I mentioned this at the blogmeet at the weekend, early on, and thought I’d expand on my thoughts here.
Whilst I can’t remember how we got onto the topic and admittedly I might have leaped from something completely unrelated, I do recall mentioning that now and again I’m still taken aback when I read something on a blog that I hadn’t previously considered. I don’t mean a radical new political stance, or a wonderful way of getting ink stains out of shirt pockets or anything like that. I mean when someone, as part of a post, mentions something specific about themselves that I hadn’t previously noted.
The example I gave on Saturday was NML who writes Tired of Men. I’ve read her site for a while now, although I don’t comment very often, and recently, in the middle of a post, she mentioned how you “didn’t often hear that kinda thing from a black girl..”*.
THIS is what I love about blogs. As you read you start to build mental pictures of people, their opinions and their pet peeves, yet we don’t know the person at all. Now I know this isn’t a startling exclamation, and know that I’ve KNOWN this all along, but it’s one of those things that you start to forget as you aren’t constantly remind about it. This is probably because my regular reads haven’t changed for quite a while, so I’ve had less exposure to new blogs where this kind of “revelation” is expected as you gradually learn about the person behind the blog.
Obviously, the two examples I’ve cited weren’t (and shouldn’t feel any need to) hiding these facets of their life. Rightly so, it’s part of who they are, and I’m not… ohh look.. I could lose myself in a statement assuring you of my political correctness, so let me cut to the chase and say that it is NOT the details that NML and Clare posted but the fact that they are so fundamental to them and to who they are, and yet so startlingly new to me especially, and this is the crucial bit, as I’ve been reading their sites for quite a while. It’s a most odd situation, and I don’t think you get the same kind of thing happening in real life.
Or maybe it is just me. Again.
I’m quite sure that someone much smarter than I will have dissected and examined this behaviour, and I’m certain that one of you will know of the correct anthropological term. Regardless it forms one of the key reasons I enjoy reading blogs. It’s a constant reminder of a larger world, a place to experience differing viewpoints, to try and better understand my own take on the world through the eyes of others.
So to everyone I read, thank you. Thank you for posting about your day, your experiences and your thoughts. Probably without realising it you’ve made my life and my experiences all the richer.
* My memory is awful, so when I say recently, I could be referring to any post in the last six months or so. In a similar vein, she may not have used those exact words, but it was the fact that she had mentioned her colour that stuck in my head.
Post post update: I’ve swithered about even posting this, for fear it would taken the wrong way. I have contacted both Clare and NML to assure them this is not meant in any derogatory way. I guess it’s a lack of confidence in my writing ability that has me slightly wary. This post may be edited based on feedback.