A conversation among FTBers has (by a circuitous route, as is often the case) ended up in a discussion of the weirdness of the interpersonal dynamics of blogging – of the kinds and degrees of intimacy that can be created, and whether they’re an illusion or not.
I think the usual view is a brisk, “healthy,” matter of fact view that any sense of intimacy is an illusion, as is any sense of liking or friendship that may develop over time. That’s not my view. My view is pretty much the opposite, which is that it’s not an illusion at all, and that there are perfectly good reasons for this.
I was prompted to say some of this in the discussion after someone else mentioned that the person you see on a blog is not the whole person. That of course is true (ding ding! body missing! key ingredient of whole person!), but it’s also a little misleading. Yes of course you don’t get the whole person, but in a way you get a lot more of the person than you would in real life except in the most intense of relationships. In real life people don’t just sit around and listen to us blather on uninterrupted for two or three or ten minutes, but when we blog, they do. That too is not “whole” conversation; real conversation is full of interruptions and false starts, and laughter and gestures; but that’s just it – real conversation in real time in real life doesn’t allow for the kind of extended discussion you can have on a blog (or discussion board and the like).
This thought is probably more true for people who like to write and to whom it feels natural – but then so does blogging, I would think.
I would blather on uninterrupted more now but I have eleventy seven things to do so I have to go do them. Your turn to blather uninterrupted.