The Downside of Blogging?

I started my first blog about a year ago. I chose to write about my Second Life adventures and topics near and dear to my heart. At the time I started writing; I had no readers, and really never imagined that I would. I did not advertise my blog in my Second Life profile for quite some time. It was not until joining Plurk, and gaining a few readers that indicated they enjoyed my posts, that I felt confident enough to open it up to any in-world “profile perv” that happened upon my pixels.

Last week, I found myself spending more time in-world than normal, and I met a few new “friends”. We started the get to know you randomness, and each one mentioned as we talked that they were checking out my blog. For some reason, I felt mild panic. I have a lot of posts on my blog that are personal, and if taken out of context could paint an unfavorable picture. I was worried that they may see my silly, goofy, awkward, intense side before they got to know me enough to appreciate it.

Could posting a link to my blog in my profile allow people to see a skewed side of me? Believe me, I stand behind every post and would never delete a single one, but is a year of my random and personal thoughts something I want the average person to delve through after one conversation? And more importantly would knowing too much too soon about me remove the mystery and reveal the slightly normal girl beneath the pixels way too soon?

Before last week, I never really thought or cared about who read my blog. I realize that strangers get misdirected there all the time thanks to random internet searches. Honestly the idea of strangers reading my blog does not bother me at all. So why does the idea of someone, who might eventually become a close friend, reading it bother me slightly? If they find me lacking after reading it, then wouldn’t that mean I am better off without wasting my valuable IM’ing time on them?

After I started pondering who is reading my blog, the next question that popped up was how personal is too personal? In trying to get your thoughts off your chest and perhaps getting to know yourself a little better through writing, where should you draw the line? Could revealing our innermost thoughts and feelings in order to justify ourselves and make connections in fact be doing the opposite by alienating others?

I know that blogging can be a very healthy coping mechanism. Many studies have proven this exact point. In fact, blogging can even help you sleep better at night and speed not just the emotional healing process, but the physical healing process as well.

Personally, the benefits of blogging far outweigh any downsides that I can see, even if a few people after reading my blog decide differently. As far as posting a link to my blog in my in-world profile, I remain undecided. I want you to help me make that decision.

Do you post a link to your personal blog in your profile? After reading someone’s blog, have you ever decided they are not worth getting to know? Most importantly, should I post a link to my blog in my profile?

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10 Responses to “The Downside of Blogging?”

  1. I’ve been blogging for about five years now with my most current going on almost three years I think? (lost the password to the first one, famous for that!) I mix SL and RL all the time, including pictures. I also link it in my plurk, in my profile and RL friends have access to it.

    I think when it comes to blogging, this will not be helpful to you at all. But it has to be what you decide it best for you. If your not completely listing it in your SLprofile (for whatever reason) don’t. When I first started crossing everything over, I was subject to some major writers block. Not out of fear SL knowing my RL…but RL knowing my SL! I stopped writing for a bit and am now over it. If they like me, they like me….if they don’t….then they don’t. Not much I can do about it either way. In SL or RL.

    I have never decided someone wasn’t worth getting to know after reading their blog. But then agian, I’m not super social in SL for some reason so that might be a moot point with me.

  2. hawksrock Says:

    You should link THIS blog of course… ;). Just kidding, okay not really kidding, but anyways I digress.

    For me personally, I try very hard to just be true to myself in what I do. Every project, whether it be a blog, machinima, goofball karaoke, or whatever all have some little part of me in them. I can be controversial, I can be stubborn, I can be funny, I can be smart, I can be a hopeless romantic, I can be a big mix of both positive and not so positive things at different times. In the end though, they all represent me and I stand behind each and every one of them.

    I agree though that if someone judged me 100% on my blogs they would not have a very complete picture of me. I write for certain blogs with a certain role/tone. I manage my content intentionally to try to keep people engaged. If I think we are being too serious, I try to write funny. If I think we are lacking edgy content, I push myself to be edgy. There is an art to a lot of different skills out there, and I work hard to push my art as a blogger.

    Different people have different comfort levels with sharing. Myself, I avoid going into too much personal RL stuff because I feel that is outside my comfort zone. Obviously, this policy has been modified somewhat due to Jell and I becoming an RL couple who both blog all the time. I have never had an issue sharing what I blog with anyone though, be they brand new friends or old friends. If I felt like I was sharing more of my personal RL type stuff, I would most likely do that on a separate blog and not link it in my SL profile. I keep a pretty clear division. No one from my SL has my facebook, and no one from my RL has my plurk/SL other than the obvious ones.

    I don’t see a problem linking an SL blog in your SL profile, because you have already decided where to draw the lines when you hit the post button on the blog.

  3. “I write for certain blogs with a certain role/tone. I manage my content intentionally” I agree with Hawks here.

    I think it all depends on how seperate you keep your SL and RL, and what objective youve got for your blog. By the sounds of it, its a private blog for your close friends, so in that respect, I wouldnt add it to your profile. Stuff in your profile is fair game and public.

    While my blog is personal (I’m an open book in my content) its not as open to reveal too much about my RL. Its Banana’s blog, not mine, and I write it as such.

    Each to their own!

