Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brave New Blogging World

Mu and I now have the same cell phone service provider. This could be serious trouble. We always connect, as it is, at least one day a week for an hour or two (or three, if they haven't kicked us out of the place). Face to face, steaming coffee wafting up between us, we relish the comfort of not holding back our thoughts from each other. But now we can connect whenever we want, by cell phone. It's free- since we have the same provider.

It's that sense that we are able to easily be in touch that comforts and stabilizes me. Mu dispenses advice that is tailor made for me. But more than that, knowing her- over these last five plus years- has been a form of accountability for my pursuits and dreams as well. Her memory is sharp. She never forgets a longing that I voice, a goal that I mention, or a dream that I start to describe. For some reason, I "see" myself more clearly when I am with her. I don't fudge on who I am and what I am purposing to do. I usually feel bolder and ready to "strike when the iron is hot".

The problem is that the iron cools quickly when I don't have her near to affirm that I haven't lost all my marbles in opening up my heart and my mouth every time I write or speak. But I can't have Mu on call 24 hours a day. And there are many times when I am with other people or writing something down to share with a group, and suddenly I am aware of how hard it is to honestly disclose what I am thinking, what I really feel, and who I am. The cost of self-disclosure comes up again. I have to ask myself once more, Now what's the price I have to pay here to say this?

There's a power and a danger in self-disclosure. This is an increasingly Tell-All World. But no one talks about the havoc that is wrought when people bare their souls in a moment of exuberant freedom, forgetting the morning-after feeling of alarm and confusion over what they have done.

Some people carefully share intimate details of their lives, knowing what the cost is to themselves and their families. Some people have been gearing up for years to share more and more of themselves in a concerted effort to be authentic and free from the heavy constraints of a privacy that really is just another wall.

No one can push you any farther than where you are, in this journey. No one should. If you blog, every time you share about your life, you have committed to the page something the entire world could potentially read. Authors have to deal with this when they write a memoir or share their journey through a dark time in their life. Even just sharing with a potential friend something about yourself is an act of self-disclosure that you can later feel glad over or regret.

Say the word Friendship and some think it's two men going hunting together, or two women gabbing together about shopping and make-up. (Just for the record, Mu and I think that going out shopping for clothes is about exciting as getting a hangnail removed). Friendships are about self-disclosure and connecting- and connecting is a powerful and sometimes dangerous thing. (Ask an electrician about this).

Connecting with the world through blogging is the new frontier. Am I ready to share more of myself with the world? And why, exactly, would I do this? These are the questions I am asking. Never mind if I asked these already, some time ago. They have surfaced again.

(To be continued tomorrow...)

8 comments:

Lindsay said...

Well Lauren... I for one am thankful that you have stepped out to share yourself. Your thoughts/words/insights/testimony make me think, make me seek God, make me listen for Him in bigger and better ways!

I have had the same questions you have posed in this post - Am I sharing to much? Am I putting my family & myself at risk? Am I really wanting others to know "this" about me?

My answer back to myself (most of the time) is this:

Having a blog requires faith. It is all about risks. It's about trusting and believing in what we do not see. It's about feeling something inside and knowing that it needs to be shared. It's about being vulnerable. It's about sharing my faith with others.

The world can be a scary place, and technology today is a bit frightening... but I know that because of my blog & my willingness to "step out in faith"... others are believing and seeing and trusting in new ways... they are seeing Him through me!

There you have it... hope it makes sense :)

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Honesty always makes sense to me- even if it's costly. I just tend to continually count the cost so that I do not turn back in the day of battle!

You're precious, Lindsay. Thank you for sharing your heart.

~Robin said...

"no one talks about the havoc that is wrought when people bare their souls in a moment of exuberant freedom,"--Oh dear, I DID this just this week! I posted a silly childs drawing of a sad face, under it i simply said-"this is what i feel like after a weekend of biting my tongue." seems harmless enought, till you know that i was at my in-laws all weekend and my sis in law occasionally reads my blog.....ugh.
Lord, help me be humble.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Robin-
That drawing doesn't sound so bad. I think it's a great idea to show pictures or symbols of what we're feeling like. Did anyone in your family make a comment about it? It's not so much that we shouldn't share how we're feeling with the world, but rather, are we ready for the cost of it, the timing of it, the surprising things that happen when we open up?!

SuzyQ said...

Hey Lauren!
Take a peek over @ my place. THere's an award waiting for you:0)
Blessings
Suzy

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

SuzyQ-
Aw shucks, you shouldn't have. Can you leave us a link to your blog page? When I click on your name, it shows you have two blogs, but one is by invitation only?

I'm trying to guess what the award is:
-Award for bloggers who ask too many questions?!
-Award for bloggers who do a lot of soul searching and then search some more, driving everyone crazy in the process?
Hmmm, what could it be?!!

Dean Bradford said...

You have a very intresting concept of thinking and seem quite honest.
I myself am Cursed with to much creativity.
Thats how i see myself.
I write short stories on my blogger! creative stories inspired by dreams and visions.
I also am very new at blogging and keep thinking up new bloggers as i have so much information to share with every body.
Take care Lauren have a great day.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Dean-
"Cursed with too much creativity"? No way! You and I are people who just need lots of outlets for all our ideas, stories, ramblings, musings, dreams,....!!!