Monday, November 29, 2004

The person behind the blogger

There's an interesting post at Crescat about what blogs do and don't tell you about the blogger's actual life. Will refutes an accusation that he spends all his time drinking and calling out to the internet for board-game buddies, noting that he also reads, drinks tea with a friend, listens to classical music, and talks to his girlfriend. Essentially, Will is saying that he is busier, more socially capable, and, perhaps most importantly, more sober, than some had inferred after reading his last few posts.

(A reader of this blog might deduce that I spend an inordinate amount of time combing the streets of NYC and Chicago for dogs to photograph, that I think a lot about France, Jews, and French Jews, and that I have a crush on the actor Peter Sarsgaard. All true.)

The thing with these political-law-academic blogs is that they don't promise to tell anything about the blogger's personal life. In other words, just because there's no mention of a spouse or significant other doesn't mean that none exists, no mention of a job doesn't mean that the blogger is unemployed, and no mention of specific professors doesn't mean that a student is uninterested in his or her classes.

The lack of information provided by blogs thus forces the (bored, procrastinating) reader to make some inferences about the life of the blogger. Since all but the most self-deprecating of bloggers neglect to post about, say, having spent the past few hours moping or watching a crappy t.v. show, this part of the blogger's life is almost always left out, making the blog-person sound more productive than the real-person. But, at the same time, we know, by definition, that the blogger is, well, blogging, so any assertions by a blogger that he or she is in fact a jet-setting socialite without a minute to spare ought not to be taken too seriously.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

So what does it mean that my last two posts have been about how I don't have any time to post?