The other day I was reading Chetan's personal post and wondered whether he was thinking, "Ok enough of 'intelligent' stuff, let me write something personal". Infact do any of the bloggers around stop to think about whether their post for the day should be personal or otherwise.
The blogosphere is full of wonderful 'personal' post writers. Like this one and many more such warm posts by Shruthi, or this by Suyog, or those by Nirwa who seems to be fond of writing very personal posts at times or the entire Blank Noise Project. All these posts are personal because they share the writer's experiences. But then every other post, be it about politics, films, science, food etc. each one is triggered by a personal experience. Only difference being that the experience is shared in a manner where the issue, the film, the dish becomes central and the writer merely a narrator. All such posts looking at 'issues' are also personal because they give the writer's opinion, a glimpse into his thought process. The reader's thought process is not restricted to forming an opinion about the 'issue' being discussed, but also about the writer as a person. And so greatbong comes to be thought of as someone with an amazing sense of humor and gaurav and ravikiran as 'intelligent'. Someone else is thought of as promising but still amateur, while some others are genius writers. With each subsequent post, the comments that the bloggers posts the reader's opinion about him/her changes for the better or for the worse.
For some personal posts probably mean those where the writer is a character in the story, whereas otherwise he is only the narrator, who was merely inspired by something he experienced. Experiences need not necessarily be first-hand and probably that is one of the distinguishing factors. But then when someone writes about the education system, he has experienced it himself and not been a mere observer. Some of my friends feel that writing about personal stuff exposes you to the danger of it being criticised, ridiculed, made fun of, when for you the matter might be of immense importance. Infact you are almost presenting yourself to be ridiculed and criticised and the personal information that is so given out can be used to the writer's detriment. Probably true, but then so is the case with your everyday interactions. I can understand that posting pictures of oneself, one's partner or such can probably lead to the photographs being misued and tampered. Those implications of technology are understandable and justifiable. But how can simply writing 'personal' posts have such serious repercussions.
By having a blog we are voluntarily giving our ideas, thoughts and also ourselves for public evaluation and criticism. When we have chosen to do it, how far is it right to crib when criticised and evaluated in a particular manner? Is self-expression, the motivation behind most of the blogs important; or the constant self-restriction for fear of criticism, thereby curbing one's own self-expression?