I’m a bad blogger. I know it. Guilty as charged.
Two days ago I read an article that blogger, Emily Gould, wrote in the Times Magazine. Summary – she used to be an editor on Gawker, she had a very public relationship with one of her coworkers and an even more public breakup thanks to the online world, a botched up TV interview with Jimmy Kimmel, where he told her she’d go to hell for writing about him … watch for yourself
… her life spiraled somewhat out of control etc. In some ways I could sympathize and in others, well … I guess I finally found out why I’m such a bad blogger… I’m not much of a sharer, and when I do share, it takes a mighty long time before I hit that send button. I think, does this really need to be out there? Am I just looking down my navel–do I need to write this in my diary and not on this blog? Most of all I figured, I’m a very private person. (Why do i have a blog, you might ask? I’m a 20 something! It’s fashionable. j/k! seriously, you can have a blog and not reveal a thing about yourself… I guess.)
Here’s the article:
The comments people left are so vitriolic, I wonder if she’s regretted putting herself on that cover page. What I find intriguing is that, as of today, the fifth most read article on the Times website. People have commented: there are people dying in Burma and in China, the US is in an election year. I’ll add on to that: Darfur, Zimbabwe, South Africa’s “foreigners,” Mali, I live in Senegal … Casamance is a ticking time bomb. True, true, true. Basically, the commenters are telling poor Emily to get a life and telling off the NY Times Magazine for dedicating its front page to the ramblings of a self-absorbed 20-something. So why is the article so popular? I guess people are more voyeuristic than they’re prepared to admit, reading into Emily’s life. And I think she’s talking about a basic human need – the need to understand people no matter how we’re relating to them, even if it is via IM, a blog, or face-to-face.
I think her article was great because it raises some important cultural and generational questions. It spoke to what our generation has become. Par exemple, as much as I like my privacy I am on facebook (though, I like to think that on FB, I have a limited community of people I’m interacting with). I put up pictures of myself, I send people “public emails,” I put status updates saying I’m sad, or I did X thing or Y thing. People post not-so-private things on my wall, that I sometimes have to delete, in case, gasp, that person saw it… Why do I do it? I don’t know, but it’s wholly addictive – this exercise in exhibitionism and voyeurism. Why is this generation so quick to share our personal lives?
Coming to think of it, though, in some ways, for thousands of years, writers and novelists have done what Emily and other bloggers do. Blogs, facebook etc are just “new” platforms for projecting words/works/feelings/art/explanations for what this world is/attempts to understand human relationships. And what’s amazing is that now anyone can do that — writing or dare-I-say creation, is no longer limited to trained scribes who guard the secrets of the world in their cabals.
The roman a clef, diaries that get turned into bestsellers, heck, even newspapers, have done (oops! do) exactly what Emily blogs about. She writes about people using code names, she writes about her feelings, she’s a cultural critic and it all comes in one package. I have to say I’m with Emily on this one (except for exposing her friends in that article, like she did Henry… Josh, deserved it – karma, yo! — and it’s kind of crazy how I’m referring to all these people with their first names, even though they do not know who the heck I am). I’m all for evolution, and this is what our world is becoming–smaller, tiny clicks away. We have to embrace these changes, and figure out how they can be used to stop us killing each other off because we have different skin colors or reach God (or don’t) through different ways.
And I’m about to click … send. Send my ramblings off into the world.