I am a ghost
So I want to take an imaginary poll about my post yesterday. How many of you think:
1) My husband really is an Internet troll
2) I made that story up to add a bit of humor to soften criticism of a class of behavior you see all over the Internet
3) Some parts of the story about my husband are true, particularly that bit about the pizza restaurant poll, but other parts are fiction
4) Who cares?
In my internet travels, I have come to enjoy reading a few of the "mommy bloggers" who have made it big. And by "big" I mean what started out as little blogs have turned into million dollar enterprises. Two I am talking about today are Heather Armstrong and Ree Drummond. Both are interesting people who write simply and eloquently about their lives. I have followed them for years admiring their photography and writing skills. Mind you, these blogs are carefully cultivated brands with staff, not moms sitting at their kitchen tables while baby naps.
Yesterday I learned an interesting thing. Both of these women have large groups of "haters" who spend energy mocking them and writing about them and generally finding fault with every word they say and every action they take. I was sort of stunned. Why would someone hate a blogger so much that they spend time and energy creating other blogs simply to mock them? If you don't like what they say, don't read it? Simple right? Apparently not.
I think some of the hate is grounded in the separation between the Heather and Ree described on their blogs and the real people. Readers assume that the "persona" is the same thing as the person, which allows them a false sense of intimacy. Then, when there are hints that "Heather" and "Ree" as presented on the blog are less complex than women behind the brand, readers get upset and stomp around throwing down words like "hypocrite" and "fake."
What I wonder is what makes anyone think they know "You" just because you share a snapshot of a part of your life on a blog?
The image above is one of claudia222 jewel's ghosts and if you look carefully you can see a small blurry person in the background. The ghost is the blogger, the blur is the real person. Make sense?