Human contact via virtual blogs

postsecret

Being anonymous beings: post secrets.

I have been reading and writing a blog on the internet since they were called online diaries; my first one was so simplistic compared to this one, you could not upload images to compliment the written word nor could you link to something that inspired a particular entry. Youtube did not yet exist so there was no sharing a video – it was all dependent on words – true diary form non?

There was a particular author that wrote about her sexual relationship with an older man, it was a good diary filled with emotion, lust and often tenderness between them. One day she wrote about being confused and the inability to end the relationship because it was her father.

Of course that got me upset; I felt that since I had spent months reading this anonymous blog it meant I was supportive of the relationships nature when truly I had no idea. And when I say I got upset I mean it! My partner found me pacing back and forth and talking to the computer screen. In my head every little word I had read now had an entirely different meaning and there was that one time the entry was rather graphic and I was turned on. I am surely going to hell for this.

My ex partner M was my opposite in that we truly kept one another balanced, when I was angry he was not, when he was upset I was calm and on this particular new interweeb adventure he sat and listened as I verbally threw up all over the place; I am French so I speak with my hands and often change from one language to another.

“Pyx, why are you so upset” – the question was infuriating, but why was I so upset? Well my knee jerk reaction would say that I am against incest of course but I had to admit that I felt a bit set up by the author – why had this not been mentioned before! I felt denied information that would have allowed me to make a choice about reading it. She purposely turned me on knowing this bomb would be detonated later on.

“What are you going to do about it?” – well, pfft, what the fuck, I don’t know. The truth was I didn’t.

“Do you believe what you are reading is real?” – well yeah she wrote it. I mean it felt so sincere, vivid and intimate. Who the fuck would make shit up like that?! Do people make stuff up and then put it on the internet? What if someone finds it and finds out who she is, her dad could get in trouble and.. and…“don’t all good authors push our buttons?”

It had never occurred to me back then, when the internet was soft, shiny and new that someone would make something like that up and it hit me like a ton of brick right in the gut. I remember sitting down and lighting a smoke, thinking hard and silently to myself; this thing, this World Wide Web is going to fuck us all up. My brain, our brains, are not developed to deal with this virtual insanity!

“Are you going to keep reading it?” he asked me point blank and all I could do was admit that if something I read was affecting me so how could I? “but the news affects you like this, something a proff says gets you motivated” he was being logical when I was being emotional “but what if it is real?” I said. “you will never know” and that was it right there, I won’t ever know will I. I had to set a few limits for myself and what it was I willing to read and get involved with, the world is filled with horrible circumstances and though I believe it is good to be informed I had to save myself from this kind of reaction. I did not ever want to get caught up in it again. I can only control the virtual world from my end of the screen: I can only police myself.

Like many a good blogger when this world wide web began we became taken with the fact that we were peeking in on the private lives of others, good intentions and all we pushed aside fact and we chose to take someone at their word. We forgot what we had learned as children: that any given situation involving more than one person will be told differently from their perspective. There is what happened and then there is what each individual believes took place.  It did not take my brain long to come to terms with distancing myself, emotionally, from what was being presented. This led to many a long night, searching sources, following a link and become a virtual private eye of sorts – now I didn’t believe anything I was reading!

One day about ten years ago I had been hosting a very popular sexual kink blog on a particular site that allowed all its members to host their own. My friend who was and is a kink’ologist (yeah I made that up) had a blog, I knew him in real life as a very professional man and had traveled and worked with his company several times. Anyhow he wrote an entry in his blog, a generic condolence of sorts and linked to another blog on the same site. I had no idea of whom he was speaking so I was not about to write some comment but I did follow the link to this woman’s blog: It was a suicide note.

I was so enraged at my friend that HE would link to such a thing AND have the nerve to post a condolence entry, I found it offensive that we had become so removed from the human condition that even a cry for help was now pure entertainment. I did not care if she actually died but for the sake of a few hundred hits he led me there; now it could not be unseen. I called the site admin and asked to have the entry removed; it was disgusting how everyone seemed to be suddenly taken with her: I reasoned that if she lives and wants her blog back she can call the site admin. I called my friend on the phone and explained to him why I did what I did and how I felt about it – we are still good friends – but even he agreed that perhaps he had overlooked something: that is someone’s daughter, friend, sister, and or mother.

I took a leave of absence from my kink blog. I focused instead on my political and academic writing; it is true I work best with human beings at some remove – numbers, graphs, and facts. I missed writing in my kink blog and I had put myself in a corner for three months before I went back. Once again I had to make more ‘rules’ for myself on how I was going to manage this whole online thing. I have never been good with other people’s emotions, it was not their fault, it was my fault I got so involved and instead I chose to remind my readers that there is a human being on the other end of this thing: a real person.

