(a note to the gentle reader : this article is a continuation of the preceding blog entry “further explorations on the nature of writing”)
What satisfaction does one get from having a completely different online image than what is actually already existing? To start, one gets to feed one’s own fantasies. It always starts with the self; rather, it always is about the self—the ego, the super ego and the id at play in the playground of your mind. Others may conjecture that they start a blog to address a humanitarian cause they feel very much passionate with, and that it’s not always about the self. This writer begs to differ in opinion by offering another way of looking at the genesis of such blogs. Let’s set our eyes on a completely hypothetical blog that caters to featuring the different handicrafts produced by cultural minorities. The owner might say he does it because the mangyans or the aetas are close to his heart. That might be true at some level, that the owner really does feel an affinity to the tribes he is supporting. But why? There always has to be a deeper explanation to things. One just cannot say because “i love them” or “i feel close to them”. A good follow up question will be, why do you feel close to them? Ask probing questions to get a glimpse of the workings of one’s psyche, and it will always redound to the self gratifying on some levels needs one is barely conscious of, but are there nonetheless, shaping one’s actions.
Yet, that does not still answer the question of satisfaction gained from the fabrication of supposed data making up one’s digital DNA in cyberspace. It just makes us aware of the self and its needs; and so we therefore make it the springboard to launching several hypotheses with regard to the concept of image or online persona. Some blog owners are very open to volunteering personal information about themselves, even reaching the point of posting their likenesses in the internet. These images, and accompanying information, keep us readers or followers of the blog updated with the blog owner’s personal life; in the process getting a glimpse too, of the owner’s personality, with each personal dealings recounted. But what if this personality, this life as we’ve come to know the person leads, is just made up—a product of a rich and vivid imagination akin to poets and playwrights? How are we supposed to know which part of the tale is true and which is not? Which picture is original or taken from somewhere else? Which is photoshoped, and which is raw and unprocessed? We may never really know. And what could really get us scratching our heads is the question : why are they doing it?
In support to the “self and needs” theory (it’s been way too long since i’ve been in a psych class so kindly provide the apt terminology for this, if ever you, gentle reader, is up to the challenge) we raise the following possible reasons :
1. Low-self esteem – the internet, over the years of its existence, has been known to provide a good avenue for self-expression. People who are introverts and who shy away in normal dealings for reasons that may range from personal issues regarding one’s physical make-up/ attributes, to a long-standing inferiority complex resulting from imbalances in the psyche caused by both internal and external factors, may use the internet, or blogs to be more specific, to build up on their self esteem. It’s very tempting to say things which are not true to make one feel beautiful, handsome, or socially accepted. This fabrication may soon result to one searching for images to support what has already been “established” as true and factual.
2. Escapist fare – one good reason as to why the internet has gained a large number of following over the years of its existence, is its ability to provide its users, through the varied sites and services, a means to escaping their worries and concerns even for a bit; a user may find oneself engrossed in reading an exciting account of one’s summer getaway; or one’s new finds while raiding a shopping mall in one of its midnight sales. It is therefore not a far-fetched idea that someone (in this case an up and coming blogger) might think of making use of his writing skills as a means of getting away from one’s boring life; adding a dash of color, and a spice of glam to it, so to speak.
3. A means to getting several needs answered (eg physical/sexual, material needs) –A well fabricated blog could give us lots of things. It could bring us adoration. It could bring us fame. It could get us material things. It could bring us love. Not exactly love, but well, for a start, the attention of a potential target in the human relations department. It is not uncommon nowadays to see blog sites that brandish the owner’s bravado when it comes to sexual liaisons. Tell-all blogs are a magnet to getting more one-night stands, or better yet a patron ready to shower one with material things, should one decide to lavish one’s attentions on that person. A blogger may resort to fabricating tons and tons of information masquerading as “facts” just to sustain this lifestyle.
Despite this gloomy discussion, still there are blogs in existence that remain truthful to the owner’s life lived outside the internet; blogs that are more avenues for introspection, than avenues for social networking; blogs that make one think on the mysteries of life.
More on this vein of thought when inspirations strikes. Until then, ciao.