Wednesday, 9 May 2012

the beast in me

Apparently there is a new trend towards honesty in the blogosphere. Confessions of a Pretoria Chique shared her issues, and here is a whole list of bloggers who decided that now is the time to show more private aspects of themselves. If that is what they feel they need to do, great. If it somehow makes you feel better, brilliant. If thousands comment that they now feel closer to the blogger, or have the same issue, or can relate to this revelation, good for you.

But let's be honest, then. Is it not easier to tell an anonymous hive of users about your feelings than to tell the people in your inner circle? We are terrified of saying, to their faces, the truths about ourselves out of fear of being rejected. Online, this is a non-issue simply because it is not real. Honesty might be real, but the people that read your blog are not flesh-and-blood to you. Their opinion won't enormously affect you. Sure, some people get hounded online and some have even committed suicide as a result ( this article on cyberbullying in South Korea is an example), but to me, it does not have the same effect if PettySharkThief098 calls me a ugly racist bitch or if one of my best friends does it. The reason? You cannot know me simply by reading my blog. This is just a facet, it is just the part of me that I want to represent online.

Sure, I know some of the people that I see on a daily basis do read what I write and that they might connect my stories to conversations we have had or places we have gone to together. But not one them ever comments. I can write ANYTHING I like and no one writes a meaningful comment. My guess it that either my writing is super-boring, the topics are of no meaning to them or, we have talked about this in person, so it is unnecessary to rehash it online. Blogging is like the super-size-me of Twitter, it is an ego-boost in paragraphs and I have no illusions about this being more a project for myself than for anyone else.

I think it is great when people are being more earnest (and this does not equal maliciousness). Previously I have said that in my own family we suffer from a let's-not-talk-about-it disease, so in my mind saying what is on your heart can be a positive release. However, I must admit that some things should be kept to yourself. Not every intimate detail of my life can be shared here. On the one hand, I don't think I am all that interesting, and on the other hand it's like Florence sings, "I like to keep some things to myself". I understand that this was not the task set my the Things-I'm-Afraid-To-Tell-You campaign, that they merely wanted to feel reassured ( and reassure their readers in turn) that everyone has problems and quirks and that it is all perfectly normal.

I just kind of feel like it is a superficial gesture. As I said, if it helped a few people, that is awesome. But everyone will continue posting about clothes and baking and nice photographs and where they went ( and I am not exempting myself from this). People might cheer you on for being honest in a post in between the happy posts. But all my life I have been told I am too honest, that I have no tact, that I should think about what I say before I do so. New people have been pre-warned by my friends that I am "too honest", so they should not be offended by what I say. ( I say WTF ,by the way to that, now).

So here is my lesson learned, fellow bloggers with much larger audiences. Honesty is not what people wish to read about. They find the occasional whiff of it refreshing, but because the news just keeps blasting negativity and corruption and PROBLEMS at us I would bet that most readers just want to quickly glance at beauty and find some inspiration in a dreary day. Hell, this post is probably waaaaay to much reading for most people.

Here are my honesty points for the day:

- I don't know what to do with my arms when I try to fall asleep, so I fold them ( imagine the don't-talk-to-me body language pose).
- I miss my dogs more than any human that has died in my life ( granted, only my grandparents have died and I did not know them well).
- I see my musical taste as being one of my redeeming qualities and will judge you for listening to PitBull ( or similar).
- When I don't have to see anyone over the weekend, I don't wash my hair or wear a bra. It is quite liberating.
- Often, I want to shout at other students that they should stop being fucking idiots. Yes, the F word is needed because most of today's youth is too self-absorbed ( haha says the one who writes as an ego boost) to notice how their idiocy is impacting the world.
-I know I make spelling mistakes, but honestly, I am too lazy to reread what I wrote.

That is all.


  1. I enjoyed this piece very much, but it made me feel guilty rather than good!!! There are many things I don't share with those I probably should, because I would rather deal with matters on my own than having to deal with the situation. Does this make me a coward or selfish?
    PS. I take back my bbm I sent you this morning (I should've finished reading the text :) )
    HDL Slivs

  2. I find your honesty refreshing and I like what you say about the blog being only small facet of you and that you simply cannot know someone by reading their blog. And yes, sometimes we do say things online that we are afraid to tell those near and dear to us. But it is good to let people know a blog is not a representation of a glamorous, fulfilled, pretentious life and yes, you may think of it as superficial, but my intention was merely to let a few things come out in the open without digging to deep and psycho-analyzing too much.