Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My First Blog Entry

It feels so weird to be writing my first blog entry when just a few years ago I said that I would never get a blog. My main worry at the time was standards: I had the impression that in blogs (as opposed to online journals), people didn’t just write whatever they wanted. Blogs often have a theme, such as travel, or they're promotional like the student blog at my college. And on blogs, most people post links to other articles and news stories to talk about, which I wasn't planning to do. I didn't want to get a blog because I thought I'd have to regulate what I said but I realize now that pretty much anything goes, that I don't have to follow the standards of "normal" blogs.

I started this blog because I wanted another place to post things. I have had an online journal since 2006, but since I was under a username that only a few friends knew, some of the entries are very private.  Because of this, I couldn't share new entries with many people because I would also be giving them access to older, more private entries. I need to start over, use a new website that I’ll be able to share.

Now that I’m out of college, I feel comfortable keeping a blog, less like I’m going to be judged for what I say here. In college, I couldn’t do this. I was just too worried about what other people would think. And to some extent, I still am. I’m not worried about being judged for what I say; I’m worried about being judged for what I choose to talk about. I discovered this during my junior year, when I posted 25 random facts about myself as part of an online trend. There was nothing wrong with any of the things I listed, but I worried that people would judge me for choosing those 25 things. For example: I mentioned that I like to dip M&Ms in peanut butter, which might be weird, but it's trivial so I don't expect to be judged. But I do expect to be judged for the fact that of all the intelligent and meaningful things I could have said, I chose to talk about how I eat M&Ms, even though that is exactly the sort of thing that I want to talk about.

In high school I was comfortable saying whatever I wanted, but things are different now. I come from a college where there are set standards of what students talk about, care about, and think is important. Social influence is pervasive in that we act as if people are watching when they're not. In other words, the self-consciousness has not faded just because I'm not in college anymore. It will take some time, and until then, I will be nervous about everything I post here. I will go into every entry thinking that everyone will be judging me for what I choose to write about. I know logically that people who aren't interested in this blog will just not read it, but I still feel self-conscious about it.

I'm saying all of this directly right now hoping that this entry will serve as a permission slip to continue.

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