True blogging

I’ve read a lot of blogs on different sites and I’m questioning whether there are – or should be – any ethics in this medium.

I’m not talking about guidelines and PC-based rules. I mean, should a blogger be writing what he really thinks/feels?

I’m not sure but I feel increasingly that writing should be real in this sense. And I don’t mean there’s no room for fiction.

But fiction disguised as fact… well… I find it irritating.

Probably 90% of bloggers hope to make it big one day. As writers. What I see is a group of writers claiming to hold opinions they clearly don’t in the hope of grabbing attention.

From the faith obsessive to the slob to the bad parent to the reckless car driver. Are they being honest?

I suppose the web is a haven for anonymity and we can try out different personalities: the racist, the obese/poor/unemployed person and so on. (We can’t easily fake being a neurologist or psychiatrist.)

Much of it is written to incite and invite comment. But I’m convinced most of our honestly held opinions are scandalous enough. We all have prejudices; we don’t have to take on new ones to be outrageous!

We don’t think they are because we mix (usually) with like-minded people who tend to share our outlook on life. Same income bracket, kind of neighbourhood, politics and values etc.

The hitch is that opening up our real selves online is unnerving. Because it leaves us vulnerable. And we know that readers’ responses will be to us and our true statements not some outlandish, extreme, invented opinions adopted to provoke.

But then wouldn’t that in itself encourage truth and authenticity? A reader would respond with their own true feelings about what you’ve written. A good thing surely.

I’m aware that my online writing identity is of a fictional character not my own; my purpose in doing that was to allow myself freedom. To lie.

I thought I’d be able lying on a regular basis as a blogger. But I must say neither here nor in my other main blog have I lied about what I feel. I really do get exasperated at coffee shop staff here and pets and house selling and the rest.

Should it worry me if other bloggers lie? Maybe not.

In that sense I suppose blogging is a truthful representation of the global population in general. An array of values, beliefs, ethics, personal morals and a universal striving to be noticed. How we get noticed is our own business.

A lesson for me: learn to tolerate all bloggers the way I do people in real life. And maybe learn to lie a bit better.