In our own era of verbal diarrhoea, confrontation, spin and expletives, such social barriers appear not to exist, and most anything goes. However, in many western societies a veil of political correctness is pervasive in our day to day communications. Equally, it is still socially impermissible to "bear your soul" to anyone other than your close ones after a jar of social lubrication and then, we still often conceal our real feelings on a particular topic, even in our deepest and most honest relationships. If you have ever written a letter to a loved one, you probably comprehend how much more expressive you are in the medium, often, to the surprise of the object of you affection.
Blogging, as I have discovered, is the new surrogate for yesteryear's correspondence, albeit anonymously (I know, I am a bit slow sometimes).
As a Virgin Blogger, I have learned much about my fellow man (gender inspecific) and am struck by the emotional pathways that have been opened for me reading other’s blogs. As with any medium there is a lot of rubbish, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am taken by the quality of the communication delivered through blogs.
In all honesty, I never read a blog before I started my own last month. I started as a way to communicate with Girl while she was globetrotting, at her suggestion. I embarked on my own cathartic journey for a loved one but soon found it self indulgent, my new therapy! I was not of importance to me that anyone read my blog, it just felt good to spill out the recess of mind brimming with rubbish, and it got my endorphins buzzing.
Now the contagion has infected me and spread. My weekly therapy is a key part of my current life but as importantly, reading other’s blogs has become compulsive. My own narrowly defined remit has focused on expats as this theme has been central to my existence, and it has taken me to many new places.
Whether it is Mimi’s volcanic roller coaster existence and desire to put media scum and vankers in their place, Jonny's insights into social inequities and life in South Africa and how it affects him and his family, Pomgirl’s emotional integrity and northern humour, Englishman in Osaka's homemade origami, Karla’s Texan humorous adventures in Oslo, Gay Banker’s comments on the International Wanking Crisis, or Petite Anglaise's frog bashing, the connection has become compulsive. (I big Canadian apology to all of the other blogs I read weekly that I have not mentioned).
It is my birthday today and as I write this I remind myself this is the one time of the year I allow myself to indulge in such reflective sentimental drivel. I also remind myself that I have a very rich and fulfilling life and am loved more by Girl and our families and friends than a man could ask for. I try to return this at every opportunity.
There is something deeply human about making connections. It is a part of all of our primordial DNA. There is something even more fundamentally human about honest connections. Blogs can offer these new connections. You do not have to know someone in the flesh to admire, empathise, laugh, cry, get angry, agree or disagree (with), or be inspired (by) them.
There is a great integrity and courage in laying one’s life out openly for all to see and interact with, regardless of your own spin on it, or anonymity. You cannot get more human that this!
Therapy session terminated, 15:50, 24 November 2007.