I'm wondering if any of you have read this article, from last Sunday's New York Times magazine (5/25): "Exposed: What I Gained-- And Lost-- By Writing About My Intimate Life Online," by Emily Gould. Gould is a former Gawker blogger who seems to have taken that subtitle to the implied extremes . Some critics are calling it "masturbatory" blogging, or even "vagina monoblogging."
I was pointed to the article by a friend who knows that I blog but really doesn't get why anyone in her right mind would do so.
"So, it's like a journal that everybody reads, right?" she says. "That's sick."
Well, yes, and no. I kept a journal beginning when I was a young girl, and intermittently into my adulthood. A traumatic experience with my mother reading my journal when I was a teenager caused me to have some anxiety about the safety of committing my unedited thoughts to paper, though I kept experimenting with the medium well into my thirties.
Blogging is different. It is not a journal. I do edit my thoughts here, for example. I don't share all the details of my most intimate experiences, though I have written in broad strokes about divorce, parenthood, ministry and the death of a parent. Blogging... I don't know why I'm telling you this; you know perfectly well... is both more and less than a journal, for me. It is more because of the possibility of making connections with others through what I write. It is less because, by my own standards of what is acceptable, I choose not to write with absolute transparency and candor. That stuff is for my friends and my therapist. Some of it is only for me.
I think people get into trouble blogging when they get too addicted to the rush of how many comments they get, or how many hits their blogs get. That seems to be what happened to poor Emily (though the girl doesn't have the sense a rabbit was born with, if you ask me. And no one did, I realize). I like hits and comments as much as the next girl, but what I like better-- what I love-- is the sense of community in this blogging world, imperfect as it is. I love the fact that real caring and real relationships spring up... sometimes leading to real life encounters that are all the richer because we actually know one another just a bit better than most people meeting for the first time.
I'm interested in what you think about Emily. But I won't go into the tank if no one comments on it.