldn't be in competition for the most entertaining, because each one is so uniquely different.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Novy said...

The reason I started my stinkin blog was so I didn't have to explain, over and over again, my feelings on certain matters. thanks for putting my reasoning into words !

4:21 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

thanks ladies! I love my grandmother soooo much, and I am always puzzled by the things we disagree on; I just feel like there must be something I'm NOT GETTING here? But like I said in my post... it's always nice to know that I'm not alone in how I feel about stuff.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Peter N said...

I'm late...haven't been here in so long. But as long as you write what is in your heart, you should never be sorry. You have a gift. Use it. And have a great summer, Rebecca.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Peter N said...

And I should have signed that, one of your biggest fans. Always. Peter

12:38 PM  

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