There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how unrealistic are the images of ourselves we present on the Internet. The same discussion take place around Facebook, about how much happier other people seem on social media and how much misery upon self-reflection and comparison that creates in their “friends”. Facebook is another can of ridiculous worms altogether though. Blogs are windows into the lives of people we don’t know but who are in some way or another interesting to us. At least this is the surface of things.
Blogs could never be entirely real. Nobody is really real (we all wear several masks in our daily interactions and project images that are constructed and edited over time) except maybe in our own heads (and even there many of us prefer delusion rather than reality–and nothing is easier than fooling your own stupid self).
So blogs could never be real in the first place. But even if they could, even if it could all be just raw, unaltered life whose photos we see and stories we read on blogs, would we still be interested in that? Would we want to see real life? Don’t we have to deal with real life every day? Don’t we look maybe for a break from it? Maybe it’s like books. I prefer those that offer some escapism into a different time, place, or lifestyle. I want beautiful images and beautiful words. I’m looking for beauty.
Maybe if it was clear that the beauty was found amid disastrous everyday mess, it would make it even more precious because it would be attainable, it would become replicable. Maybe we need more honesty and insight into how that beauty was created, instead of being left to believe that life just comes all pretty and all made-up like that to certain, chosen people. Because it never does. (Right? Please, tell me it never does!)
I know I will never be entirely who I am on the Internet. Of course, I never set up to have an actual “personal” blog in the first place. This was always intended as a journal of my Writer self. But I love discovering blogs that show more of the blogger’s life, that manage to achieve a greater sense of intimacy. And I stay with those who find and revel in the bright side of things. It’s dark enough over here in my sleep-deprived days. Although darkness, even my own, is not as much black as it is grey, and sometimes, when I’m lucky, graduates to intensities of brightness that almost seem unreal.