3 Ways Blogging is a Form of Virtual Narcissism

1. YOU ASSUME YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE
Starting a blog means that you’re assuming that people care about what you have to say, and will take the time to read what you have to write.  You’re assuming an audience will go on your site and read your thoughts, perhaps drop a comment or two, or initiate dialogue amongst readers.  This is a bold assumption, since most of the time, we don’t stop and fully engage with a stranger as they orate their thoughts on the train or at a bus stop.  But interestingly enough, sometimes a random person’s blog is very fascinating and engaging, and you find yourself subscribing to the thoughts of someone you don’t even really know.

Here’s an example of a random blog where a woman rants and raves, sometimes with detail, and other times with thinly veiled attacks.  Most of her posts are just a few short sentences, and there are usually no comments.

rantingwomans

2.  YOU ASSUME OTHERS FEEL THE SAME

Building on the first point, that you’re assuming you have an audience, sometimes blogs are set out with the assumption that others must feel the same (or conversely, that others will feel the OPPOSITE — some blogs really revel in controversy!)

During pharmacy school, I found out about The Cynical Pharmacist vs Cynical Pharmacist blogs which are written by pharmacists who work in the retail setting (CVS, Walgreens, etc) and vent about the stupid interactions they have with customers and providers.  Most people who work in similar settings can definitely relate, so there are thousands of comments that essentially raise a glass to agree, or comments that add their own versions of similar stories.

Overall, the blog aims to be the venting ground of people who share a career and can understand the day-to-day frustrations!  There are many spin-offs, too, which indicates the popularity of this kind of blog.  The interesting thing is that you will never know exactly who is posting, so there’s quite a bit of transparency with that kind of anonymity.

Cynical Pharmacist

3.  YOU ASSUME YOUR LIFE IS INTERESTING

There are some very personal blogs which act as a journal or diary.  A way for a writer to share their life experiences of themselves or their families with not only the world, but specifically those who they are trying to keep in touch with (other family members, friends, etc.) These blogs are endearing if you know the person, but sometimes you ask yourself… “who would read this?”

Below is an example of a very well-written blog about a woman and her family in Utah.  At first, it was a very expository journal type of blog.  Later, this stay-at-home-mom learned how to make it more of a profitable blog, and started featuring fashion items, tutorials, and consumer reviews to spruce up the blog.  This author is quite open about who she is, and the names of her family members.  There is virtually no anonymity with her posting, and sometimes even she discusses the risks and benefits of that kind of writing style.

life is beautiful

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14 thoughts on “3 Ways Blogging is a Form of Virtual Narcissism

  1. Sun, you make a really good point in #3…I think safety should be number one priority. Disclosing where you live, children’s names and their schools, and other sensitive information should be avoided. While I can see why this type of writing would create a close personal connection with the reader, it may also be attracting a bit of danger too.

  2. This is very funny! We all like to think our lives are so much more interesting than everyone else’s. I think you are right that putting something out there on the internet makes everyone think that it is being heard.

  3. Sun; like your new handle- nice to know you made it there. LOVE the post! I never understood why so many people are in such a hurry to think others are interested in what they are doing. I am expecting Caricia et al will steering us away from the superfluous and more towards the practical over the next few weeks.

  4. Sun, funny post and very much aligned with reality. I used to think blogs were for venting before I realized how much of it is a fabric of our lives now, from blogs that incorporate how-to’s to discovering different perspectives on a topic to blogging for a business. If I had more time, I think it would be a fun way to express my creativity. For now, I’ll take a back seat and keep reading! Hope you’re having fun in the sun!

  5. Great points, where Sun. The reasons you’ve noted here are really many of the reasons I’ve thought to myself as I’ve wondered why in the world people blog.

  6. Love your post. Your header was super catchy and got me sucked it! I definitely will learn some of your tactics…. like the blogging ninja you are!

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