I will never forget my first email from a young man asking me for help. Me?! and what do I do to follow through?

Can I actually help someone virtually, miles away, of a completely different culture via this thing? Do I really want to step willingly into a pile of shit? Oh the hours I have spent on this thing and for what? All in order to make myself feel better, better than someone else; as if I needed the internet to help me realize I had things pretty fucking good. I have been called every name in the book from a Nazi, anti-Semite, whore, bitch, fat, ugly, Liberal, Communist, woman and all if it rolls of my back; I once offered a man a plane ticket to come say the things he was saying to my face. He declined.  People have some pretty big balls when they are safely tucked behind a computer monitor but now someone was actually asking me for help.

Being out here as I am I take a risk of I am reading is: pure crap, pleasurable, funny and entertaining, informative and others are talented beyond belief and should be writing. I cannot control – no one can – what goes on the internet and I had to give up that illusion of power. I don’t waste time arguing a point with virtual people, I lack the interest to placate someone with a generic comment, but I read some things that I consider horrible and often want that person to know that I read the whole fucking thing but what do you say? ‘sorry you are fucking up your life like this. I am so glad I am not you. Great blog!’ ?

Oh certainly there was a time when I thought people should need a psych evaluation to prove they are capable of using this thing but then what fun would that be? I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it is in our human nature to sit back and watch someone blow up their world; as long as they don’t bring their ass to our front door. I just don’t like that part of myself and as hard as I try to stay away from people who think they are life coaches and gurus, and clearly give evidence to prove otherwise, I like knowing exactly who to stay away from; some people are just fucking crazy and it shows. It takes a particularly self-discipline to not go back and look but how do I manage me and stay human on this thing?

I responded to that email, explained that I was busy but would make time to ‘chat’ with him later on that evening. I even downloaded ICQ, remember that old thing?! And I sat myself down with coffee at the ready and ‘listened’ to him cry. I didn’t have any advice, nor was I willing to impose my views on him but I certainly felt some empathy for anyone feeling so isolated and removed for society. A week later he thanked me and said that was all he needed was someone to listen and I felt good about that: I managed my own way through this virtual world.

8 comments on “Human contact via virtual blogs

  1. You do help me. Just being yourself, setting an example of how one can be/think/do. I will never claim I know it all or enough that I can lead, but people can learn from my mistakes. Not people like you, but people like me. Anyway, good entry as always. I sure appreciate that you are mot nee to this blogging thing.

    • Pyx says:

      You could think I dont learn from people but I do – often other people remind me that I can be too removed, in that having feelings isnt always a bad thing. I like reading blogs written by women, for the sheer pleasure that women are writing about what they are going through! I have to work at some things that come naturally to some.

      Maybe i was trying to explain why I come off as silent a lot of the time or appear to lack empathy: i mean have you read some of these blogs?! I sometimes want to yell ‘get some professional help’ or I am actually cheering them on. You can’t read all this stuff and not have it affect you right?

      Okay I might projecting now but seriously, an entry that might not even feel all that great to post really can impact someone else, and i think that’s pretty cool! yes even boobies can brighten up someone’s day.. think about it. A funny blog can make us laugh out loud and feel good.

      I don’t it all either but I can’t help but still enjoying being amazed by the whole thing.

      • I can’t afford to seek professional help so that is why I’m here playing blog while I avoid most of the real issues plaguing me. But if I wrote everything I was feeling I’m sure you would have tactfully suggested therapy… it wouldn’t be the first time.

        And I know, you are only a person. You aren’t getting paid to work out my challenges in life. I get what you are saying about getting dumped on and why? It doesn’t happen to me because I tend to be the dumper. I warn people in advance though.

        You are a smart woman, no doubt, and have had experiences that led you to confidently stand by your values and self-truths. I am a smart woman myself, but I’ve allowed myself to be led and controlled for a long time, and the parts of me that allow proper decision making and working out of emotional disturbances (because I just give in) has atrophied.

        Until my husband found my blog, I was comfortable with it evolving into more of a personal blog, less about sex. It didn’t take me long to figure out sex was not the answer or cure for my relationship problems. But when he found it, that all changed because again I had to mold myself to fit his ideals.

        I don’t care who else reads the comments I make on your blog, I don’t want to hide the real G in places I don’t think he will find. But does it upset you that I play like its all fine on my blog but I act a different way on yours? I signed up for honest communication when I clicked follow up there. So let me know.

