I read Chris Prillo’s Blogging Manifesto as well as the reactions to it such as Mike Sander’s and Jonathon’s.
Mike based a new question on this discussion — Who is the real you. Damn, Mike! Please promise me you’ll personally send me an email when you ask a simple question such as What’s your favorite ice cream flavor, would you?
The real me. I probably share more of myself online than many, but you all don’t know the real me. This isn’t an insult; I’m not rejecting the honor that you bestow on me by spending time out of your busy day to read my words, but what I write here isn’t the sum and total of me.
In college, I studied a theory called The Looking Glass Self. Simply put, from my perspective, this theory states that people can become what other’s see them as — in effect become a product of other’s expectations. Even the most complex of personalities can be thought of as a faceted diamond, with each facet the cut of yet another person’s view of oneself.
This theory fascinated me and fascinates me to this day. In fact, I even have a weblog domain called Mirror Self (www.mirrorself.com), that I thought I would use for something some day. (Come to think of it, the domain screams weblog, doesn’t it?)
From a weblogging perspective, I am concerned that my weblog can become a looking glass reflection rather than a forum for me to share thoughts, jokes, pain, happiness, and even trivia that happens to interest me. I find myself editing my posts more and more, because they “expose” more of myself, and would, perhaps, make readers uncomfortable.
Even with this trip there were things I wanted to write, to discuss, to share yet stopped because the emotions behind the same are raw, even primal, and there is a line that one approaches but does not transcend — not without sending the reader away.
At times I almost want to quit this weblog because I want to write things badly and don’t because I’m not sure myself where to draw the line of share or not share — how much of me goes into these pages?
So I have a follow up question to Mike’s: how much is too much? How much can a person share in their weblog before some line is crossed between a healthy catharsis and sharing of emotions and experiences, and a complete and uncontrolled dump of self. What’s your opinion? I really want to know.