I’ve been doing this for quite some time but every now and then the weirdness of it strikes me. It is like I’ve got two different lives. The one I live and the one I write about. They are the same but different. Clearly, I don’t give you all the details of every day so you only get what I choose to share. On the other hand, I’m able to not just share events but share my feelings about those events which doesn’t happen too often in my other life.
And then there is that strange feeling that I’ve turned my life into a reality show. And the even stranger thing that people actually want to read about my life. Privacy has always been very important to me and yet I have no problem sharing things to the world. It is something of a paradox. I’ve looked around and there are a lot of people who do the same thing. I suppose we all have different needs and different reasons but I’m in a mood to talk about mine.
I suspect that most of the bloggers who share their lives like this are introverts. We tend to be more introspective and more interesting in having deep and meaningful conversations. Oh, and in the real world, we probably have trouble getting a word in between all the extroverts. But, here, this is my canvas to do with as I please. If I want to ramble about a tree on the highway, I’ll do it and I can go on and on and get as deep as I want about a topic without being interrupted or having the topic switched before I’m ready to let it go. That part is certainly liberating.
There’s another part that I’m not too proud of but it is me and I have to be honest about it. I wasn’t really expecting a lot of feedback when I first started but then I started getting “Likes” and “Follows” and some actual feedback which was great! I’ve read that my type (INFP) tends to be among the most insecure (guilty!) and that we do need a lot of positive feedback. I read a very interesting description that talked about the fact that our primary function makes feeling judgements about everything but we have a secondary function that continues to seek out new possibilities and new answers. We can be very intuitive about things but because there are often so many other possibilities that we are considering, we end up not trusting our judgement as much as we should. That a little tangential to feedback on blog posts but every “Like” is the validation that we tend to need.
And, the best thing for me is when I get a new like or follow. You should know that every time it happens, I always go visit the blog and snoop around for a bit. Sometimes, I choose to follow and sometimes I just remain a lurker. But my natural curiosity always takes over and I want to know what triggered this person to like or follow. This becomes more true when I can’t find a common link. I figure there are blogs that have automatic things set up to trigger for certain tags or categories and I can usually scope those out. But some of the others just make me wonder….
But I guess maybe the big reason is related to the title of this post. I took that line from a Star Trek TNG episode where a young girl on a dying planet who is unaware of interstellar life sends out a basic message “Is anyone out there?”. Data answers. The rest of the plot is all about the prime directive and whether they should interfere. (Spoiler: they save the girl and her planet but leave her with no memory of Data).
So my blog was a whisper in the dark. Is there anybody out there? Turns out there are plenty of you out there. We don’t all have the same problems but there are similar themes and common issues. It is strangely comforting to read words from someone that could have come from my mind. It is a confirmation that we aren’t alone. I’ve read some people who get really down on social media because it isn’t “real”. It is true that I’ve never met any of you but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection. It is different but it isn’t any less valid than connections with people I see face to face. There is something to me that is special about being in this ecosystem and having these virtual connections.
PS – I mentioned the tree for a reason and it is a sad one (if you didn’t read that post, you will be confused so you can stop here). The last couple of days I’ve driven by and most of the leaves have been blown off. I suppose it was inevitable because it wasn’t rooted in very deep soil and eventually it was going to strike asphalt. I knew it was going to happen but it is still a little sad. The tree gave it a good run but wrong place and the highway is the ultimate winner.