Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Stalking

Blog stalking is something that most people who write blogs are perfectly fine with. As a blogger, I love the anonymous, and not so anonymous comments. I check and see if someone exotic has looked at my blog recently. And I revel in the moments when an acquaintance mentions something about something I've written.

And, as a blogger, I censor the things that I want to share with the world versus the things that I would rather keep private. Sometimes I share too much... but for the most part, I've created an online persona that I can deal with, and released information enough that I am not embarrassed or ashamed or anything about revealing. Every once in a while I think, "Why did I share that?" But then, it doesn't always seem to matter because the number of strangers that read my blog is rather small.

As I blogger, I understand that other bloggers have done much the same as I have. They've created their online characters and given glimpses into their personal lives, revealing with what they can live with and leaving us in the dark on many other important topics.

And that's where the true stalking comes in to play. After all, it isn't really stalking if you're just reading something that someone's posted on their public blog. It is stalking if you've noticed something about that person, but have no evidence to back it up and so you go searching for other clues.

e.g.

You read an old acquaintance's blog because it is funny and entertaining and it is fun to see where he (or she) is headed to next. You happen to know -- because you saw photo evidence on their blog or Facebook or wherever -- that they got married some years ago. And yet, you've noticed that their blog, and not even their Facebook, has shown any evidence that the marriage took place since the wedding pictures have been posted. There are always the blogs that go on and on about how great the DH is (I have always assumed that stands for "dear husband", can someone verify that for me?) or status updates about what you and the husband have been doing? Or that the wife is angry or.... whatever.

There's usually not nothing.

So does that mean there was a divorce?

Since it is really none of my business, it seems completely out of place to even ask. It seems sneaky and underhanded and gossipy -- in a very bad way -- to ask a mutual friend. And you know that if they had wanted to make it public, they probably would have written about it.

But that's just an example. There are other bloggers that may promise a follow-up on a rather personal story, but then never follow through. It's easy to forget about the things you are going to write about, so it's a possibility of having just slipped the writer's mind. On the other hand, they might have thought better of their intention to disclose their personal life, and decided not to post. In those cases, it seem like the reader can acceptably ask about the author's intentions, but then again, it also sounds a little stalkerish.

I guess what I'm getting at, is there is a line between blog author and reader. And most people, while dying to get to the nitty-gritty information, are not going to cross the line into prying. At least, I'm not. But it's still killing me that I don't know the answers!

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