Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Perceptions

So….I was e-mailing back and forth with my neighbor yesterday regarding my post for Kathy’s contest that has lesbian connotations to it and the post I did this past Thursday about all the willies up in my grill and how they contradict each other but also might give people who don't know me mixed ideas on my sexuality…and it got me to thinking about perception on blogs.

I can’t speak for others, but I feel that my on-line persona and my real life persona are different. How different? I don’t know. You’d have to ask my neighbors and my friends. Maybe even my family if you knew them.

I mean…I think I’m somewhat funny and interesting and a few of you guys must believe that, too, based on your comments and e-mails.

I know I’m no great writer, but I don’t think I’m necessarily a bad one. I mean, I try to do grammar and spelling checks (above and beyond what blogspot or Microsoft word does) and I try to make sure that what I write makes sense. It doesn’t always but I’m fine with that.

However, I rarely bring any of this to the table in my real life. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because my sense of humor doesn’t really “mesh” with people I know in real life. The ones who “get” me or “appreciate” me and my humor are the ones out in blogland. Is this because there’s a greater pool of admirers to work with or is it because I just don’t connect with people in my own life?

Not only do I wonder about the above question, but also, what do people out there in blogland think of ME? I’m not talking about giving someone lip service and saying things like “Oh, I just love your blog. You’re cute and funny and blah, blah, blah”. I’m talking about what you guys REALLY think of me.

Do you feel that I’m “real” or “fake”? Do you feel that I’m funny or boring? Do you feel that I’m a hottie or a nottie? (just kidding on that last one…I really don’t want to know the answer to that because I really don’t care).

Do I even put enough out there for anyone to make judgements?

I sometimes feel like I don’t put enough out there. I mean, I read all these great blogs that have thought provoking posts and blogs that really share their deep innermost thoughts.

I hate to tell you guys, but I just don’t have that in me. Not so much the energy or the time to put into post like that, but I JUST DON’T HAVE THAT IN ME. I’m not a deep thinker. I don’t take a lot of stuff in life seriously. I live in my own little warped world and I occasionally visit others.

I wish I had more to give, but I rarely do. I have lots of stuff that’s happened to me that’s both good and bad but I don’t feel the need to share. Some of the stuff is unbelievable and other stuff is plain boring.


Speaking of unbelievable….How much of what’s written in blogland is real and what is fake? In addition, what’s a mixture of both? How far do you take it in your own blog?

For me, my blog is about 99% accurate. I say that because of the story for Kathy’s contest but also because I’ve been known to add a detail here or there to make the post just a smidge funnier or edgier.

I’ve not outright lied on my blog…not that I can remember. Nor do I feel the overwhelming need to, despite my little boring life where nothing of notable interest occurs.

I know that Black Hockey Jesus (if you’re not reading this guy…just make your way over there with your head hung in shame…he’s seriously funny) has a disclaimer on his blog stating something to the effect that the names and events in his blog are fictitious so you know to read the blog with a grain of salt. However, that same disclaimer states that the disclaimer is fictitious, so it makes for a real head scratcher.

I know that there are many others that write from the heart and really tell the truth, no matter what.

But there are others out there that I feel make up stuff on their blogs to entertain but classify it as “real” or at least don’t own up to the fictitious stuff.

No, I’m not going into examples or calling anyone out. That’s not what this is about. And before anyone thinks it or says it in the comments…not this is not about the blogland drama that went on recently. It’s just a small example of what I’m talking about.

My last question about all this is…does it really matter? In the big grand scheme of things, does it really matter?

Later,

Mama Dawg

P.S. Just so you guys know, this is the most time I’ve EVER spent on a post.

24 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Black Hockey Jesus

No, it doesn't really matter.

I like a couple things about this post.

First, you genuinely wonder what you have to give. I don't know one way or the other what you have to give, but I will tell you this: there'd be a lot more quality in the blogosphere if EVERYONE stopped and asked themselves "What do I have to give? What can I bring to the table?"

Next, after wondering that, you cast your net out seeking your answers. Those are good questions. Don't rely on the first intuitve answers. Or better yet, wait for your answers and ask them questions.

Question the answers.

This was very provocative for me at 4:10 AM...

"I know that there are many others that write from the heart and really tell the truth, no matter what."

