Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is blogging narcissistic?

I don't think of myself as having an inordinate fascination with myself or an excessive amount of self-love nor do I consider myself overly vain (thanks to dictionary.com for the definition). But I do have a blog - so does this make me narcissistic?

I was out for dinner with some girlfriends on Friday evening and we got around to talking about blogging and the other four ladies (who don't know I blog) were quoting the movie Julie and Julia where it was claimed that blogging is narcissitic. And all four of my friends agreed wholeheartedly. Needless to say I kept my mouth shut!

All weekend I've been feeling a bit down on myself after this dinner. Maybe because I wasn't brave enough to pipe up for myself and my blog or perhaps because I regret not having had another glass of wine and let the conversation slide. Anyway, I feel like I should have stuck-up for myself, because I enjoy writing my blog and especially enjoy reading other people's blogs and getting inspiration and sharing ideas and the sense of community you have with people who share my love of all things handmade! Many of my real-life friends just don't get it!

I feel like the bloggy-world is like the 19th Century village I would have lived in, where I'd pop over to your place and we'd sit down with some knitting and chat over a cuppa. My blog is a place where I can record what I've made (successful or otherwise), what we've been up to as a family and things I aspire to do or make. I don't keep a diary so in some respects this is a place where I gather my thoughts in one place!

And this post? Definitely narcissistic!!


Bellgirl said...

I like your summary of your bloggy-world because that's exactly how I feel about blogging! It's the village community where I learn new crafts, because we live in such isolation these days, especially mums with toddlers, that we can miss out on those things in person. I've learnt all my quilting from bloggers and bloggy friends, without having to pay someone to pass on their knowledge in a formal evening class. I've met up with some local bloggy friends and now sewwith them regularly, so it's a good way to make contact with like-minded people in a large city.

I too think of the blog as a diary, where I write a little of what's going on, and include some pictures too. And I enjoy the sense of community- craft bloggers are a very friendly and supportive group!

And I like to post about the things I've made and to hear people say how nice they are- of course I do! There's not all that much enthusiasm for quilting in my household, and the blog world is a forum for pride in my creations and my development. And I read other people's blogs too, and enjoy and admire what I find.

It's a pity the dinner was a bit of a downer, but if your friends knew about and read your blog they would know ab bit more about it, and would easily be able to see that your blog isn't narcissistic, and is ace!

dillpickle said...

Hmmm. Blogging definitely CAN be narcissistic, but it certainly isn't the default for many bloggers. I think you're right, that it's a way to connect with like-minded others, and the way you develop relationships is to share things about yourself. I also think though that it's really hard to get your head around the world of blogland if you don't really have any connection to it. I know that I thought it was pretty weird before I started reading blogs, and then was completely intimidated when I first started my own because I couldn't work out WHY anyone would be interested in anything I would say! Especially when there were all of these amazing bloggers who said interesting stuff and took fantastic pictures! But now I'm here, I think it's way more about the community than putting yourself out there in some narcissistic kind of way.

And I don't think this post was narcissistic, either! There's nothing overly self-absorbed about wondering things out loud! Thinking about why we do what we do is a good thing. Thanks for raising the issue!

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

Blogging is definately what you make it. It can be narcissistic, but also enlightening, inspiring and exciting. Lots of my friends don't see the point in it all, but I see it as a way to share and sometime collaborate on projects. I would suggest that you encourage your friends to check out a few blogs that make you happy, enlightened and inspired!

melissa said...

I can see why people who dont get into craft would think that because it probably seems a bit strange to them us making stuff and plastering it all over the internet for others to admire and comment on. I do it because I live in a rural area , i stay at home with two small children and my partner works away, sewing and craft is what im into and i dont really have any friends that i can share that with - altough i did meet a fellow blogger yesterday - so now i do! But ill still blog because i love reading what others are up to and making and there are some people out there that ARE interested in what Im doing! Great post Ange!

CurlyPops said...

Personally, I don't think blogging is narcissistic at all.... although I'm sure there are definitely narcissistic blogs out there (which I certainly don't read).
I think blogging is just another outlet for a creative mind - hence the plethora of creative blogs in the world!
I have friends that just don't get the blogging thing either - actually they don't get my craft obsession or blogging. Oh well, it's their loss!

willywagtail said...
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willywagtail said...

