Oversharing? Overimportance?


I’ve been thinking a bit this week about blogging in general, due to posts like this one, and this one and this oneFloresita’s post put me onto this New York Times article, worth a look, as the article and the following responses are most entertaining, and if you have an opinion about blogging, I’ll leave you to draw you own conclusions without further comment.

Floresita was partly worried about where to draw the line, and the phenomenon of "too much information". When it comes to "over-sharing" I generally follow a personal rule of thumb – I won’t tell you anything here that I wouldn’t tell you in person; and I won’t discuss friends and family in incriminating ways or reveal their full identities.  If you know me for real, you can work it all out anyway, and if you know me for real, you’ll know most of what is going on before it makes it to a blog post.  I initially started this blog because I was inspired by someone’s interesting, wittily-written, thought provoking, creative blog (not a crafty-themed one I might add) back in early 2006.  But I really couldn’t be arsed with my blog, as I had nothing much to say and the minutiae of my day-to-day life didn’t really interest me to record, let alone make for interesting reading for any poor passers by that happened upon my blog.  So it bumbled along, the odd photo, rant and book commentary here and there, and then I started MAKING THINGS, and blogging became much more appealing to me.

"Making things" deserves capital letters because it gave me a whole new outlet for my depressively-induced obsessions – rather than acquiring stuff and shopping to fill up my inadequacies, I started to learn, make and do, as a way to occupy my time. (And yes I still work full time). I sewed, I swapped, I photographed, I blogged, and it helped me feel better.  I made friends via blogging, was inspired, and read more and more blogs written by and about people.  People, not celebrities featured in vicious gossipy bloggy rants, but just real people with a family, in a house, in a city, in a country, doing their thing, worrying their worries, loving their loves.  And it made me think that human-kind wasn’t as shitful as I previously thought. I liked to know how their kid wet their pants over their white sofa, how they make a great lasagna, whether they liked red or white, and what kept them awake at night.   It was a vast improvement on the "a/s/l???" Internet as I’d known it.

So I keep blogging and reading blogs.  And I must admit I do get a bit pissed off now when media commentators are openly disdainful about "bloggers". I saw a comment from "anonymous" on Ethel Loves Fred the other day, and I thought it was truly a sad reflection on how crappy the "politics" of blogging can make you feel:

"… I deleted my blog because I thought it wasn’t up to scratch. I was also a bit tired of ‘the rules’, the butt kissing, the bitchiness and everyone trying to out-do each other. In the end it was giving me the shits so much that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore so I deleted my blog (with much angst mind you!)…"

Are we still living out ‘The Breakfast Club’ even in our adult lives? Why are we all taking it so seriously, and taking ourselves so seriously? Can’t we just have some fun? I don’t consider myself a writer because I have a blog any more than I consider myself a photographer because I have a Flickr account.  It’s been said before by others more eloquent – this is my blog space, crap or not, take it or leave it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s an essential part of human nature to try and impose structures, rules and hierarchy on others, and create mores and cliques for everything until people such as "anonymous" feel that they’re not welcome anymore. Herein lies my point, a blog can be whatever you want it to be, a journal, an outlet, a scrapbook (that’s me), a marketing tool, a showcase, and it shouldn’t matter if 1 person reads it or 1 million.   The Internet is full of crap blog stuff already, it’s also full of great blog stuff already.  Whether what you’re doing is adding to either category is really just someone’s opinion at the end of the day.

And that’s why I like crafting, chatty, hobbyist blogs, it’s people sharing stuff that they’re comfortable and happy to share. The world is full of enough bickering, politics, misery and petty shite. If I can’t sit with you in California (or wherever) and have a cuppa, I’ll read your blog, look at your pics, comment here and there, and maybe even e-mail. You could be like me, you could be completely different to me, but it’s all fun. If I’ve met you in person, it’s even more fun to read your blog.  Fun. And that’s what I think it should be.


15 Responses to “Oversharing? Overimportance?”

  1. 1 jane Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Let’s keep it fun and real, cheers.

  2. 2 CurlyPops Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Steph, that was a fantastic, thought provoking, and inspiring post. I just blog for a bit of fun…it fills in some time and makes me happy. If I didn’t blog, I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people nor learned about so many new crafts. I think we should all keep blogging, crap or not!

  3. 3 BigCat Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    What a wonderful post Steph. Everything you say is spot on. The world of blogging is a wonderful place to connect, to learn, to share, to travel, to dream, to think and more.

    Like you I neither consider myself a professional writer or photographer just because I blog and have a Flickr account. But be dammed if I’m going to have the “them” tell me that I can’t enjoy my hobbies.