This statement begs the question of what truth is. What's it mean to write from the heart? What's the relationship bewteen fact and truth? Is it possible that our hearts crave fiction? And so on.

And I think you do have it in you. Thoughtful post. ~BHJ

Jen

I definitely get the feeling sometimes when I'm reading a blog
(not yours) that what I'm reading has been embellished. I think it is like reality tv. Most of it is real but sometimes in editing things get changed to make it more interesting. This doesn't bother me at all.

As far as my blog, sadly it is about 99% true. I say sadly because my life is really this boring. I'd say the only thing that isn't true is that I don't share every single thing that happens to me and every single thought I have. What I do share is true. I can only think of one instance where I embellished my post and it was waaaayyyy back when I first started and was trying to find my "voice". I haven't done it since.

I definitely think you are real from what I've read and VERY funny! It is interesting that you are questioning your humor because I do the same thing myself. I don't consider myself funny in real life AT ALL, but people keep leaving comments like "you are hilarious" and that just floors me. I think sometimes a person's writing tone can be different than their actually personality that they show the world but I think what comes out in writing is closer to the real person and what is inside their head. They just may not put it all out there for everyone to see.

What is all this talk of blogging drama? I guess I'm totally out of the loop.

John Deere Mom

I love your blog and love reading what you have to say. I guess I am naive and tend to believe everything I read. Everything I write is straight up for reals. Not that there is much happening. Just things that go on during the course of the day. I like to think that's how other people write too. Great post!

inquisitivesensitive

I dont know where I found your blog, but I love reading it. I too focus on real stuff, not fictional. I too am not hilariously funny. Heck, I wrote a post about shredders recently. lol. Keep up the good work. I will continue reading

scargosun

Everyone has different styles but what I think is too funny about this post is you say that you just don't have it in you to be deep etc. You just wrote a very thought provoking blog.
I think whenever you write, or at least when I do, I worry about getting the point across as I feel it. Reading words in a blog or any bit of writing, people sometimes don't get the meaning because of the lack of verbal tone. So I think that simile or hyprebole is used, maybe to an embellishing effect, to get the writers point across. Does this make sense? The big words hurt my brain.

scargosun

PS: I also love your blog but you hopefully already knew that. :)

Middle Aged woman

Mama Dawg, I read your blog because you tell a great story. You make me laugh, or think, or laugh AND think. In my blog, the truth is more important than accuracy. Husband calls it editorial liberties, I call it close enough for jazz.

Am I like this in real life? probably. I can't teach kids younger than 11 or 12 because they have to be able to 'get' my jokes. Humor is a great coping mechanism.

sassy stephanie

I think you are so much like myself. Here's what I picture: a stealth bod, flowing long hair, perfect children at your feet, men breaking their necks to take a look at you, women longing to be you, everyone around you giggling upon hearing your every word. he hee

But seriously. I got ya. I blog because recently moving to the country, I have less interaction with grown ups than I did before. And sarcasm is totally lost on my 7, 6 and 3 year olds. True, I am SASSY but my stories often stretch a little. Hence the "true-ish stories" label. For example: my post on Ms. MuuMuu. Did it really happen? Sort of. I tell the story to the best of my recollection. Only, telling it in print is way more entertaining than telling it to my neighbor face to face. Now, get some drinks in me, I am alllllll Sassy Stephanie. In the end, who really cares? You are on my blog roll. Nuff said.

You long post. Me long comment.

Mama Dawg

BHJ-Thank you for stopping by and adding yet more questions on top of the questions I already have. Seriously, you do bring up some good points. When it comes down to it, I think hearts do crave fiction. At least, initially. Maybe that changes over time. Who knows? It might be worth looking in to as a potential blog post.

Jen-Yeah, there's a couple of blogs out there that I read that I just wanna call "BS!" on. But I don't. I'm like you in that I don't blog about EVERY single thing that happens to me or EVERY single thought that I have. Believe me, y'all would skeedaddle out of here like a bunny with it's tail on fire if I wrote everything I ever thought. Or you'd have me committed! I also think that you're right when it comes to blogging. I know that for me, the real me is here on the blog...not what I present IRL to others. Or, at least, it's as close to the real me as anyone's gonna get. Thanks for the compliment.

JDM-I was like you in the beginning, but I quickly figured out that there are some out there that either outright lie or embellish w/no disclaimer. Thanks for the compliments.