If talking is narcissistic and reading magazines that interest you is then maybe blogging is too. But I just can't see it. I guess it is just another example of people who don't know the situation forming opinions about what happens. And maybe some topics that are covered out there in the big world of blog lead to such aspersions because they are all about the individual and how great they are. But the craft blogging world that I have contact with is not like that at all. It's about encouraging and assisting others who share our interests which is greast because in the big world we are a minority group and not understood by so many of our friends. I am lucky right now that a lot of my real life friends craft or appreciat it but I have lived in areas where I was the only sewer and people acted as if it was a little wierd and maybe granny style. It sure is nice to get an ego boost in the form of heaps of comments or even just one but that obviously isn't why most of us do it. Cherrie

Maggie said...

I suppose there are narcissists with blogs, but in general I find blogging is sharing, not narcissistic. Apart from all the creative inspiration I love blogs because it gives me a peek into how other people live, and how I might like to live.

Sarah said...

Ange, what a shame you've been feeling down about this! As a real-life friend I declare that you are most definitely NOT narcissistic. No, in fact, you are incredibly generous, unpretentious, funny and down-to-earth. And I'm pretty sure those qualities cannot exist within a narcissist.

I'm sure your dinner friends would agree, and if they knew you blogged (and read your blog) they'd rethink it.

And you inspired me to start my blog, so I think you're totally ace.

Snot Head said...

Wow! There is a lot of feedback on this topic. I guess, first off, I want to say that I do think you should have told your friends you blog. If they are really your friends, they may have jokingly chided you, but you could have given them a perspective they were lacking. It isn't too late either. I know from experience that holding in my feelings after a conversation with friends eventually leads to resentment. You should bring it up again and just let them know how you feel and ask them if they feel any differently about blogging after knowing you are a blogger.

I don't believe blogging is narcissistic. We are community. I enjoy seeing other people's crafts (successful or otherwise), reading about others' cultures, and getting to know the world outside of my tiny little spec of a town. I honestly believe that calling blogging narcissistic is close minded and naive. If they opened their eyes to the blogging world, they would most likely find things they loved to read. It is easy to bash something you don't know anything about.

Don't be down on yourself. Yes, we all have those days where we are going to post whiney blogs about our problems. I am prone to posting "stream of conciousness" blogs when I am spitting mad and want to shred my world. I do it so that I can find support in others. Its no different than the way I would b*tch with my girlfriends when my husband leaves his clothes all over the place. lol And you obviously don't have a lack of followers, so I think you are doing just fine.

Just remember, it isn't too late to bring your feelings to the table and talk to your friends. It might be awkward, but it has the potential to really strengthen the relationship. Honesty sets us free! :)

Melinda said...

Narcissistic is such a negative word. And I would never have associated it with blogging, well not the blogs I read anyway, including yours. I appreciate other people sharing a little bit of themselves with me, so it's only fair that I share a tiny bit of me with them. Usually, if I tell someone that I have a blog, they say "a what?" or their eyes glaze over lol.

humel said...

I think what I want to say has been covered already! But I'll go ahead and say it anyway ;-)

non-bloggers just don't really 'get' blogging. I can understand why they might think it narcissistic. But poor them, they've not experienced the outlet of writing a post to let off steam or share your excitement about something or just to note down a memory. And they're missing out on the camaraderie and support of the network of blog friends. They're missing opportunities to learn about other ways of life, points of view, cultures, etc. One day they might stumble into blogging, and then they'll understand xx

AmandaMcGregor74 said...

keep on blogging Angela.....I sometimes wonder exactly what you were thinking, but then I remind myself that no-one is forced to read my blog. I dont really care what people think of it. I like writing it, putting up the pictures and sharing stories. I love looking at other people's blogs, learning new things, adventures, crafts......keep on blogging!!

Car said...

It's funny, but I just finally got around to watching that movie on the weekend and was discussing it with 2 workmates yesterday ;) the subject of blogging came up and they said they just didn't get it. They wanted to know why I started blogging and I explained I started my private one when Miss K was born and it was a place to share photos milestones etc with family who live a distance away. My craft blog came next and is a mishmash of ME, I am not one of those big popular bloggers, But I came to the realization long ago that it is my own diary of my crafty endeavors and a record for ME and to hopefully share with others who like my particular style. So yes, I guess you could say I am a bit selfish for keeping it, but like I said, Im not out to get ratings and readers and become a popularity contest!!!

my work friend did mention that she would love to cook her way thru a cookbook one day... She just said she would leave the blogging part to me to document LOL.

Good post! Can I pop over for a cup now???

Anna Bartlett said...

I think blogging is like having a relationship - at the beginning you wonder if it's for real, is it going somewhere, should we talk? But before you know it you're in it for real and it's a great place to be. Sometimes you need a break from each other, but generally it's a place of safety, of inspiration and of joy. I'm proud to be a blogger (altho SO many of MY friends don't get it) and I love reading about the adventures of my blog-friends.