  4. 4 Cathy Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Ditto Steph! You said (wrote) it pefectly. I read your blog because I find how you write and what you do really interesting – It’s funny, as today I was talking to Lululollylegs about exactly this and what makes us like certain blogs! For me, it has to be real! So thanks very much for writing your wonderful blog and being you!

  5. 5 Lara Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Great post Steph! I blog as “show and tell”, because it keeps me motivated with my crafting and makes me feel more productive. And it’s a great way for my Mum to keep up with what I’m up to! I do admit I check my blog stats, but that is because it astounds me that people actually read what I write! I have absolutely no interest in doing anything to increase readership. My blog is fun for me to do. If someone isn’t interested in my blog, there is plenty more out there for them to read!
    I completely agree with the sentiments you’ve expressed in your post. Thanks for putting it all so well.

  6. 6 Jesska Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I’m a little cautious about the identity thing, but these days we are so searchable anyway it’s not worth being paranoid. I started my blog to help me “MAKE THINGS” too, and some days it does, but other days it’s a vent or a brag instead… but as you say, it’s just one more perspective in the big wide inter-web :) Thanks for an interesting read!

  7. 7 floresita Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Amen, Steph – and ditto that people shouldn’t feel bad if their blog isn’t amazing to look at. I think the best connections in the blogging world are the ones that are made with 5-10 people, not 500. I feel kinda bad for the bloggers that have 330 people commenting on each post – on the one hand, it must be encouraging that so many people love what you write, but on the other hand, how can anyone have time to connect with those people individually?

    I also used to be one of those shop-to-feel-better people and crafting, blogging, and photographing has taken the place of that. It’s taught me how to be positive about my life and not feel like I have to buy so much useless crap.

    And I’ve met cool people like you, which rocks! :)

  8. 8 Marita Friday, June 13, 2008 at 7:30 am

    I really enjoyed reading your post, along with all the links. I agree about the writer/photographer comment, I don’t pretend to be either, and if my contribution is judged as crap, that’s fine. I enjoy doing what I do, and the Oscar Wilde quote I saw recently on someone’s blog pretty much sums my efforts up, “be yourself because everyone else is already taken”. Thanks, great read.

  9. 9 justine Friday, June 13, 2008 at 8:13 am

    hi honey
    nothing like a tear first thing in the morning!!
    what a well written beautiful post
    hey we would have never met if we hadn’t taken the leap of faith to do this!
    jus xx

  10. 10 Sarah Friday, June 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I had to laugh at the a/s/l reference. My husband and I met on the internet WAYYYYYYYY back when, and that used to drive me insane.

    You are right though, blogging can be a very healthy outlet. It has definitely helped me get through the past 3 years.

  11. 11 nicola Friday, June 13, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Excellent and very thought provoking post. Perhaps it is fear of losing control of the media that spurs some comments about blogging. Personally I love to peak at other lives, and let them catch a glimpse of mine.

  12. 12 Hollie Friday, June 13, 2008 at 11:19 am

    What a great post! I agree with everything you said (and I really didn’t know there was any kind of unplesant-ness going on!) You rock!

  13. 13 Kirsty Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Beautifully written Steph. I’m not a writer or a photographer. I really am just a girl who likes to make stuff. MAKING THINGS is good.

  14. 14 Elizabeth Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    What a great post; it really spoke to me! I was thinking these things just today on a long ride. I was thinking about getting home and checking out people’s Vintage Thingies, and how so many non-bloggers think this world is strange.
    For me, I am semi-housebound due to a medical condition. This has been for almost 2 years, and my world has gotten smaller each month. The Internet has given me a whole new outlet of people to visit with and learn from. I was crafty before blogging, but swaps and great selling sites have given me so much inspiration! I probably put in more time blogging than crafting, but blogging seems to have taken the place of working! I don’t sell my crafts or anything, they are just for me and my friends/family/swaps.
    I’ll be back to visit!

  15. 15 Cato Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Hear! hear!

    Great post. I’m never sure if I’m oversharing. I’m just trying to write from the heart. Blogger may spell check but it’s yet to wrap me across the knuckles and tell me to shut up and have a time out.

    Honesty is something we should never be afraid of. But if in doubt – post pictures of kittens (tongue planted firmly in cheek!)

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portion? (pôr'shən, pōr'-) n. 1. A section or quantity within a larger thing; a part of a whole. 2. A part separated from a whole. 3. A part that is allotted to a person or group, as: i. A helping of food. ii. The part of an estate received by an heir. iii. A woman's dowry. 4. A person's lot or fate. loves to stitch! "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin

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