Tuesday, February 14, 2006

privacy & independence

last night after writing my blog entry i wasted some time by doing a search on blogs with "cherice" in them (that being my name, in case you hadn't noticed), just to see who else was out there blogging with my name. there are a few people, and it's weird to see pics of other cherices because i've never met anyone else with my name, spelled exactly the same.

at any rate, it was interesting to see what these random other people talked about--these people with whom i don't know if i have anything in common besides our shared name, the fact that we write in english, are presumably female and have blogs. most of them were things like, "so this is the random thing i did today..."

it got me thinking about blogging in general. isn't it weird? i mean, here we are in independent america (or other western-english-speaking-countries), where (at least in america) what we value about our society as a whole is our independence. it's our only national holiday, really. we generally like the fact that we don't need anyone else, we can get by on our own thank you very much, we lead our own lives in our own space, never really interacting with people outside of our circles (and we call this independence, which is kind of ironic but that's another topic for another day perhaps...)

but now there are blogs. i can search and find people with my same name, and hear the mundane details of their lives. it's almost like reading their journal. i'll never meet them, and if i did it would be kind of weird to say, "oh yeah, i know all about you. on february 13 you hung out with..." and so forth, because in our culture part of our value of independence is the right to privacy.

why is it that the internet seems so public and so impersonal? i guess because it's so vast--not many people are going to look for your blog if they don't know you, and so what if they read it?

and yet, it seems like some blogs are a kind of desperate shout-out to the world--like people are yelling, "someone notice me! someone care that this is what i did today!"

in our culture where we isolate ourselves in the name of independence, i think we've lost a great deal. maybe blogging will help us collectively realize our need for interdependence...or maybe it'll just be another band-aid to make us not notice our need for relationship.

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