Wednesday, July 07, 2004

MANIFESTO OF THE SELF

In visiting many of my favorite blogs, this issue keeps coming up, so I might as well address it.

Today alone, I found the following entries on blogs pondering the Big Reason behind all the blogging.

Alyssa mourns a less-than-stellar review by a weblog reviewer.

Fish ponders her own existence and considers hanging up her keyboard.

Over in Israel, Jacob Shwirtz wonders:
To what degree do we create "online identities" and to what degree are we "putting our identity online?"

In life, we've all had experiences where, after talking to someone on the phone or via email, or after "getting to know them" via their blog, we meet them for the first time--how many times has the physical manifestation of that person been exactly what you were expecting? Hasn't it been your experience that any photo that person had sent you, literally or figuratively, just didn't seem accurate? This is sometimes expressed as "he looks nothing like his picture," or "I expected someone totally different." In either case, that person reflected through our own eyes, does not measure up or measures up differently.

How much more so is this often true in our own eyes. We catch a glimpse of ourselves in a store window, in a photograph or on videotape, and do a double-take. "That looks nothing like me..." we say. That portrait/reflection does not fit our own idea of who we are and what we look like.

It is an issue most bloggers confront at one time or another. Many of us have felt the need to post our raisons d'etre or state our manifestos clearly, so people will know who we are and why we're here. We look for people who are like us, and for people who will like us. We blog what we are about, truly, especially when protected by the Internet's relative anonymity.

I think the issue of who we are vs. who we present ourselves to be, in Friendster, on JDate, in our writing/work, or in actual live-in-person life, is a very complicated one, and begs analysis of the central issue: who determines the truth of who a person is, that person or others? How much of the "real person" is in the online representations of us?

In other words, the age-old meaning of life question: Who are we, and why are we here? And can any reflection truly reflect the totality of who we are?

2 Comments:

At 2:57 PM, July 07, 2004, Blogger Jen(nifer) said...

Very interesting...

I know personally I found myself sending out email rants to my friends and beign dissapointed when no one would write back and acknowledge me : ( so putting these thoughts into a blog...makes me think that at least people are checking it out.

And through this I found other bloggers who I identify with...many times 30 somethings, political-law blogs, women and dating blogs...or other people who are just entertaining or informative. THEY check me out every once in a while...and it gives me some kind of validation for what I do...and blog about...and think about.

And for me, it is all about the attention! : )

 
At 6:03 PM, July 07, 2004, Blogger the fbg said...

It ("it" being the meta of it all) cropped up often on my old blog, but on CG I hated the moment we were forced to write a mini-manifesto. It's really, now, just my shared, fun space. I think some of my identity really gets out there, but in real life I'm not quite as shallow as I can seem on the blog.

That's not to say that it's inaccurate -- you get a glimpse of me. Sometimes, from one glimpse, people stay and look a little longer. And, if you're really lucky, that blogger you found interesting long enough to linger a while turns out to be someone you can't get enough of looking at. :)

 

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My Urban Kvetch: MANIFESTO OF THE SELF

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

MANIFESTO OF THE SELF

In visiting many of my favorite blogs, this issue keeps coming up, so I might as well address it.

Today alone, I found the following entries on blogs pondering the Big Reason behind all the blogging.

Alyssa mourns a less-than-stellar review by a weblog reviewer.

Fish ponders her own existence and considers hanging up her keyboard.

Over in Israel, Jacob Shwirtz wonders:
To what degree do we create "online identities" and to what degree are we "putting our identity online?"

In life, we've all had experiences where, after talking to someone on the phone or via email, or after "getting to know them" via their blog, we meet them for the first time--how many times has the physical manifestation of that person been exactly what you were expecting? Hasn't it been your experience that any photo that person had sent you, literally or figuratively, just didn't seem accurate? This is sometimes expressed as "he looks nothing like his picture," or "I expected someone totally different." In either case, that person reflected through our own eyes, does not measure up or measures up differently.

How much more so is this often true in our own eyes. We catch a glimpse of ourselves in a store window, in a photograph or on videotape, and do a double-take. "That looks nothing like me..." we say. That portrait/reflection does not fit our own idea of who we are and what we look like.

It is an issue most bloggers confront at one time or another. Many of us have felt the need to post our raisons d'etre or state our manifestos clearly, so people will know who we are and why we're here. We look for people who are like us, and for people who will like us. We blog what we are about, truly, especially when protected by the Internet's relative anonymity.

I think the issue of who we are vs. who we present ourselves to be, in Friendster, on JDate, in our writing/work, or in actual live-in-person life, is a very complicated one, and begs analysis of the central issue: who determines the truth of who a person is, that person or others? How much of the "real person" is in the online representations of us?

In other words, the age-old meaning of life question: Who are we, and why are we here? And can any reflection truly reflect the totality of who we are?

2 Comments:

At 2:57 PM, July 07, 2004, Blogger Jen(nifer) said...

Very interesting...

I know personally I found myself sending out email rants to my friends and beign dissapointed when no one would write back and acknowledge me : ( so putting these thoughts into a blog...makes me think that at least people are checking it out.

And through this I found other bloggers who I identify with...many times 30 somethings, political-law blogs, women and dating blogs...or other people who are just entertaining or informative. THEY check me out every once in a while...and it gives me some kind of validation for what I do...and blog about...and think about.

And for me, it is all about the attention! : )

 
At 6:03 PM, July 07, 2004, Blogger the fbg said...

It ("it" being the meta of it all) cropped up often on my old blog, but on CG I hated the moment we were forced to write a mini-manifesto. It's really, now, just my shared, fun space. I think some of my identity really gets out there, but in real life I'm not quite as shallow as I can seem on the blog.

That's not to say that it's inaccurate -- you get a glimpse of me. Sometimes, from one glimpse, people stay and look a little longer. And, if you're really lucky, that blogger you found interesting long enough to linger a while turns out to be someone you can't get enough of looking at. :)

 

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