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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blogging vs. Real Life

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I received an email recently from someone. You see, I decided to have an impromptu get-together with a few blogging friends whom I’ve never before met. I opened it up to the world at large, and waited to see what would happen.

Several people declined.

Though many of their reasonings were justifiable, I tended to note that there was a common thread lying betwixt many of the ‘locals’ decision not to attend; this seemed to stem from a sense of self-imposed inadequacy. In other words, not feeling that their true selves would measure up with others’ imagined expectations.

Through the medium of blogging we’re permitted to expose ourselves to the world. Well, those portions we feel comfortable enough sharing with the world at large—a group of strangers we feel a bit of a connection to, even though we’ve never met them in real life. We feel this because we know them—or part of them—the part they are willing to share.

Those who read our blogs and that actually know us outside of the matrix we tend to feel no reservation at taking part in an activity with, yet many of these same people balk at the idea of dropping the curtain to the strangers and allowing them to see the great and powerful Wizard of Oz as he truly is—weaknesses and all.

We’re all human.

Many of you follow Courtney Kendrick—better known as cjane in the realms of bloggers. In blogdom people seem to rise to a celebrity status and we find ourselves comparing ourselves to them because of how many comments they get, how many followers they have, and from the sheer brilliance of some of their posts.

This is not the way it should be.

Is Courtney amazing? Heck yes. We worked together a few years ago—BC (Before Chup). We went on camping trips with 50+ kids from our school together, she helped out in my classroom on a regular basis—dressing up as many a fanciful character, and even today I still head up to visit her from time to time as she only lives a few miles away.

Is she perfect?

Heck no.

Is she awesome?

Absolutely.

Is she human?

Yes.

I worry that many of us balk at the idea of exposing who we really are because we are so busy comparing ourselves with others and are afraid of letting them—our ourselves—down. Life is much too short to worry about the expectations of others, their thoughts, and worrying about how somebody may—or may not—react.

I still plan on heading up to Texas Roadhouse (as it appears to be winning on the poll) and I would love it if there were a couple dozen people brave enough to attend. If not, that’s okay, too. I can enjoy a cut of steak whether or not I have a group of friends to eat with.

However, let us remember not be too critical of ourselves, or let ourselves hold us back.

Sometimes, we’re our own worse enemy.

19 comments:

YogaSavy said...

We are simple beings first and no one can make us feel inferior unless we allow them to.
Your experience did make me wonder if I would want to meet others as well.... thank you for making me think!

Chrissy said...

I think your post is right on... I'd love to meet ya, its the distance that does it for me, and I'm not too keen on driving alone. Been too spoiled by males who've done the driving... yep, call me a princess or lucky...lol. As well as my ongoing yard project. I have found blogger to have more genuine people or at least I've been lucky enough to find the genuine ones!. Some of the other sites have people that need to grow up and not try to prove what fantastic folks they are...so tired of the attention whores- oops seekers...

Rachel said...

YES!!!! Texas Roadhouse is winning!!!! Cuz if it were that other place........ I'd have to decline. ;)

Truthfully, if this same invitation came from a blogger I didn't know personally I wouldn't have accepted. Especially with the, I'm a married female and you're a single guy thing.....

Mamma has spoken said...

Well, on my blog you get the real me, warts, swear words and all. Mainly because of the purpose/audience of my blog: letting the son who is so far away from home enjoy the moments of home. He does read it, and when he calls, he'll comment about the posts and comments made about the posts. He found it VERY comforting when he was at war, and he still finds it comforting now that he is back but still far from home. Meeting all of you is just the added bonus to the blogging.

Bits-n-Pieces said...

My very best friends are ladies I first met online. I've known them for 9-10 years now, and we've been to each others' homes "in real life" several times, and our friendship is just as real as any I could've made in the workplace or church or town. My best "love" relationships were also with men I met online. I even married one. Sure he lives in my town, but he found me on a dating site, asked around about me, and then sought me out. the internet is so amazing that way. you can meet people you might never have run across before on here. I love it. Sure, you have to be careful and safe..but overall, it's brought some of the best people I've ever met into my life.

Richard & Natalie said...

It's funny...sometimes I think I tend to be more the 'real' me in my blog than in real life. I find that writing is sometimes the easier medium in which to express myself than speech. (Unless you know me pretty well and I'm comfortable enough to really let my guard down and stop measuring my words or biting my tongue.)

If it weren't for our family obligation, Richard and I would so be there.

Shannon said...

