Monday, October 12, 2015

Discussion Post- Blogging Vs. Real Life



I've been thinking of this topic for a while. A lot of times on blogs I see people say they're not comfortable in large groups or social situations, or they're just introverted  and need alone time to recharge. The other thing I see a lot is bloggers saying that one reason they blog is because in "real life" they don't have anyone, or very many people, to talk books with. I can understand that. With a few exceptions, there aren't many people in my life who care about graphic novels or want to talk about Game of Thrones or the new mystery. So we blog, and find our people.

It's like going to book or game conventions- sometimes you go to your first one and it's like being home. And then of course there is always con withdrawal when you have to leave. Does anyone else get this?



Now I'm not saying every book blogger is an introvert or dislikes crowds or whatever- it's just an observation. But it seems that we get something from the blogging community that we don't get in real life. And maybe I shouldn't distinguish the two- blogging is real. Even though we may never physically meet the person who leaves a comment, or whose blog we visit, it's still valid- and often even friendship in some cases. Many of us talk about things that "real life" friends or maybe even family members don't know about! A recent example is the mental health stigma posts I saw recently. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there.

Most people in my life know I have a blog but for the most part they probably don't ever look at it. And that's fine! I have the blogging community to talk books. We can share stories about book signings, talk about favorite bookstores and just share the love of books in general. What if a dystopia happened and the Internet went away tomorrow? We'd survive but maybe our lives would be a little less richer, a little less special with all the bookish connections, and yes friendships, that we've made.

So- blogging vs. real life? Maybe they're not so distinct after all. Real life will always take precedence of course- but I think we're pretty blessed to have this as well.

What do you think?

35 comments:

  1. I agree, blogging is real life, just a different area. I have different segments of my life and some overlap but how much varies. There's blogging, teaching, family, friends, reading, editing, Habitat, etc. Blogging is no less valid because it occurs online; it's just as real and valid as any other area. And you are spot on about bloggers and introversion. Some bloggers are introverted but some aren't, just like teachers and editors and car mechanics. I've been fortunate to meet a few of the people I've met online via books but most I will never meet. Our friendships are just as real, just a bit different. They're kind of like pen pals. :)

    Good post!

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    1. That's a great way of looking at it. I often think how much time blogging takes, and what did I do before I did this? :) Finding time to blog was another angle I was going to g owith on this post, but didn't get to. I think for a lot of us all the time spent is worth it when we discover a new book or authors, or just connect with bookish friends.

      Thank for commenting Bea!

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  2. I don't really have anyone in my life with the exception of one close friend who reads so I find coming on to the internet and blogging a great way to speak to others like you who appreciate when a book is coming out etc.

    I wouldn't say I am totally introverted but I would rather stay in than go out, I just have so many what others think are nerdy interests that I feel it is a little pointless to bring them to light in real life as nobody is interested due in my wider group of friends and acquaintances.

    I also don't openly broadcast the fact I am a blogger, I am not sure why as I am not ashamed of it and I love doing it. I need a big badge "I Blog and I am Proud" or words to that effect!!

    This is a great post Greg!

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    1. I have the same thing, there are several friends who loved the same kinds of things as we grew up, but we're dispersed now. Blogging is a great way to meet others who share the same interests- in real life that doesn't really happen.

      I've seen a lot of bloggers say that too- that they don't really advertise their blog to family or friends. I don't either. I mean people know I have one, but for some reason I don't talk about it a lot- it's just easier to keep the two worlds separate. I guess if people aren't interested in real life, reading my blog is not likely to make them love reading all of a sudden!

      I like how you worded that about nerdy interests- so true!

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  3. I love this post, because I've been thinking about this for a while as well. People often distinguish between online life and "real" life, but online life IS a part of your real life. Of course it's different, but it's not like it's this completely separate thing that has no impact on your daily life whatsoever. I've been trying to find a better term for it, and I think lately I've just been calling it offline vs. online (it it even came up), but honestly even that is probably flawed, because a lot of the time people (including me) are online almost constantly via phone.

    As to what I get from blogging it's definitely about finding people with similar interests and talking about things I'm passionate about! It's just so much easier to find people into the same things online (heeeello, Game of Thrones). And of course a lot of the time people who've met online meet in real life and become friends, so that can be pretty awesome too. :)

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    1. Thank you, I've been thinking about it too, especially with all the time it takes to blog. I got wondering why I was putting so much time into it. It really does fill a niche though- as a kid I read to escape the mundane of life, and I guess as a blogger it's just an extension of that. Sure work, school, etc- but blogging (and reading) is a chance to get away and have a little fun!