    • Pyx says:

      Okay I did not see that coming. Honestly and I am being so sincere when I say this, I don’t think I
      have ever read something you wrote here or anywhere and felt I was in a position to think such
      things of you. It does not upset me in the least that you are capable to say what you think and feel and have it be perfectly sensible! My blog is your blog! I only ever got a couple of comments from you that would leave me with an impression that you were going through something and have never found you to be misleading. I value my privacy and feel that you are balancing the same thing in a realistic manner.

      How do I say this… it is not misleading to log in and choose to write a positive entry, something fun, something silly when you might be feeling the opposite, in fact I argue that doing so is in fact a way of choosing to exert some self-control. Let’s be honest we have to look for good news, we have to seek out a happy ending – it’s why I love those viral animal videos – because we can get so overrun with negatives that it is our best interest to find positives.

      I am not some dope smoking hippie here, but I cannot fault you for writing to make yourself feel good; your blog is your own little piece of the world, I have no rule there.

      I think blogs present us all with a good therapeutic tool to express ourselves. Sometimes the things we are thinking aren’t really true or something we would act on, because sometimes they are horrible but it does feel good to say them: that is in essence what a therapy does.

      Now having a husband find a blog, I understand completely what you mean: I call it self censoring. My husband when he wasn’t my husband was on the same kink site where I had my blog, and he would come back at me in person with something I had written. I would do the same to him. I started to write differently and it didn’t feel good. I had to ask him to no longer read my blog and promise to leave his alone – he knows of this blog and I am not saying anything I wouldn’t say to him but some of it is personal and not about him. I would say it differently to him. It can be limiting. So if you say something here when you have said something different in your blog – yeah now I get it but I assure you have never felt this way about anything you have said.

      That all sounds about the girlie’st thing I have ever written. LOL

      I wish I could help people, I hate to see suffering but I know I can’t and it isn’t about money or getting involved it is honestly about not setting someone up to fail – I don’t have all the answers and I can’t fix everything. Virtually when you are unable to be in a room with someone and assess them, because the physical is an important part of discourse, how serious do I really want to get? I know my next comment with resonate with you – what I dislike are the people who visit a blog and then write a comment where they assume they know the situation and make serious comments on what people should do. ‘oh he is just a loser you should dump him’ WTF????

      Ever leave a comment, in a good tone, well intentioned, only to go back and find the author has freaked out and taken it all way out of context?! Yeah that is what it means to comment on blogs. Once you write something down it is no longer your words but becomes a thing for them to read with whatever emotion they are feeling at the time and hit you with it: and if you do not agree with them they argue with you and don’t want to hear it. So yeah why would I bother with that kind of crap. Some people are writing for self pitty and attention and I never got that from you.

      Someone wants my help, it’s why I have a contact page, and I promise nothing – trust me there are plenty of people I have said ‘sorry I cannot help you nor am I interested’ and you certainly do not strike me as someone I would be unwilling to listen to it is after all why I read your blog and enjoy your comments.

      • It is hard to respond to things that make me feel better sometimes. Thank you for saying what you did here.

        I agree that it pisses me off when I’ve seen people dole out advice and not realize that only one side of the story is being portrayed in every blog. Almost every blog, I guess. I’m happy to lend an ear, but like you said also, I’m just a person.

        And one time I did take a comment wrong, Nick if you are reading this is you, but now I realize what a great piece of advice it was and so sweet and sincere.

        I’m still trying to respond to this too fast. I think I take my time getting back to things like this because it has to sink in and because I know I have to devote proper time to respond. I don’t feel like this response does it justice.

        Thank you, Pyx!

  2. kdaddy23 says:

    Yep, behind every blog there’s a real person and one who’s writing for whatever purpose pleases them. It stands to reason that, over time, you’ll start following other blogs, pieces of someone else’s mind that can delight you, inform you, shock you, or just leave you with that “duh” feeling… and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this because you get to learn something and maybe you’ll learn something that’ll help make sense of your day-to-day existence, something that might inspire you to write on your own blog.

    And when we comment on the blogs of others, well, a lot of that depends on how we’re feeling and what we’re thinking about what we just read and, yep, we might respond one way on someone’s blog but write our own blog in a different vein… and that’s okay, too, because how we write and how we might respond to someone’s blog isn’t always going to be in the same way.

    But no matter what’s being written or what’s being read, there are always real people on the other side of that monitor, sitting at their keyboard – as I am doing – and adding to the experience I think we’re all here to share in.

    Otherwise, there would be no bloggers… or if there were, everything written would be sterile and devoid of life… clinical, detached and maybe artificial because blogs tend to reflect real people, real thoughts, real feelings and, most important, real purposes, oh, like, being able to know that there are others like us, people with bigger problems than we could imagine for ourselves, people who are just living large, living lustily, and even downright funny.

