If a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, would a blogger by any other name write any differently? Perhaps not. But perhaps, a blogger who writes anonymously would write a whole lot differently. I’ve been in the blogosphere for a couple of years now and been around enough to know how different people are at different levels of comfort making public their real identities: some will safeguard it will all their might, others will make no effort to be known in the virtual world as they are known in the real.
Most people who read my blog know me as D and most others who know my name have chanced upon it by accident. I don’t think I’m any different if you know me by one name or another. So why am I at pains to remain D for the blog world?
I mulled over this question for weeks and months and finally came up with a coherent answer: I just don’t want any more relationships. I like meeting people, I like to make friends but I can’t labour to do either. If I meet people, good. If I make friends along the way, good. If I don’t, still good. Is that hard to understand?
In the real world that I inhabit, I have plenty of friends and plenty of family members around me. There are relationships I cannot sever even if I wanted to and there are relationships I do not want to sever, ever. Then there are people I meet at work, because of work, through work: colleagues, business associates, ex-colleagues… some people I can’t wish away and some people I do not want to wish away. Between all of those, where is the will to forge new relationships?
I spend a lot of time on the internet but I’m not here to be tied down by a new set of strings. When a regular blogger is away for a considerable amount of time, I do wonder if everything is alright with her. When a blogger goes on a vacation, goes on a new diet program, tries out a new dish, talks about her babies, I’m interested. I feel for bloggers I read. But I cannot go beyond that.
I have never tried actively to meet a blogger even though I haven’t tried to resist it actively either. But I’m conscious of the fact that once I meet someone, I’m committing to go beyond the blogosphere relationship. And once I do that, I will not step back. But am I ready for it? Am I ready to take on another relationship and everything else that comes with it? What if I do not like the person I meet or the person doesn’t like me? That’s going to affect our virtual relationship as well, isn’t it?
I hear all the time of bloggers finding some of their best friends in blogosphere. Perhaps, by resisting new ties, I’m resisting friendships that could be. But any relationship is about give and take – of emotions, times, energy. I have nothing to give just now that I already ain’t giving enough of to people around me.
Some people are great at managing a zillion relationships and managing them well. I’m not one of them. I have to labour at every one of them. And it hurts when a relationship goes wrong. I don’t want that hurt. Is there something wrong with that?