Voyeurism and Reality Blogging

The idea that blogging is similar to reality TV keeps tumbling around in my head (and I'm fairly certain I've written about it before...or at least I meant to). So while I'm adamant against watching shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Real Housewives,"* I LOVE reading blogs that give me a peek into someone else's life.

From the twee blogger writing about style and fashion to the mommy blogger presenting a realistic look at life with a toddler to the healthy food blogger who mixes in stories about her family to the trying-to-be-funny but missing the mark honesty of a decidedly non-crunchy blogger (brags about feeding her kids Little Debbie snacks; the feeding probably isn't uncommon but the unabashed pride in doing so certainly is among what I read anyway).

In some cases I know more about these women's lives than I do about my sister's! (To be fair I definitely know what's up with my sister's life, but I don't know the level of detail that some bloggers provide.)

And rather than be annoyed and unsubscribe, I find that I revel in knowing more about these people ... and they become characters in my mind. Sometimes I want to talk about them -- and I do tell my husband about some of the more ridiculous things that come across my Google Reader.

So that brings me to me -- and how I am documenting my existence online. Do I reveal too much? Not enough? Am I presenting myself as merely a character, or do I allow some of my truth to be seen in the posts? Most (if not all) of my non-spam readers are people who know me in real life, which makes me approach blogging differently than I might otherwise.

My blog doesn't have any commercial value, so if I am trying to create a marketable character I'm not doing so well. If my blog is just a place to communicate with people who know me in an unobtrusive way (read if you want, don't if you don't), then I think I'm on track. I also really like this blog as a record for myself. I can go read older entries and remember exactly what it felt like to write those words and sometimes even where it was I was doing the writing.

How much do I love this face?!
But this isn't a completely safe place either. Anything I publish -- including pictures of Jane -- can be seen by anyone. Am I doing her a disservice by writing about her and using her picture and real name? Could it have longer lasting consequences? Do I deny myself the joy I get sharing about her? Or just do it in a more contained platform (should I Facebook more? be content with my weekly email?)? No pictures? Use a pseudonym for her? (Some people just say "Daughter" or "Baby" or initials, etc.)

While I am thinking about these things, I don't expect anything to change around here -- I'll still write infrequently and think of posts I want to write MUCH more frequently. I'll keep reading others' blogs and think "I can't believe she posted that!" in a judgy mcjudgerson way. And there's always November...

*I confess I watched some of "Miss Advised" this summer ... because I am a closet "cat lady."


Anonymous said...

I rather like being one of your Spam noters - for the love

Sydney said...

One difference between reality TV and blogging is that the blogger is most likely being "real" while the TV shows are staged reality (I think in most cases anyway).

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