Friday, June 1, 2012

Brand my ego

I've been reading a lot of blog posts about lately about how bad blogs are.  Ironically, written as blog posts.  Maybe “how bad blogs are” is an exaggeration.  More like wise advice about taking a realistic view of the glamorous, photo-shopped pictures of families enjoying elaborate craft activities before involving themselves happily in unstructured, but environmentally sound, free-play while wearing stunning home-sewn outfits.   Lovely photos.  But it does make your own family feel like grotty freaks from the Planet Whingey.

I tend to think most of the responsibility in that situation rests with the reader not the blogger.  There are lots of places you can look to start coveting what others have or what you think they have.  If not blogs, then the school pick-up is a good place to start, or the house of your neighbour, or the family with the well-behaved kids at church last Sunday.  Envy can meet us anywhere and blogs are no exception.  I understand the concept of “keeping it real” and not making out that life is one long line of sweet vintage goodness.  But on the other hand, a blog full of venting and grumbling doesn’t edify anyone much.  You want to post the good things about your family, and not be constantly airing the dirty laundry.  So when you read a post about the fabulous things another family has done, remember that there are other moments of life they haven’t posted about, and be glad for their success instead of wallowing in self-pity.
All that said, when I was thinking about whether I should start a blog, I came across a website with this bit of advice and a cold chill ran down my spine:

Yes, you should start a blog.  It's the best way to brand yourself the way you want to be seen.
The context revealed that it was mainly designed for people aiming to create a niche in the business world.  But still.  That’s what worries me about writing a blog. That temptation to “brand myself” the way I want to be seen by others.

Of course that assumes that I would be a clever enough writer to pull that off which is doubtful. Nevertheless, to put on a show for others is very easy to do in the blogosphere.  Interesting posts about clever topics (only on topics I want to talk about).  Beautiful photos (only the parts I want to show).  Witty comments (to people who don’t see me daily).  Interest and concern for others (until I get bored of you and move on to another blog).
In blogging you can find real friends.  But you can also have all the fun bits of a friendship without any of the hard bits.  You’re not going to ask much of me, and any time either of us gets sick of each other, we can just disappear into the ether without a word.

It’s a dangerous place for a big ego, the blogosphere.

1 comment:

Ben McLaughlin said...

So true- what a great post.