Thursday, January 3, 2013

blog spying

Sometimes I decide I want to make my blog look better.  And I googlesearch "blog templates" and tinker with blogger for a little while until my brain explodes from annoyance and my eyes are burning from all the cutsiness and I start to think that the only people in this world who blog do it all about scrapbooking, technicolored kittens and all other things exploding from tackiness.   And editing html hurts my brain and I start to wonder how people with classy looking not-tacky blogs do it.  And then I decide that I don't care enough.  And then my blog ends up looking exactly the same.

And then I actually write a blog post.

Which brings me to what this blog post is actually about:

blog spying.

Whenever I find people's blogs, I kind of feel like I'm spying on them.  Guilty.  Like I found their secret diary and am learning all their deepest secrets.  I know I shouldn't feel like that because, hello, they posted this on the internet for all the world to see.  Lots of times they posted it to Facebook.  But sometimes I don't think people think about the fact that that means that every single one of their hundreds of facebook friends now have access to that.  Not just the ones that are active Facebookers that you see on your feed all the time.  Not just the friends and family you know are reading your blog because they comment or mention it when they see you.  Also, when you post a blog link post to Facebook, they don't just have access to that post, that link is an avenue to all of your posts.  So even though you might just be linking to some cute pictures of your kid or a celebration that finals are finally over, anyone that clicks there can easily find that oh-so-self-revealing confessional post you wrote 2 years ago about who knows what that you should probably just go back and delete altogether.

I always feel weird if I'm reading someone's blog without them knowing, so I always become a follower and/or comment at least once.  Otherwise, isn't it weird to know things about someone and then talk to them in real life pretending like you don't?  When I stumble upon something really personal (sometimes awkwardly, deeply, toomuchinformation, did-they-really-post-this-on-the-internet? personal) I feel like I have to tell them.  Like "hey uh, hi.  I'm that girl who talks to you sometimes in English class and I'm going to see you there on Thursday and I just thought you should know that I found your blog today and now all of a sudden I know a lot of personal stuff about you that you've never told me/we've never talked about and I just want you to know that so that you know what I know."

It would be easy here to just berate those that expose all the details of their life on social media;  tell them to get a life and keep private things private, but I don't think it's altogether a bad thing.  Sometimes those are the blogs I appreciate the most--the ones that are honest and real and sometimes expose the knitty gritty because it's part of our existence.  Some people have carved out this little space for themselves on the world wide web where they can express themselves openly and honestly, and get support from their blogging community.  I think it's kind of amazing that that kind of expression is available to us--to be able to connect with people all over the world who share your interests instead of being confined to the ones in your own geographical location.  To be able to tell a story to your sisters, your college roommates, your friends since 1st grade, and your current acquaintances all at once even though none of them will ever be in the same room together and get their reactions and feedback is pretty cool.

And isn't it kind of weird and terrible but also weird and awesome that in our culture, getting to know someone doesn't actually necessarily mean you spend time with them and talk to them before you know everything about them? To find out what they were like in high school, you don't to wait until you are are invited to their parents house and stumble upon an old photo album.  You don't have to come over for dinner to find out they love to cook and grab a few of their favorite recipes, or have endless conversations with them to know that they love to read and what their favorite books are and why they like them so much.  Even if you're just a casual once-in-a-while blogger, tweeter, instagrammer or facebooker, think about how much of you is on the internet! Most of those sites link up to one another and every time you accept a friend request of a barely acquaintance, if they want to take the time to do a little stalking there is a loooooot there.  Which, like I said, is kind of weird and creepy, but I also kind of love it.  Sometimes I like people a lot more in real life when I've tiptoed around their online presence a little bit.  Sometimes they are less intimidating, or I find out their struggles and treat them a little more kindly than I may have, or I discover we have a ton of common interests that I probably wouldn't have known until I'd been their friend a lot longer.  Or maybe I never would have pursued a real friendship with them at all, but now I want to.

I feel though that blogging is the most intimate of all social media.  It gets down to so much of a more personal level than pictures, facebook statuses or tweets.  So maybe that's why I get the blog spying guilt.  Sometimes I feel like I've found something very personal that belongs to someone that I'm not on a personal level with yet.

And. . . sometimes I get to the end of a post and I don't know what my point is, but I think this time it's:
if you're stalking my blog, you should probably tell me!

that's all :)


  1. Guilty as charged. But I think that I am in the clear because I feel like I have commented before. Either way you have the cutest daughter ever and I did sit and watch her spinning on the floor video and yes, I did think it was utterly cute!

  2. I definitely stalk you. And not just because you live around the corner from me. You are genuinely interesting and inspirational.

  3. I loved this post! I am commenting now though, so you KNOW I'm forever more stalking you. ;)

  4. Love this post! I already fessed up a few months ago, but just in case - yep, I'm still stalking you =)

  5. Also stalking. Hopefully not creepy. :P

  6. I'm stalking you. Wait. It's not really stalking if you're already friends in real-life... or is it?

  7. I totally just found your blog 5 minutes ago! I saw you commented on Sam's blog (from Young People in Love).. and that you saw her at city creek... (lol now I really feel like a stalker!)
    Anyway, we just moved to SLC so it caught my eye. Excited to find your blog!

    PS your baby girl is so cute!


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