Public angst

So much of today’s Internet is dominated by a private conceit that one’s life is so interesting that it must be shared with the world.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other sites allow posters to offer up personal tidbits about themselves and share innermost secrets with the world.

Most sites that masquerade as “news” or “information” venues are platforms for propaganda, personal agendas and philosophical pandering. The “information superhighway” has become the “propaganda path.”

Gone are the days when people wrote their feelings and observations in a journal or dairy and locked that journal away from public or prying eyes. Now the most intimate of details are shared daily on the World Wide Web.

Blogs, in particular, are often built on conceit. Bloggers fill their posts with pictures of themselves, their family, their pets and their homes. Tweets contain the most mundane of one or two sentence expressions of routine actions: “Went to New River Valley Mall today,” wrote one Floyd County Tweeter. “Found a great pair of shoes.”

Politicians use blogs, Twitter and Facebook to pass on their own propaganda. Celebrities pontificate on the President, Congress, global warming and other issues on The Huffington Post. Celebrated airhead Paris Hilton headline her blog today with “having dinner at this amazing Italian restaurant near my house. Loves it!”

Through blogs, tweets and Facebook postings, I know first hand that four Floyd Countians are having marital problems, two got speeding tickets, one faces foreclosure and one experienced the pain of her first bikini wax. Who needs gossip? The sources of gossip are telling it all online.

I’d love to sit back with self-righteous smugness and say “hey, I’m above all this,” but I can’t. I’ve shared stories about our cats, our dog, my long struggle with alcoholism and other personal items that used to stay behind closed doors. Readers know what our house looks like, what cars we drive and where we eat. On my motorcycle blog, readers know where I’ve ridden and how many times I’ve dropped my bike.

Is writing about such things is good therapy?

Or perhaps it is needless narcissism?

I don’t know the answer to such questions but I do know that a web site dedicated to community information should concentrate more on information about the community and less about me.

My life isn’t that interesting but life here in the Blue Ridge is.

That should be our focus.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

2 thoughts on “Public angst”

  1. Ouch! Guilty as well!
    And now that I’ve said that, let me say that I love your multi-faceted blog for many reasons. Yes, I enjoy your political commentary, even at times, your rants, but it is your personal ups and downs that draw me closer. Maybe, in sharing some of the struggles, along with the good times, it normalizes what for some of us, feels like an isolated struggle. Your blog isn’t a Cinderella, dance-off-into-the-sunset romp through everyday life. In sharing the difficulties of remaining sober, married and indeed, staying among the living, you make some of us feel as if we, too, can pack up our sorrows and keep on moving. I think that’s a gift, Doug.

    I do see your point. I know we all “need” the facts laid out in a non-biased manner, but sometimes we need poems and pictures of fat babies to keep us sane, to give us the hope that we, too, could be just normal folk slogging along the rutted, 450′ driveway of our lives.

    You remain a lovable curmudgeon…in the midst of a long, bitter winter.

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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse