I talked with my friend Kim this week. She's had some blog-related intrusion in her life. As I've mentioned here before, I was sued a year or so ago and had to pay a little over a thousand dollars in legal fees. Blogs are real life. Kim writes--but read the whole thing--(So What? Kim Dot Dammit Live. - Degrees of Separation):
I’ve had opportunity lately to reflect how this dynamic can also occur within the blogosphere, that I can trigger unexpected responses that could impact my personal life, my freedom of expression, my voice, my sense of boundaries and security. At first I was taken aback by this realization that I, me, the real person behind KDD, is susceptible to my cyber-audience.
Blogs are real. I've met real people because of blogging--Kim, Charlie, Ken Wark, Steve Shaviro, K-Punk, Spurious, Blah-Feme. I've gotten invitations to speak because of blogging. I've gotten publications because of blogging. But these matters are relatively trivial compared to other aspects.
I've worried about blogging and bloggers, finding myself affectively invested in discussions and arguments. I've constructed images of other bloggers, of the kind of people they are, I've become attached to my fantasies of bloggers and our relationships to one another. I've lost sleep. I've babbled on for hours about it to people with absolutely no interest in blogging, who see it as a version of gaming. There is a dimension of personal psychic investment: who agrees with whom, who provides support and recognition, who withholds.
My first 'crisis' as a blogger--do I keep going, why do I do this, was in a way a response to my recognition of these investments and my effort to order them in some way. I wish now that I had been more aware, more reflective, at the time so that I could have a more analytical perspective on them now. My sense, though, is that the crisis was one of attachment and investment, of vulnerability and boundaries.
I''ve written here before about transference in the blogosphere. I don't think I'm much closer to theorizing the phenomenon. Or understanding it.