Okay, enough about me and weather and daily trivial stuff and the state of my glands. I'm boring myself.
Today let's talk about blogging, and the myth of social connection it gives. (Okay, there is a real social connection too, I acknowledge (hi friends!), but let's talk about the myth.)
My husband was watching a special about Star Trek fans, and how deeply involved many become in the show. You know you've seen them: the ones who wear Spock ears and uniforms to conventions, who go to baseball games dressed as Klingons (yes, I've seen THEM in person), the ones who learn the specs of a fictional starship and technology and rattle off episode numbers. A psychologist on the show said that many people become so deeply involved in a fictional world because it is an opportunity to learn about people in-depth without needing social skills.
You know, the ability to interact with others easily, to converse and share yourself, to listen and empathize--these things do not come naturally to everyone. Some people, perhaps a great many people, find them very difficult, even stressful. So in a fictional show--or a reality show!--they can feel like they're getting to know these people without the stress, the worry of putting themselves out and possibly getting rejected.
And you know what I realized? Blogging is the same. Here is a ready-made, easy opportunity to see into the lives and minds of other people, without having any connection whatsoever.
True, many of the blogs I read are those of my friends. Real-live friends, people I've met and shared drinks with and hugged in actual space. But the rest of the ones on my list? Not so much.
Let's take "DaMomma" for an example, over at Motherhood Is Not for Wimps. I LOVE her posts. I've read her blog for at least a year, and every once in a while I go and dip into the archives, even, when I need a good pick-me-up or a laugh. (Yes, she is THAT good.) I've talked to other friends too who do the same, even non-Moms. I've followed the ups and downs of her pregnancy, her illnesses, her life with her child, her inner thoughts, her relationships with her friends--and she is so open and funny that I feel like I know her. All her readers probably feel like they know her.
But we DON'T. I've never even posted on her blog! Yet I feel that false sense of connection, that fulfillment when I "follow along" on her adventures. From the comments, other people do that on blogs too: Miss Snark in particular is funny, since no one even knows who she IS, yet people still think they "know" her.
So in conclusion, perhaps blogging is a psychological kick, a sense of connection in a splintered world.
Or maybe it's just fun. Stop me if I start wearing Snark stilettos.
Medieval Word of the Day: misbethink: to be mistaken or misguided.