Inquisitive-Thanks for stopping by! You've never commented before. Now that you have, I can make fun of you! Just kidding...now that you've commented, I can come check out your blog. Thanks for reading and enjoying!

Scargosun-Yeah, I got the irony of that as well. After I hit publish, I thought...damn, I think I just wrote something slightly thought provoking! I, too, worry about getting my point across. You're right about blogs missing that "verbal tone" that help in telling a story or making a point. Maybe from now on, we should put a disclaimer above every post saying "read this with a sarcastic tone or read this with a serious tone", etc....I like your blog, too!

MAW-Thanks for the compliments. I'm glad you stop by all the time. Through your blog, I've actually found a couple of new ones to read. Yeah, I use humor as a coping mecanism as well.

Sassy-LOL! Yeah, how did you know that's exactly what I'm like? Girl, you're good!!! I just recently moved to the country, too, but I actually like LESS interaction with adults. LOL! But that's just me. My daughter is quickly learning sarcasm so she's been HILARIOUS lately.

Thanks to all for the compliments. I wasn't fishing for them but it's nice to get them anyway.

Insane Mama

I think you are blunt and I like that, I agree tat sometimes it's easier to be yourself on "paper" Then in "real" life. I wonder a lot about blogs and what is real. My blog is real,I use it for therapy and advice. The comments that I leave for people are sometimes embellished to make them more interesting. Keep doing what your doing. Keep keeping it real.

In the big world, your right, it doesn't matter.

Lula!

Oh wow...you DO have it in you. Everyone else is confirming this, so I'm just chiming in. This is one of those posts that make me really think...and I like deep thinking!

As far as my blog? It's 100% real. It's all me. I have 4 girls listed on my blogroll who are my "real life" BFFs, and they are always reading my stuff, nodding their heads, and saying, "Yep--this is so Leigh Anne."

I'm a fan of realness...of people being who they say they are. The reason I read "Twilight" and watch "Lost" is because it's a beautiful escape--and it's not real. Entertainment is meant to be just that. But in the blogging world, I prefer genuine over faux. And I find you to be just that--GENUINE.

PLUS--and I have to add this in--I wish my accent was as lovely as yours. I'm all southern and redneck and living up the Georgian pride, but my accent isn't nearly as good as yours. Can I have diction lessons, please? Maybe it's just Mississippi...

Minivan Mom

Well I read your blog because I've known you for going on 9 years, but I don't do it out of sense of obligation (and I cannot, in all honesty, say that about all of my friends' blogs. shhhhhh).

I think you're authentic. I think you have a side that doesn't often come out on your blog, the super sweet and thoughtful side that made the Early Birds our "shout out" books with what we've all said about each other the years (remember those? I still have mine in my nightstand drawer). I think maybe you are a little more caustic and blunt on your blog than you are "in person", but don't any of us who have a blog worth its salt lose a lot of that filter that we (thankfully) have in person?

Likewise, my blog is definitely *me*, and those who are my real friends know that to be true. I say real, because I think if someone does not know me very well "in real life", they might think I am seem a lot more angry or outraged or whatever on my blog, when the truth is that I DO carry that all inside me, I just usually (again, thankfully) don't go around saying everything that's on my mind!

I think my blog represents the real me pretty well. And I think yours does too. But I think there are facets to both of us that don't necessarily get represented as much on our blogs.

Mama Dawg

IM-Thanks for your comments!

Lula-LOL! Yeah, I guess I do and just didn't know it. Girl, I know your blog is real. No one can be that Southern and not be real. Awwww...I've never heard you speak, so I can't comment on your accent but mine's a mixture of Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana.

Minivan-Has it really been that long? Glad to hear I'm not an "obligation"!. You're too funny talking about my sweet side. I guess I have one. It hasn't shown up lately. LOL! I know your blog is all you. That's what keeps me coming back! I may not always agree (and you know that) but I love to read what you write. I also know that you're not like that all the time IRL. At least, the one time we met, you weren't like that! I still have pics from that meeting! I agree that there are facets of both of us that don't show up in our blogs. Maybe I'll have to shart showing some of that. Maybe.....

LiteralDan

This is a great post-- you bring up some good points and do so honestly and naturally.

