I read a post from Mikaela from A Well Thumbed Reader yesterday that has been making me think about blogging and my own habits. Her post inquired as to whether or not people talk about their blogs in their “real life.” (Real life meaning their day-to-day life outside of their internet presence) Just in reading Mikalea’s post and the comments that others left, I quickly realized that many of us share the same experiences and feelings in regards to sharing our blogs with other people.
Personally, I don’t like telling other people about my site. I hate to admit that, but if I said anything different I would just be lying to you (and myself).
In the few months that I have been doing this my attempts at sharing my blog with others have all backfired. I was excited when I made my first post. It wasn’t about anything groundbreaking, but it was the first time in over a year, after going through some major emotional changes in my life, that I had been able to sit down and write anything. My creativity and concentration finally felt like they were coming back. Even if they fizzled out again and it didn’t amount to anything further down the road, I was proud of myself in that moment. Much to my disappointment, when I tried sharing my excitement with others I wasn’t met with much enthusiasm.
For the most part, the same thing happens any time I tell someone I have a blog, or try to talk about something specific that I posted about. I am met with general disinterest or feel like I am being judged/laughed at. Maybe this is due to the fact that most people in my “real life” don’t love books as much as I do. Or perhaps they think I’m too old to be blogging and/or reading the types of books I read. Or maybe the whole thing really is as dorky as they seem to find it and I’m just in denial. *shrugs* Whatever the reason for this response, it has made me hesitant to continue talking about it with my friends.
In addition to others’ lack of interest, there is one other reason that I don’t like telling people about my site: the potential violation of my personal life.
I am a very introverted person. For the first half of my life, it was virtually impossible for me to talk about my feelings with people. As I’ve grown older (and thanks to a bit of therapy), I have gotten much better about this, but I admit that at times it’s still hard. I’ve mentioned previously on here that I have some mental health issues that I struggle with. It’s often difficult to talk about these things in real life, due to the stigma that surrounds mental illness and a general lack of understanding. I have always had an easier time talking about my feelings and other personal things online than in real life. For that reason, my blog is a safe space for me. A safe space where I am free to say what I want and not have to worry about being judged or ridiculed. Part of that is because of the little bit of anonymity that comes from hiding behind the computer screen, the other part is due to the fact that I’ve always been better at expressing myself through writing than through verbal communication.
Not that long ago, my safe space had been violated by someone in my real life. I was going through a bout of depression at the time and wrote a long, very personal post about how I was feeling. I didn’t write it for anyone else to see or to make anyone else feel bad. I wrote it for me as a form of therapy. I needed to talk about it and let it out. So I did…then only a few hours later it all blew up in my face. I won’t go into the details or name any names, but I will tell you that someone I know read what I wrote and used it against me. Rather than understanding the point I was trying to make in the post and understand what I was experiencing, they made it abut them and used my words as cannon fodder. There was fighting, other people got involved, and things were said that I will never be able to erase from my brain. It sent me even deeper into my depression and took me a long while to bounce back from it. The worst part of it all wasn’t even the things that were said, but the fact that my happy, sacred place had been violated. Imagine you had a personal diary that you wrote in every single day and then someone came along and graffittied shitty things about you all over each of the pages. It hurt and, to be honest, I thought about deleting my blog altogether as a result of that.
I plan on just trudging along, keeping quiet about my blog for now. At least I know there are people online I can communicate with who have similar interests as me and won’t judge me for them.
Do you share your blog with other people? What kinds of responses do you typically get when you do?