I’ve written before how my “online life” started over 3 years ago when my husband suggested that I might like twitter. Up until then, I was lucky enough to miss the MySpace and Facebook outlets. I just wasn’t interested. Sure, I was reading my news online and did a few forums, but I would not say any part of my life was online. Until twitter, I didn’t even really understand blogs or their community.
After about 6 months on twitter, I noticed people tweeting links. I would click on these links and it would take me to their life. I still remember the first blogs I found online.
I also remember my internal reaction. “What is this? Why are they writing about their life? Should I be reading this? “
This written life was displayed on my screen for me to read. These lives made me laugh, cry and admire them for exposing their souls. It connected me to women living lives like mine and not like mine. It was life changing.
I continued on with my 140 happily. It was nice that people were putting together paragraphs and stuff, but I was just fine with sentences.
I mostly still am.
And then 2 years ago, with a little encouragement, and a little nudging, I started my own online life.
If you’re reading this, this site is part of it. I also have a whole row of buttons up there. Each of them their own little chapter in this computer life I lead.
I’ve written each chapter over the past 3 years through which, I’ve published them in a public way. For someone to read, maybe laugh, and possibly let them into my soul.
In the beginning, people who came to my blog were fellow bloggers who understood exactly what was going on. I read them, maybe they read me, and it was a symbiotic relationship. There was no weirdness, nothing awkward about it. Online to online relationships are really easy that way.
Then, and I’m not sure when, it started to change.
Maybe someone local to me joined twitter or friended me on Facebook. I was suggested for them to follow, so they did. They see a link that I publish and this time it takes them to my online life. Maybe they knew about it, maybe not.
They read, maybe laugh, and then it happens. What do they do with this information? Do they bring it up to me? Do they try to hide the fact that they read it? Did they not like what they read and would like to scrub their eyes out with an SOS pad?
Being a blogger allows people to read a whole lot about you before you even know their last name. It exposes you to judgment that would otherwise take years to acquire.
For me, I write online and (so the stats tell me) know that people read it even if they don’t comment. I know when my name has been searched online. I also know when I have a bunch of posts read only once that day that it’s probably a new reader.
Is it a random person?
A family member? (waves to mother in law)
Someone from school?
The deli man?
It would be silly for me to say that I don’t want people to read my online book. I don’t know anyone who publishes online who would be ok if their book was just sitting on the shelf getting dusty. But what type of response is appropriate? I can’t answer that. Some people in my life will bring up something I wrote to talk about it. Some laugh at me, some judge me, and probably a few avoid me.
And that’s all ok.
My book isn’t finished yet.