      And you're right- online isn't as separate anymore. I wonder if in the future we'll be able to update our blogs or whatever as we walk down the street- kinda like a Bluetooth, just talk and the blog is updated! :)

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  4. I love how you said, "we find our people"! I started a blog as a means to keep track of what I've read and was tickled to find a community of my people. It then became a great opportunity to share my passion for reading with others.

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    1. I had no idea the book blogging community was so huge. I mean some of the memes for instance- the linky of bloggers participating is amazing! There are so many of us- and to talk with other enthusiasts close to home as well as across the worls is just really cool. It really is a way to other cultures as well, as we all come together over a love of books. A great thing in that respect.

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  5. I agree that it is a blessing to have both. Blogging for me is a way to connect with others who enjoy reading the same books as I do. Its also been a great learning experience for me.
    When I was younger I was always enjoyed writing. Especially fictional stories. Then I guess I just grew out of it and didn't write for a long time. I find that I am far more interested in writing reviews and the like now rather than fiction.
    Great topic for discussion, Greg.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. The neat thing for me is all the books I've tried that were recommended to me, that I never would have even known about if not for blogging. So I've really expanded my bookish horizons in that sense.

      I can relate to your comment on writing too. I always enjoyed writing stories, and while I do have some writing I like to do, reviews and posts really give me a writing outlet.

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  6. Unless you are creating a different persona online...I think real life and online are the same. I too have very few people offline to chat about books with. For most of my married life we moved ..a lot. Finding adult friends is hard, plus the fact that I really am a homebody. Blogging is just one aspect of my life but an important one

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    1. That's a great point Kimba. With all the recommendations and sharing of books- see a new book, love it and recommend it to someone else, they pass it on- or we give it to someone in real life- it really does enhance our lives.

      And you're right- once you hit a certain age it can be hard to make bookish friends, or friends in general. I still keep in touch with from high school and who I grew up with- but with work and everything else making new friends, who has time?

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  7. I'm definitely in the camp of not having folks in my "real" life to talk books with. I do have a few friends with similar interests, but we're much more likely to talk about our kids than books. So yes, the Internet community of book bloggers is pretty special, and I feel lucky to be part of it:-)

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    1. Me too. The friends that I do have that are into the same things are dispersed, we all live in different cities, so it's hard for us to get together or stay in touch sometimes. And when we do, like you said, often it's catching up time, not like we're talking about books that The book blogging community is such a great way to find even MORE people that love the same things- and there are so many of us that no matter what genre or interest you have, there are people who live it too!

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  8. Nobody in my "real life" is interested in books. I don't even tell them about my blog. It's my own thing. I'm definitely an introvert who is more comfortable on my blog than with alot of real life people.

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    1. There's something nice about having a blog where we can be who we are, love books and share that- and have other people who understand it.

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  9. Hmm, I've never really thought about it, but I love the topic! I'm an extrovert in real life. I make friends easily and will talk to mostly anyone (hence going on solo holidays, etc). I think the problem is though, I don't let people get close to me. With blogging I can be myself. In real life there's only a select amount of people who want to listen to me rank about books... and only for so long! With my blog - it's all about books! Fantastic! We can meet new people and gush over books. I think, for me, it's about meeting the like-minded people we don't see much of in real life :) So we can share more (and again, gush about books :P he he!)
    Great post!
    Amy x

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    1. Great point Amy, and I agree. I think with our blogs it's a way for us to geek out, share that with other bloggers and yes, meet like minded people. I think that's the draw of conventions too, where we can go and see people who love the same things we do.

      I think it's great, BTW, that you have the confidence to travel alone!

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  10. Totally agree that "real life" and blogging can be one and the same! But I do know what people mean when they say that. It's nice to find your people in the blogging world, right?

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I think so, too. Blogging has really opened up a way to connect with people all over- who knew there would be such a community and it would be so active? It really is a neat thing.

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  11. Blogging is a part of real life, but I can't really share it around me, except with one of my coworkers. We discuss books a lot, exchange references, but I only share this exciting feelings with people online otherwise. I started my blog to keep a track of what I'd read, but it's become so much more. And reaching people from all over the world who share the same passion is... awesome :)

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    1. I agree, meeting people from all over who love books the same way is pretty awesome. I don't share my blog much either, people know about it but the blogging community is separate, just real in a different way, and I like it that way.

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  12. Just like you mentioned, part of the reason I started blogging is because no one in my real life is a bookworm. I do have one wonderful person who sits and listens to me ramble about the new books I've read every single week, but it's still not the same as talking to people who get it.

