Friday, August 3, 2007

Maybe it's not all about ME...

I think my blogging experiment might be coming to a close. I've learned some really valuable lessons here, and even had a few insights that might be worth reading. But overall, I've found out the limitations of blogging more than the opportunities.

One of my first posts was called A Bloggers Uncertainty Principle. In it I explored the fact that blogs have limitations. Part of the limitation is that it fixes things in time. By that I mean as we react to real people through our blog, we freeze them and their actions or words in time, thereby not allowing for them to grow and change as "real" people do. An associated limitation is the fact that blogs are often public, and therefore expose our thoughts to a very public audience. What we say can wound others, even when we don't mean to. It is limiting when you start thinking about who is reading along and what you really don't want to say "in front of" that person, who might take it wrong.

But today I'm thinking about another limitation that, for me, is much worse than the others. Blogs don't really off much dialog or discussion. It isn't the nature of the beast. Most of my computer life has been spent on forums, where discussions were the name of the game. The give and take of years of interactions have truly shaped who I am today. I'm better educated, more compassionate, less judgmental, and more open minded, for example. It's been difficult and stressful at times, but immensely rewarding. Blogs don't allow for that, and because of that, blogs are much less likely to be instruments of real change for the blogger. Blogging is the consummate MeWorld.

I find I am growing tired of MeWorld. I don't like just reading someone's opinions, and having no way to discuss them with the person. My experience is most bloggers don't like to be challenged, at least not on their blogs. That is the their place, a place to present themselves to the world. It is not really about discussion. I want discussion, even painful, stressful, challenging discussion. I've decided I'll take that over safety any day. Right now in my life, those kinds of discussions are only going to take place in real life.

So the fate of my blog is undecided. I'm not a person who likes to journal about my life. I've never kept a diary. This blog has never been about what my family is doing on a weekly basis. In fact, none of my extended family even know I have a blog. This blog has been about what I'm learning or thinking, mostly, and lately I haven't been posting what I'm thinking, for various reasons I won't even go into. But mainly, I wonder if the exercise is even helpful or healthy. Maybe it's not about me and what I'm thinking and feeling. Maybe it's about someone else. Maybe it's time to get out of MeWorld and into the life God has for me.


Susanne B. said...

I've truly enjoyed your blog thus far, Carrie. I like to know what you're thinking about, what concerns you have in the "big picture" of life, what interests you and what bores you.

I can see why you're struggling with it, though. You thrive on discussion, on give-and-take, and the blogging world isn't really made for that.

But when you put yourself out there in a blog, you reveal parts of yourself that you don't necessarily reveal on a forum. I appreciate that. Although I've been reading your writing on forums for eight years, I have never been more impressed with your writing style, with the quality of your thinking process, and with the depth of your personality, as I have been when reading your blog.

Reading your blog has been valuable for me. So, no, I don't think it's all about you. ;)

NoVA Dad said...

I hope you'll keep your blog going; I've always enjoyed reading it, even when I don't feel like I have something worthwhile to contribute. I agree with your thoughts on the fact that you can't get much give-and-take in the way of discussion with blogs, but it gives me a place to flesh out ideas that I can use in discussions elsewhere. However, even though the conversational aspect of blogs isn't really there, I'm one who really puts a high value on getting to know at least a little bit about other folks.

For me, blogging is sometimes difficult because I don't feel like I have anything to say. But that's the great thing about it -- you can say as much or as little as you want.

You'll ultimately do whatever is best for you, but if you were taking a vote I would vote for you to stick around for a while:-)

Jimmy said...

Bingo Carrie...It's NOT about YOU.
It is about all of us on this journey we call life and faith. The journey is much more fulfilling and rewarding the more voices I have in my head. Blogging provides many voices to hear on a regular basis. I have never had a conversation with C.S. Lewis, yet he has written words that have moved me down the road. Not everything in my life needs to give me warm fuzzies to be good for me or my other traveling companions.
Stop whining...keep writing!

carrie said...

Susanne and NoVa Dad- Thank you for your encouragement. I'm pleased to know that you enjoy my thoughts and think them worth taking the time to check out. You make me smile!

Jimmy- I read your comment aloud to Will. He cracked up! I probably spend too much time whining, truth be told. In a twisted way, the whining makes it all about me again.

Stop whining- check.
Keep writing- check.

YOU make me smile, too!