I figured people would come flocking for you Mr. Z ~ it's too bad that insecurities are getting in the way, but certainly not surprising. I'm sure that whoever has the courage to attend will certainly not regret it...so as long as you BLOG about it, then maybe it could become a regular thing for you...another frontier for you to conquer.

C.C. said...

I'm not a local, but if I was I would have certainly come. Hopefully it turns out so you aren't eating solo!

Kelly said...

I liked your post. Too often we create a persona that we are comfortable sharing but we don't let everyone see our flaws.

I personally hate reading blogs where the writer is always perfect. Or worse, when they are totally self centered. Makes me feel removed from them. But if they're willing to let the quirky out then I want to know more about them.

I would come if I were local. And on a dare I'd come without any make up! How's that for keeping it real : )

Diana said...

Very well said! Texas Roadhouse sounds scrumptious! I just wouldn't be back to work in a timely manner, so I have to pass this time.

But "blogland" is definitely a place where people can be themselves on their own terms. Sad that we feel so judged that we have to hide so much about ourselves behind a webpage.

Teachinfourth said...

YS - I would hope that we'd all be excited to meet our new set of friends…unless we aren't really who we've said we were.

There are a few blogs I've read in the past where I've said, "Whoa…just one minute here. How in the world could ALL of this stuff really be true?"

C - Sometime it would be fun to meet, swap recipes, and laugh about everything we share in common…

Okay, maybe not the recipes.

R - I can understand that - that's why I wanted a crowd. I don't want anybody taking advantage of me…

B - It's all about your audience. Glad we could become friends…

BNP - The Internet can be a truly wonderful place, can't it?

N - Next time, perhaps? I am thinking that if this one is a success (which how can it NOT be?) then I'll be doing it again sometime.

S - I do plan to blog about it, and I do plan to go whether or not anyone else were planning to show up. Have you had the rolls and cinnamon honey butter at Texas Roadhouse?

It's a beautiful thing.

CC - I don't think that will happen as I do know of 5 people who committed to attend. Of course, I guess they could all flake at the last minute…

K - I think that there is a certain amount of narcism when it comes to blogging simply because it's a 'about me' type of thing. However, I know what you mean…

One day we'll meet someplace; I won't wear makeup either…

D - There will undoubtedly be another one sometime in the future. If you can make it to that one, that would be great, if not, there might be another one after that sometime...

Shannon said...

Unfortunately, I've never even been to the Texas Roadhouse, even though there is one within an hour's drive. I'll have to make it a point to go soon. Sounds yummy!

Yancy said...

Isn't usually the case when we do compare ourselves to others that we often compare our (all too apparent to us) imperfections and weaknesses with their (visible from our perspective) perfections and strengths?

Stef said...

AHhh, you speak the truth my friend. I too struggle to make sure that my posts reflect who I really am and NOT who I want others to believe I am. Technology can only change us, though, if we let it! Great post!

Teachinfourth said...

S - It's like heaven, but here on Earth.

Y - Good point. I find myself doing that more often than I should. Apples to apples…

S - Sometimes that's a hard line - especially when you want to remain positive and not bring others down with your struggles and problems. I hope that there isn't anybody out there who believes that my life is all sunshine and roses, because it isn't…I worry about that sometimes because I try to accentuate the positive in my posts and see the world from a upbeat position.

tammy said...

Great post. I often feel that some bloggers are celebrity-like or too famous to meet, but also have made some truly great relationships with bloggers I've met in real life.

I really hope you don't end up eating alone. Think of all those yummy rolls you'll have to eat all by yourself.

Corine said...

Great post! I agree with it entirely (as is evidenced in my very real, very honest way of being). I figure being honest and real just weeds out the people who aren't really all that friendly after all!

As for your get together with fellow bloggers... as you already know I'm too far away to consider attending, but one day, after I actually spread my wings in the blogging world, and have enough people who know about my blog and comment on it... I think I'll do this, too! Great idea, and I hope you all have a ton of fun! :D TTFN!

Sue said...

I'm looking forward to meeting one of my favorite blog friends this summer, when I will be vacationing close to her home. I don't think either of us will have many surprises; we are pretty frank on our blogs.

And our profile pictures are current.

;)

Carrie Stuart said...

Wow, thanks for dropping by my blog...it allowed me to find both of yours and I will surely be dropping by again! I would have loved to have dropped by, were it not for that whole Pacific ocean thing and all. As much as I love Japanese food...Texas Roadhouse is sounding awesome about now.

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