  4. Yep, sometimes I do get a little reluctant these days to keep my SL blog link in my profile. And I’m the queen of sharing too much information, be it about my feelings or my life, but that’s not what’s starting to bother me.

    For me it’s because I’ve learned the hard way that people in Second Life tend to react more . . . well hell . . . VIOLENTLY to SL blog posts or take them personally or read too much into them, etc., etc., etc.

    My RL blog sometimes tackles touchy subjects like politics, sexuality, religion or the most controversial topic of all: who sucks on “American Idol.” Sure, a healthy debate gets going occasionally, but it never gets nasty.

    In Second Life, however, because of certain blog posts, I’ve had ‘hate mail’ dropped in my inventory, I’ve been muted, I’ve been banned from places, I’ve been banned from blogs, I’ve been ‘defriended’ and I’ve been called every name in the book.

    SHEEEEEEEEEESH! I don’t know if it’s because we’re dealing with, dare I say a different maturity level in Second Life or people who lack interpersonal communication skills or what, but it always fascinates me.

    Maybe it’s easier to be incredibly cruel to each other over something as ridiculous as an opinion expressed in an SL blog post because we’re not dealing with real faces. We don’t have to look someone in the eye when we call them an idiot — or perform the physical act of covering someone’s mouth with duct tape when we mute them.

    The only time I felt weird about someone after I read her blog was actually after I looked at other sections of that person’s profile. She had posted various in-chat compliments about her blog in her profile picks and it totally turned me off. (We get it. Your blog is great.)

    I applaud anyone in SL who blogs to express themselves and share experiences and ideas. I think the bravery it takes to speak your mind here — particularly in light of some of the SL drama that people like to drum up over blog posts — deserves respect in itself. It’s the people who are blatantly out to become SL blog stars who make me want to run like hell.

  5. I think I used to share more back when I had 5 readers. Now that I have 10 readers I do edit what I write on my blog. I have had people ask me to take posts down or edit them. I have been accused of being an “oversharer” by Prok. Yeah I am a wimp and I tend to stay away from the personal now.

    Dalia your observations are great and you have a wonderful way with language. Your blog is very well written and I do think you should share it on your profile. Maybe that will mean you will want to choose different material for public posts (or not.) Either way I agree with Hawks. Our blogs are our art, so share with the world if you are so inclined. I know I will be reading your work.

  6. I deal with this dilemma quite a bit. I am either hated or loved. I hear “we don’t have room in our lives for all her alts” or “we don’t get the third person perspective – its creepy, its weird, its blah blah., she’s too emo, she outs people for their lies and its wrong.” It takes me back to my experiences in jr high as being the “rich girl” or the “theater girl” and having my cheerleader friends turn their backs on me when the popular boy decided I was dirt. Oddly enough this experience is repeating itself in SL – I am now the outsider to those that try and pride themselves on being the “elite” in this virtual world.

    And yes I am going to blog things that bother in my personal and virtual life. And yes I am going to comment when I don’t agree. So I guess I am just going to have to resolve myself to being the “unpopular one” in SL. It may make me feel bad for a hour or two, but eventually I pull a Olympia Dukakis on myself, similar to her scene from Moonstruck – *slap* “Snap out of it.” Then I go back to being me!

  7. How did I miss this? Well, of course if you’ve ever read my blog, you knonw I’m all about getting to the bottom of what’s on my mind. I found myself shaking my head in agreement at the responses already left.

    Like Banana, I gotta be me. Love me or hate me. I agree with Emerald, it can open us up to criticism. But srsly, that’s not my problem as long as Im being true to myself.

    And omg, Lizzie, I am officially the poster girl for not being ‘popular’ in SL. I take it as a compliment. 😉 Really, there is freedom in not being part of the popular crowd. I have no pretenses to keep up.

    OK, off soap box now. Back to the original question….yes, obviously I share personal things on my blog. And I do wonder if that causes ppl to see me in a particular, not the full picture, kind of light. I dunno. But Joonie needs an outlet. I do not share about my RL on a personal level. It’s Joonie’s blog, not Gracie’s. And I do post it on my profile.

    Thanks for the topic, Daila!

    • Yay Joonie. Lizzie is plagued with feelings of self doubt and she is often her worst critic. But today I feel different and I happy to say fuck those bitches, LOL.

      @Daila – I say post your blog link and I rarely judge based on blogs whether or not a person worth getting to know. People have good days and bad days and the anonymity we have in SL may allow some to open and share things that they may not normally. And Yes I have my links in my inworld profile too.

  8. Terry Toland Says:

    I’ve found blogging to be something I could get into because not only could I spew out my thoughts, but somewhere in the metaverse, someone might care. A blog is different in that (depending on preferences) it can be easily read by others. Instead of just bouncing thoughts back and forth in a brainstorming type-process with general conversation, you can write your own mini-essay (which you may or may not edit) and use it as a springboard for refinement and further reflection. At least, that’s how I view it, and I’ve always been one that better expresses myself through typing than chatter.

    So, I’d say rest your answer on if you’d like it to be more like a personal diary or a sounding board.

    @ Lizzie: Thank you for showing me this post. ^_^

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