So yeah, a lot of people know who I am in real life. And I know who they are too. It's fun meeting other bloggers at events and gatherings because you can look at them and think, "Hmmm... I so know what they're going to say about this." Of course, with all the fun and excitement, you (and by you, I totally mean me) kinda lose some of your own anonymity, but that's a risk you have to take I guess. Plus, you can see them sorta sizing you up in their heads. I know I can hear the wheels in their heads going, "Ooh, so this is eM. Ooh, she's so not what she's like when she blogs."
Because I'm really not, y'know. In real life (and I don't know whether I should be telling you this, but it's really late and guess where I've just come from) I'm very reticent. I don't like talking about me or my life, unless I'm completely comfortable with the person I'm talking to. And this site is like, what, ten per cent of what actually goes on in my day. So I guess it sorta bothers me when people act like they totally know me, because of my blog. I'm sort of like two different people--eM and whatever-my-real-name-is, one spunky and spirited and the other really rather quiet with not much to say.
Cyber identities are wierd aren't they? I don't know what you, my regular readers, imagine me as, but I know I have a picture of each of the bloggers I read regularly. I can sort of see what they look like, imagine them to be absolutely wonderful people with strong opinions. But are you really? Aren't we just nicer on our blogs, don't we just project the best, most articulate parts of our natures?
Okay, so how many of you have friends who read your blogs? Friends who perhaps live abroad or far away and don't email and think the best way to stay in touch with you is to have your URL on their Favourites links. I know I do. I know many people I know and love read this and I know when I finally email them about something they'll say, "Ya, but I read it in your blog!" Are we losing the art of having conversation already? Perhaps, when my friends return, I'll only be able to converse with them in long monologues, rambling on and on and on about how I think and how I feel till they get totally sick of me.
Why do we read other people's blogs? We certainly don't want to listen to people holding forth on their passions, or on books they've read recently or on their exboyfriends. Then why do most of us, invariably start our day by quickly quickly checking the sites we've read so often that Internet Explorer completes them for us?
I've met some of the bloggers I read in real life and usually, but not always, when we meet, our conversations turn to blogging. Over and over we rehash posts and over and over we try to match the other person to their online identities. I've had blog gossip last me through entire booklaunches, or through drinks after the LIFW, and I'm always fascinated and I always want to know more about the "real" person behind the superstar bloggers.
Nw with articles coming out "revealing real identities" of people who really preferred to stay anonymous, I don't know how much longer this love fest with blogs is going to last. The media is glutting itself with blog stories, all over the fucking place, and pretty soon they will tire of it, just as everyone else will. But till then my hit counter and everyone else's keeps rising and we (the Bloggers) watch our growing numbers with a mixture of pride and dismay because really what do we say to this audience who expects new insights or developments every day?
And soon Blog Burnout, already prevalent in the US will filter down here and youandmeforever dot blogspot dot com will vanish and blogs will be just like personal journals which no one reads and we'll all go back to using pen and paper again. How sad.
Because the mystery, my friends, is the secret of a good blog, the pseudonyms, the personal asides, the feeling that you could know this person from somewhere because you're in the same city or country or planet, but you just don't know who they are.
Maybe I know you all : )