Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Dramatic Consequences of Personal Blogging

Originally Posted on September 26, 2006

For the past few years, it seems that everyone in the world publishes a blog somewhere. A blog is an online journal, whether it is one provided by Live Journal, one embedded onto a MySpace site or something similar to what you’re reading now. Journaling is nothing new, but the proliferation of online journals is just another extension of the Internet as we know it.

The advantage of blogging is that you can put your thoughts online either for your own personal outlet or to share with others. A blog is sometimes used as a way to keep in touch with friends from afar. You know what is going on with them though you have not seen this person is months, perhaps years. Sharing stories and emotions also makes the heart fonder.

The rule of thumb for sharing blogs is usually with friends you can confide with your innermost secrets and emotions. It is also implied that blogs are supposed to be confidential information where trust is of the utmost of your friends.

This is where the problem lies. The more people utilize a common service, such as a journaling site, the potentiality of a breech of confidentiality becomes greater. This presents an issue for any community commonly involved in such a personal pastime such as journaling, especially a subcommunity that has been sometimes called “cliquish.” There is usually no assurance of trust in what you write in your blog. Thusly, you can be assured that if someone reads your blog, your business can be spread throughout community.

Consider MTV’s “The Real World” reality-based series, if you would, where “people stop being polite and start getting real.” This is where blogging becomes dangerous.

One of the consequences of blogging for an audience, especially an unwanted audience, is the implication of melodramatic behavior upon a particular blogger. Drama is something we as a community have an issue with, though it is part and parcel of our behavior. The accusations of drama fly fast and furious and disdain by our peers are surely to follow.

There will be people who will heighten the drama enough to create conflicts amongst friends, even those who might be attracted to you. In one fell swoop, a blog user would threaten deletion of those friends off their lists. Some actually do so without warning.

If your drama becomes famous, you can be submitted one of a few sites dedicated to making you an example for the world to gawk at. Mind you, some of the submissions to this site may be not for the weak to stomach.

Let me ask you all this: have we degenerated into a hateful society throwing away friendships by making fools of ourselves in the process? Have we resorted to high drama to perpetuate hate amongst our own people? Furthermore, why do so in a virtual society and not in a real life setting?

Mind you, these questions are not just regarding our online lives. Since these behaviors existed prior to establishing our online presence, we still often find the same temper of drama out in the real world. On many occasions, you will find these episodes reflected on blogs exacerbating the conflict further.

The bottom line here is that sometimes we do not have to be so dramatic about our lives for an audience, especially a virtual one. This includes going as far as faking our own lives so we can win friends. Oprah Winfrey has it right when she promotes the idea of “living with integrity.” It is something that a lot of people may want to heed.

Our community often forgets the importance of the friendships we have. It just seems that our words, our commentary...our disdain towards others, feels like a bullet in another person's body. Drama is our worst form of violence and we need to stop!

Hate is a terrible thing to harbor, my friends. Drop your weapons and consider the joys of your life with the people you consider friends. Also, please communicate if you have an issue with another person. Work it out. Learn to forgive and not be ready to delete someone out of your life!

In the meantime, we should truly consider what our words and actions can speak for us. Whether you are parsing your innermost thoughts in a personal blog, promoting yourself on your MySpace or sharing ideas and knowledge online, you have to own your own truth. What other people think is their problem.

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