Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let's Talk Blogs

Let's talk blogs, shall we?

I have a number of blogs on my sidebar but I keep up with just a fraction. Around here there are too many children and too much laundry to do otherwise.

On a side note, loin cloths like they wear in the jungle seem awfully appealing right now. How long would it take to wash six loin cloths per day? And due to the humidity, they sleep on hammocks not on bedding.


But this is Ohio not the Amazon so I'll get back on topic now.

My friends' and fellow homeschooler blogs are the first I read; I get to the others only a few times a month.

If you're a blog lover you know the different types out there and you probably have specific reasons for keeping up with each one, even if it's just to see how a particular family fares.

And you probably have specific things that turn you off for good, too. One of those for me are numerous buttons asking me to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, nauseam. Sometimes those appear before any content and the blog has to be very good otherwise to get me past this.

The ads used to bother me but this growing number of follow buttons really annoy. As if we need yet another distraction...

I dislike the aggressive tactics, reasoning that God is perfectly capable of bringing an audience to a blog, if He so desires, no matter what the marketing experts may teach at blog conferences.

Book publishers demand a social media following nowadays to boost their profit margins, so bloggers-who-hope-to-be-print-authors are thinking ahead with these buttons, no doubt.

I guess I'm not ambitious enough to get on board, but I do have enough in my head to put in a book some day. Hopefully by then things will have changed, since it will be years before my children's growth stages will allow me to write a book

And too, I believe as with pastors and actors, writers have the skill or talent either to appeal to large audiences or smaller ones. God can change that, but can audience-begging buttons?

Granted, some people use blogging to run online businesses and I get that. I know the various social mediums spread information like wildfires, usually without overhead costs.

Today I want to warn all of us about the Perfectly Produced blog. I use the word produce because that's what they do for major motion pictures. They decide on the impression they're after and the director does take after take until it's just right.

The Perfectly Produced blog can be about any topic, but the aim is to present perfection. For example, one sees a nice, orderly, perfectly clean house. No laundry anywhere. The children are perfect geniuses without any issues. The mother does it all, perfectly. The husband is never mentioned other than to announce his perfect though the husband's worth lay in just that: his job.

Because these blogs never waver from their image, they deceive us, either knowingly or blindly. Read them for what you can glean, but always keep in mind...perfection doesn't exist.

Behind the production scene are real people. Broken people in need of daily redemption and daily grace. The brokenness might be in the relationships, in the bodies, in the neurotransmitters, in the alcohol or drug abuse, in the finances or in the heart. But it's surely there...a well-kept secret.

Certainly there are mini-cultures and families who feel it's inappropriate to share any brokenness. To do so is in poor taste, in their opinion. On the West Coast real life is shared more readily than on the more-reserved Midwestern and Eastern parts of our country. I moved from California to Ohio in August 2005, and I'm still learning the emotional landscape here.

People in Ohio have more roots; they move less and they chase possessions less. They're friendly and often down-to-earth, but they like to suffer privately or with just their families.

These differences are acceptable and cultural. I don't see the reserved person as hiding something so much as reserving it for a few.

But the Perfectly Produced blog? It's deception. Read it at your own risk and don't let it rob you of your contentment or your gratitude. And consider this: your problems may be small potatoes next to their secrets.

Balance your perfectly-produced blog reading with blogs that present real life showered in grace.

Grace is beautiful, real, and attainable.

Pray for it, celebrate it, advertise it. It allows the real star to shine...Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:5
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  

Philippians 2:10
So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.         

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S. Etole said...

Comparison can steal our joy so quickly. I appreciate the thoughts that you have shared.

Lisa said...

This has been a problem with me since I started blogging: comparing my blog to other blogs. (I tend to compare myself with other women, too, - and, in my opinion, never measure up to them, especially to what I call "Home School Super Moms". (You know, the ones who have their children involved in every sport/club/class imaginable and still have time for all the school lessons, a spotless house, clean clothes, and a hot meal on the table when hubby walks in the door.) Until recently; I am finally getting comfortable being me. And my blog being MY blog, and not someone else's. At 47, it certainly has taken me long enough get here. *sigh*
Very thought-provoking post, dear friend.

Christine said...

Susan, so nice to see your face today. Thank you for stopping by.

And Lisa, as a fellow 47 year old, I can relate. :) One perk to your forties is a new kind of confidence.

Tesha Papik said...

Wonderful Post! I agree with so many things you said. Before I started blogging I had a real issues with blogs, I thought they were very fake. Now granted I had not read that many:).When I discovered the baby loss community I was surprised and relived to see how honest they were in their feelings. It gave me permission to let my true feelings show on my blog instead of put on a show. I do think it is dangerous to get to introspective into our feelings but it very helpful to write them out. I agree also about the ads it is really hard for me to read blogs covered in ads without feeling used. I read blogs for the same reasons you stated.