    And if you’re reacting to a blog in any way, does it not remind you that you are alive and not closed off in some box? And that can only be a good thing…

    • Pyx says:

      Alive. hummm….

      I don’t know, I am the kind of person that looks away when she drives by a car accident and I certainly did not want to be a rubber neck online when I see a horrific crash. It was dangerously close there for a time where someone’s blog, what they were feeling, was just another entry to read: click, like, skip a paragraph, leave a comment or move on to the next.

      Certainly if I am yelling at the screen that someone should go and get help should I not be just as willing to yell ‘I am willing to help’? was always my way of trying to work things out.

      Unlike some people who blog I grew up without the internet so my feet are firmly planted in a world where we did not go about broadcasting to everyone our issues and the people that did were certainly not held in high regard – so you have 500 watchers reading about you wanting to slit your wrists every other week, what does that do for them? What does it do for me?! And then I am not supposed to be disappointed when they don’t?! Why am I now yelling ‘oh fuck just die already!!!’ or ‘here let me send you a new box of razor blades’ that is another human being.

      Fuck me. I do not like that I think this way but I have to work and change how I saw bloggers – yeah they are real people, yes they are really hurting and a lot of them are crap but you know what some of them are just beyond virtual help and I am not going to keep clicking on their blog and watch. I get to decide who I am sticking with and how much I am going to invest in their story.
      It’s too emotional sometimes, so yes I do feel alive and yes it does expose things about me that I do not like and then I come across someone who inspires me and has a soothing affect and I assure you I read them more often than the other because it is my choice and how I balance this blog stuff.

      Not everyone knows how to do that yet.

      When did you start blogging and how did you balance reality, privacy with what you were reading? And how do you balance a willingness to help via comments vs getting involved with someone (time wise) by other means?

      it’s all rather fascinating to me.

      • kdaddy23 says:

        I started about three years ago when a buddy on a swinging site we were both on started posting links to her blogs… and I thought it was a good idea so I started blogging and pretty much emptying my head. I understood, right from the beginning, that once I started writing, I wasn’t going to be able to hide behind my keyboard and, indeed, I felt that if I tried to unreal or doing my best to maintain privacy, then I wouldn’t be writing the way I wanted to write and with the full knowledge that anyone reading my blog would get to know me.

        Okay, I was good with that. As I started following other blogs, I saw some where people had questions… and I had the answers or knew how to guide them to find the answers they sought so I’d put my two cents in and always with the understanding that I could be wrong and also understanding that the blog’s author had to make up their own mind about whatever help I gave them. Yeah, some folks I got involved with (and I still am); it’s about writing… but it’s also about making friends as well and my overall belief that if you can help someone, you should.

        Balance. I never really thought about balance in that sense; I’m either going to comment and help (if that’s why I’m commenting) or I’m not – it’s a judgment call and sometimes instinct says, “Oh, hell no, don’t go there!” Nothing makes me feel as bad as knowing that there’s nothing I can do to help someone… but I accept that, even in this venue, that’s not always possible.

        And through it all, it’s a constant reality check for me, to make sure that my mind remains as open as I can be, to take in the diverse experiences and writings of others and then to develop – and even share – my own thoughts on what I’m reading and mainly because you gotta participate in life; you gotta take the good with the bad, realize and understand you own position on things because, otherwise, you’re just a billboard on the side of the road, static and going nowhere.

        I know as I sit here every day and read the blogs I follow, I am amused, entertained, confused, pissed off, befuddled, sad, happy, horny and the whole gamut of emotions… and if nothing else, I know that I’m alive, that I’m not only in touch with myself but I am not numb to things outside of my existence. I love interacting with people intelligently and even emotionally and blogging fulfills some things within me and, again, reminds me that I am alive, that I’ve not become stagnant and while it’s not as good as sex, it’s still a pretty good feeling.

        I’ve gotten to know people I’ll probably never, ever meet and, yep, some of them I’m on intimate terms with and I don’t regret starting my blog and not hiding who and what I am or what I’m thinking because I have nothing to hide and, duh, life is about sharing, ain’t it?

        My lady is a subscriber to my blog so she gets to read everything I write so that some added interaction because it generates communication between us either on ‘personal’ topics or just for good old general conversation. She thinks I’m nuts when she peeks over my shoulder and sees me writing an email to someone I’ve met in the blogosphere – and she not only doesn’t object but she approves… because she understands the person I am and the more she understands me, the better our relationship is.

        I grew up in that generation where being real is something serious as well as not only being yourself but being able to express yourself. Writing my blog – and responding to blogs I follow – helps to serve that purpose and, really, anything less than that defeats who and what I am – and I ain’t trying to hear that.

        Besides, it is so much fun…

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