    It's odd though because I find it harder to "fit in" and make friends online. So far the community has been nothing but nice, and I would very much feel like I lost something if it were to disappear now, but I still never feel like I know what I'm doing. I still love it though, and I'll get the hang of it eventually!

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    1. That seems to be a common theme, that those of us who love books (more than the average person I guess) gravitate towards blogging to reach like minded people.

      It can be hard t omake friends online. I know as a guy I was surprised there so few guy book bloggers, so there are certain conversations I stay out of, but by and large it's been a great community and I have made some friends. Not the same as RL friends maybe, but I consider myself fortunate to have them. And I know what you mean about fitting in- it took me a while to find my niche too!

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  13. I do blog to have bookish conversations as I don't really get that with my friends. And they know I have a blog and they see and often comment on my blog Facebook page but they don't really visit the blog unless it's a non bookish post! Which is ok, that's why I blog anyway. And yes I'm introverted but I do have friends and I'm ok in large gatherings too, I just find that I find my voice better on my blog and I like the act of writing and documenting my thoughts. I've also found that some of my blogging friends became real life friends too after we met up.

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    1. Those are good points. Yeah maybe I would still blog even if I did have a lot of bookish friends. There's something about writing a review and collecting your thoughts- it feels weird now t read a book and NOT review it. LOL.

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  14. Great post! I belong to a book club in real life and a couple members are just as passionate about books as I am, but I've also "found my people" in blogland. Have even met a few of them at bookish events and places. As someone above said, my blog is real life, too :)

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate your coming by. I've always thought a book club IRL would be nice, but the online community is special too.

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  15. I think blogging is definitely real life, because even for those who are timid and more introvert, they share on their blog and on social media, and make new connections - just in a way they are comfortable with, and able to do so from their coach, or somewhere else they feel safe.
    I love how the internet has opened the world this way, having friends in every continent, being able to chat with someone about books no matter what time it is where I live - someone is always up, and at their computer, more than happy to chat books with me.
    And meeting blogger friends face to face is an amazing experience, because we already do know each other quite well, and laughing together, hearing each others' voices, hugging and chatting until late at night just makes that an even richer experience.
    Great post, Greg :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Thanks Lexxie. I agree, it is very awesome to make book friends with people all over the world. If not for this how many of us would ever be able to connect with people from all over?

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  16. I am an introvert and need to recharge after social interactions. If my mom comes to visit that's nice, but afterwards I am tired and happy it's over as well. And large groups of people are even worse. Social conenctions on internet don't seem to have the same effect. I can do a lot of blog commenting on a day and hardly ever get tired from that. I think part of that is becasue of the topic and maybe also because I can decide when I want the social interaction and stop when I want it? I've never been to a book convention though, so I don't know the feeling of meeting other book blovers in real life. I know a few people in real life who read, not many though, but not many whom I can talk about books with like I do online. So I am happy to have met all these amazing people online who love to talk about books as much as I do.

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  17. I totally agree. I am an extrovert but I am always awkward, lol. I am looking forward to BEA next year and hopefully meeting some bloggers IRL. Even if I don't get to meet anyone (or if I ruin things with awkward loudness), I will still consider this community my home. I met some BookTubers at a recent event, but no bloggers. Most people I know IRL, know about my blog but I don't think anyone looks at it. I think it is more of an acquired taste.

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  18. Wonderful post! Sorry I got around to this so late, but REAL LIFE has been getting in the way of my blogging. Ha ha. I have a part time job with an entertainment promotional company, and there are so many Halloween events in my area that hire bands and performers, it is crazy. It is like having two full time jobs the last couple of weeks in October. I have found the mix of introverts and extroverts in book blogging about 50/50 with the ones I follow. I think the introverts have more time to blog and because of that have the more popular blogs and that's where the "book bloggers are introverts" label comes from; maybe. I also don't have IRL bookish friends, so yeah, I was so happy to stumble upon book blogging. My sister is a reading nut so I do have her, and guess what? She is an introvert! She is so bad she won't even socialize on Facebook. And yes, I do consider many of my blogging friends real friends. :)

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    1. PS. I don't think any of my friends or family read my book blog either even though they kbow about it.

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  19. Great post, Greg! I don't have many people to talk books with, either - at least not nearby. I can talk fantasy with my daughter and occasionally my husband, romances and mysteries with my mom, and both plus fantasy with my sister, but most of them (except my husband) are at a distance. I've made a few writer friends locally in the last few years (not that I consider myself a writer - not yet, anyway - but they're book people and that's what matters.) But I'm so grateful to the blogging community because I've been making friends and have people to share my passion for books with! Sometimes I wish they weren't all so far away; it would be fun to meet in real life. :-)

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