I’m prepping this post on my phone; please bear with me. I can’t look at other blogs or reference anything else with this tool, so you’re getting my blogging without any technical assistance.
Another blogger I follow posted her thoughts about the difference between blogging and personal correspondence in terms of how personal the blogging gets. In her experience, she was more real and less circumspect(?) when corresponding than when blogging.
My blog, if it isn’t obvious, is nominally anonymous. This permits me certain freedom of expression even when this blog is public, which for now, it is. As a result, I say things here I won’t say in conversations and correspondence with people who know my name and my life beyond this blog. With those people, I filter most of my thoughts, partly to protect my social and financial position, and partly because the nuisance of explaining the motive of my opinions is often more effort than I wish to invest with any person.
Even in correspondence with people who are nearly strangers, it is difficult to say what merely comes into my head: my correspondence always has a motive, an audience, a subject, a theme. There’s always some, reason, we’re communicating, and that impetus, whatever that is, narrows what I’m writing to the core of what I’m trying to say, with precious little extraneous comment. Why say something without an (ulterior) purpose.
This blog is different, I think, in that I’m saying things here that I am generally afraid to say in other venues. The persona Ted Colt is more authentically me than the façade I employ with even my family.
Let’s examine an extreme example. My daughter and I are generally of the same mind on many thing and share many of the same emotional states. We aren’t in any sense the same person, but we are similar enough that we don’t need long conversations to convey complex ideas. However, there are many things I don’t share with her that I do share with all of you reading this. A lot of this may be filed under simple kindness to a child: too much information is still too much information. I don’t want to know about my parents sex life, so I assume (rightly, I assert) that my daughter would also like to be spared details. I expect her to spare me details also.
That filter doesn’t exist here. There are some biographical details missing, but ya’ll who read this know more about my inner life than my closest lover. And in a very selfish way, I prefer this medium of expression for that very freedom to be “me” without fear of rejection or reprisal. It’s more safe than my mother’s arms, literally. (She’s a very kind, if self-absorbed, woman, for what that’s worth.)
Of course, there’s nothing stopping anybody from saying nasty and mean things to me here. Anybody could hit reply to this message and tell me I’m a liar living a fantasy and that I ought to grow up and take responsibility for my true opinions under my public identity. Such admonition might even be just, but in this forum, which I have built solely to express how I feel, I needn’t resolve that challenge; I can let it be.
Were somebody to challenge,me similarly in my personal or public life, I would be obligated to address the challenge. Whether to victory or defeat, a conflict must ensue. Ignoring one’s contested opinion answers the contest just as surely as losing an argument. Here, every comment made is heard, and it is not ignored, even if unanswered. Even if it’s unpublished, or un-published.
If you who reads this posts a reply, an email message is sent to me with your reply and a link back to my blog post here at WordPress, technical difficulties aside. I read the comment precisely because I want to hear voices outside my own head that aren’t tied up in the outcome of my life. Perhaps its encouragement, or criticism, or praise, or character assassination. Maybe it’s an invitation to a party; certainly stranger things have happened in my life. Whatever it is, I’ve invited you to correspond with me simply by permitting comments at all.
That’s what this is in the end: a public forum where I give my opinion and others, who have chosen to read my opinion respond with comments, or not. And since this forum isn’t tied to my income, my personal life, my family, or any other self-identifying portion of my life, I try to give you as much of myself as humanly possible with words alone. I suspect it’s still far too little to be satisfying, but that’s my fault as a writer, and perhaps as a very private man who wants to keep his life uncomplicated, and not because I’m holding back.
Thus ends the meta-blog post. Back to regular ranting on another day.