Tuesday, June 28, 2011
To blog or not to blog...
THAT is the question. When a person makes the decision to begin a blog, they usually have an idea of what that blog is going to be about; and it is usually something that they have personal experience with or an interest in. There are blogs on practically every topic and something for every reader. The internet contains a wealth of really excellent writers who blog on myriads of topics, interests, activities and opinions.
I love honest, sincere, thoughtful postings that have interesting information, or are just entertaining. I have been moved to tears by the honesty and open quality of some blogs. They have dignity and convey the situation with a sense of style or wit.
When an author can tell their story in a way that makes you understand, with feeling, emotion and wonder, they are reaching out to unknown people who may be able to relate to the topic and benefit from it. That is a powerful and wonderful thing to experience!
I enjoy reading all kinds of blogs, especially those related to writing, but nothing interests me more than "real life" blogs, those which are written to share a personal journey with readers. I can't resist a writer's ability to share their own personal experiences or adventures in a mature, compelling and honest way.
Okay, now that I have gotten that out of the way, here's the real point- How much information is too much? While I understand the concept of "keeping it real", there is a point of "TMI" or too much information. Unfortunately, there are some blog writers who simply lost their filter or have no boundaries whatsoever. I find this type of blog distracting and unfortunate.
As an avid blog reader, I have come across blogs that contain, in my humble opinion, personal information that borders on the inappropriate. While there may be a market for voyeuristic and overly intimate content, by and large, blogs that hope to be taken seriously and a respectable following usually steer clear of glaringly inappropriate details that add little to the blog besides giving it a freakishly overt slant.
I have literally been embarrassed for a few blog authors because their content, which was exclusively personal and about themselves, was so over-the-top with painfully personal details. Very few readers need to know every detail of a private relationship, unless of course, you are Carrie Bradshaw of "Sex in the City" fame. That's already been done, so it probably shouldn't be imitated.
In my opinion, the world needs less of that level of relationship sharing for the world to see and know about. Yes, readers can benefit from understanding the author's personal background, marital status and situations which have happened in their life. But, at a certain point the blog becomes the author's therapy or unburdening that is best saved for a private journal or a real-life therapist office. Making the readers "confidants" is sad, and can be an invasion of privacy for the individuals who are part of "the story".
It is uncomfortable to imagine the horror a person would feel upon realizing that their personal life was used as content fodder for another's blog. It show a lack of sound judgement. In a good blog, there truly needs to be healthy boundaries between a reader and the author.
My hope is that authors who believe this type of blogging will bring them more readers, and it may, will understand that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. Putting one's intimate and private details on the internet to grasp attention, or for self-esteem issues, is not advisable or something to feel proud of. Less, truly is, more when it comes to posting extremely personal details in a blog. I hope my insights will give some authors pause before they make this mistake.