My blog is, I would say, 99.9% accurate at all times, with the remaining 0.1% statistical errors, shoddy recordkeeping, and the occasional failure of my phonographic memory (I really do need to start using more pictures).

Unless you very obviously go really (geniously) over the top, BHJ style, spicing up reality with fiction dilutes the effect of the crasy things that "you just can't make up".

And lastly, I must know to what blogland drama you were referring. I feel totally out of the loop.

Rhea

I enjoy your personality, which seems genuine to me. Some people come across as more fake or insincere, but not you.

I think you're funny and have a unique perspective on things.

I'm more shy in real life, but I'm finding that my blog persona (which is more outgoing) and my real persona are merging more and more.

I'm totally honest on my blog unless I make up a story and then I cop to it immediately. lol

I enjoy your blog a lot! It's in my top five!!

greedygrace

BHJ's comment made my head hurt...

I read blogs to be entertained. You are fulfilling your job requirement quite nicely.

I blog because... well, because I like to write, I can't get anything published, I need to get my word out there. Like Mama's Losin' It, I also am an attention craving poodle!

Heather

You DO have it in you...and you got BHJ to comment on your post. wow (she whispers in awe).

I don't think there's anything wrong with a little embellishment or like BHJ gives some disclaimers on his site. I actually think that's kind of fun and creative.

Trooper Thorn

When NASA was planning it's astronaut program, they couldn't define the qualities of an astronaut except that he have The Right Stuff. You do have it, whatever that is.

I figure that most bloggers are like me; their postings are reflections of their personalities, only with the benefit of some reflection and editing.

This is a terrific post (I usually can't concentrate on one longer than 3 paragraphs unless it has pictures of kitties). Now I have to go screen some of those 80's movies you reminded me of on my last post.

What about Starman? Does anyone remember Starman?

Mama Dawg

Dan-Thanks for the compliments!

Rhea-Thanks! Yeah, it's pretty much all me on my blog. I'm not so much shy in real life as I am terrified! My personas are starting to merge a bit. We'll see how much this transforms me.

Lisa-I know what you mean about his comments! He's a trip, though. Glad to know I fulfill my job requirements. I'd hate to get fired!

Heather-Thanks! I know...BHJ commented...I'm getting chills!

Trooper-Awwwww....you make me smile. Thanks. Yes, I remember Starman. Have you not seen some of those movies I posted? Shame, shame.

Weith Kick

Good Post!

You say you don't reveal too much about yourself but in this post you've revealed a lot. You can only write what you know and make it honest and truthful even if it's filled with exaggerations and untruths.

Mama Dawg

Weith-Thanks! LOL!

Debbie

Hi Mama Dawg...Ok this was alot for me to process at 1:30 in the morning. I have to tell you that I am pretty naive about things and thought that everyone is who they present themselves to be on their blogs. I guess you are correct in assuming that people can create blog persona. What you see on my blog is 100% me. And my friends in real life that read my blog can attest to that. I am the same way there as I am in real life. I find you to be very down to earth, funny and interesting. I am alot older than you and my life experiences are very different than yours, but I enjoy reading about your life and your take on things. You are more of thinker than you think you are. One of the posts you had on your SITS day attested to that. I don't detail every aspect of my life either because I don't think it is appropriate. And not terribly interesting if truth be told. The beauty of blogging is that each of us has something different to offer. And each is entertaining in it's own way. Just continue to be yourself. As I have said on my blog before, that's all I know how to be. Okay, now this comment has taken me longer to write than any comment I've ever written;) I hope this all made sense...Whew, I'm done for the night. I've been catching up on all my "reading" for three hours now....

Mama Dawg

Debbie-I think you're one of many that is 100% on your blog and it's great to know that you are. I don't mind if people embellish or if they outright lie...just make sure you inform your readers. If it's entertaining, they'll come back...even if they know it's not true. Thanks for commenting.

'That Girl'

I realize I'm about a day late and about $100 short, but here's my personal check for two cents..

I do believe that we crave the fiction..but exactly where is the fiction coming from? BHJ's style of fiction is somewhat magical embellishment that's not meant to be taken seriously..and accepted as real within the context of the story. No harm there..just a person style.

Not telling the truth on a blog like mine would be a bit wrong I think. It would negate the whole point.

Great questions.

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