Thursday, April 13

Getting personal

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?


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Shruthi said...

First, thanks for the very kind words!

Very well-analyzed thoughts. My take on it is this - a personal post is safer in some ways. What you are putting up is your own experience (which nobody can dispute) and your reaction to it (which can be ridiculed, but most people realize that people are different, and so do not). But personal posts can give rise to discussion and dissension, but it does not tend to get too ugly. It can get unpleasant, yes, but not too much.
But the "intelligent" and "issue" writers have to be prepared for a lot of brickbats. Their blogs are usually full of opinions... which tend to instigate people, and there can be a lot of name-calling there.

Even then, sometimes I find myself wary of what I post. Sometimes I wonder if I can post this without fear of backlash, etc. Unfortunately, that risk is always there, and many times I am on my guard, and sometimes even stifle my creativity to be on the safer side.

Manasi said...

saurabhtechie: thanks. will surely check out your blog and comment.

Shruti: Agree with you. Sometimes you really need to give a thought before writing personal things on the blog and somethimes it means not writing or stifiling ur creativity. And then there is still this desire to share those personal things. Probably a girl thing?

Nirwa said...


Thank you so much for adding my name!!

When I started blogging, I never expected anyone to read my blog.. except 1 or 2 people who *knew* I was blogging.. Even today, I don't expect people to read whatever crap I write.. I just found blog to be a platform to write about anything I want to write.. be it frustratingly annoying relatives.. or some college incident.. or my arguments with my dad..

I believe, when you write, you should write for yourself, rather than for others.. when you keep "readers" in mind, you tend to kill the basic essence of writing.. you are not writing for your own pleasure.. you are writing to please others..

I believe that the more you remain *yourself*, the better..

Nice analysis!! :)


Manasi said...

Nirw: Right girl! Why try and mould yourself and your writing to suit others when you are writing bascially because you enjoy doing it?
Keep those lovely personal posts coming!

satyapriya said...

This post of urs really says what I feel. In my posts, I avoid writing personal experiences, I fear the few people who share my world and read my posts will feel uncomfortable being exposed in such a way. So to avoid conflicts in real life, the posts have to be kept unpersonal, though the writer's itch gets on sometimes and the post goes personal.... You really can not analyse what u r writing at times as the flow of thoughts cannot be controlled.

Manasi said...

Satyapriya: So true. "I fear the few people who share my world and read my posts will feel uncomfortable being exposed in such a way. So to avoid conflicts in real life, the posts have to be kept unpersonal..."
Thanks for commenting :)