A Strange Beast

The internet is such a complicated invention. Blogs in particular allow a person to learn intimate details about another, things that ‘pre-world wide web’ would only have been revealed after a face to face friendship had developed over a period of time. Part of me finds this aspect of blogging disconcerting. I’m a fairly private person myself, am generally careful what I write on my own blog, and at times I feel I’m invading someone else’s privacy by reading their blog. It almost makes me feel ashamed of myself sometimes, although that doesn’t stop me from reading on.

I regularly follow the blogs of several other Yukoners. Over the last few days, I have learned that the toddler of one blogger has been having seizures. To my knowledge, I haven’t met this woman, yet in a strange way I feel I know her. I’ve been saddened by her miscarriage and overjoyed when she reported that she was pregnant again. I’ve enjoyed the original music she writes, performs and posts on-line. And I’ve chuckled at the antics of her little girl. Now, just as I would a friend, I find myself worrying about this blogger and her family and praying for her little girl to get better. I want to offer to help, but what person in their right mind is going to accept help from a stranger? What a weird situation for me to be in and what an odd beast the internet is. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of thing?

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2 thoughts on “A Strange Beast

  1. (I’m a bit behind on my blog-reading these last few days…)

    First off, Janet, thanks so much for your kind words. Jade is doing better and is now home from the hospital. 🙂 We’ll just keep watching and waiting now.

    I don’t think of us as strangers, really – reading each others’ blogs is kind of like having a pen pal, don’t you think? I *have* made some wonderful friends through blogging – some I’ve met face-to-face, and others I haven’t, but I still think of them as friends.

    I’m sorry if I’ve ever embarrassed you with personal details I put on my blog; there ARE things I don’t write about, I swear! 🙂 The way I write on my blog reflects the way I am in person… I’m not a particularly private person. (Which I hope doesn’t mean I’m a narcissist!) But there are limits.

    The thing about sharing the good and the bad is that someone can always relate to it. It’s wonderful to learn about the connections people make to make my experiences; it brings out our sympathy and our humanity. And isn’t that a great way to start a friendship?

    http://fawnahareo.com

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  2. I think about this too. It’s hard to imagine all the people who might be reading what I write. I tend to think of just the ones I know about and direct what I say to them. But you’re right; all sorts of people could be reading, anywhere in the world.
    I wonder sometimes if it might be good if we don’t censor what we say. I’ve thought this in relation to a world where everyone could mind read. One the one hand, the thought can be terrifying, but on the other hand there wouldn’t be any lying and we would always know were we stood, good and bad.
    I tend to think of the ways in which I might unintentionally hurt someone, or might be rejected by them, but I thought when I read what you said about the little girl, that we can also help people in ways that we can’t even imagine – just by being who we are, with all humility.

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