Of Cabbages and Kings

March 29, 2011

Voyeurism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chinmayi @ 1:49 pm

Ever wondered about personal blogs? All my blogs seem to turn personal at some point. And I ask myself – what sort of idiot would write this stuff and put in on the internet for the world to see? You write the same stuff in your diary and have a mini meltdown if anyone so much as glanced at it. But the same stuff on the internet is worse perhaps than bathing in a room with a large bare window.

And then there is the reading of personal blogs. Who would? Why? Why why would you want to know about the lives of strangers? Why would you read a friend’s blog rather than ask the said friend about anything/ everything you want to know. Why the voyeurism?

I’ve been living alone of late. It is nice for a large part. Plenty of time to be me. No compromises, no letting my future self down. But sometimes, some rare times, it is difficult to process the world all on my own. And then it helps to read about someone else’s world. And I’ll take anything I get. Literature, if it is honest. Friends, if they are honest. And blogs, because they are the most honest.

See here’s the thing. The author may filter her innermost thoughts so that you like her, you bend to her wisdom. The friend may edit what she tells you rather heavily because she is afraid that you will judge her. But the blogger doesn’t know you, and doesn’t have a clear agenda. She just comes home and writes a little about her day and sends it flying out to the internet. She may edit what she says a little, but she doesn’t a whole lot. She can’t. She doesn’t know whose benefit she’d be editing it for. And since the act of writing is cathartic for her, she isn’t going to muzzle herself completely.

And hence the voyeurism. Here is someone who isn’t a friend, who isn’t going to be a friend. You may know her casually, and then again, you may never have seen her. But she’s living a little like you are. She is happy sometimes and sad sometimes. She has triumphs and tragedies, fulfillment and disappointment. And like you, she looks for ways to understand it and move on. And reading about her conversations with herself, sometimes helps you with your conversations with yourself. But mostly,┬áit tells you that you are not alone, and that the world is full of people, ordinary little ants-in-a-hill people who know what it is like and who find a way to move forward and find a way to be true to themselves.

And so you write – to talk to yourself and that blur of a person who is reading what you write. And you read about strangers because sometimes they tell you more about yourself than people you have known all your life.

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