Blogging lends itself to such a range of different purposes. So many blogs are pure fun; some are abstract; others provide interest, education or entertainment about a specific subject. These blogs are usually quite impersonal. And whilst I enjoy a wide range of these and use them to provide me with valuable information - particularly on teaching - I much prefer the diary-type of blog; those reflective, celebratory, down-to-earth, common interest or simply engaging glimpses into another person's life, interests and inspirations. I feel now, with my little group of followers and the number of blogs I follow myself, that I have a network of people across the globe, who, if I met I would recognise in real life - from their tone of conversation, from their interests and from their willingness to share. It is my chosen assumption that individual blogs reflect individual people.
Lots of bloggers I read have agonised over whether to blog the negative in their lives. I'm sure these are the cup half-full type of people. Most of their daily life feels good but from time to time, as is normal, life deals a rotten blow or something out-of-the-blue upsets what is important and - because it is a more alien feeling or one that isn't helped by complaining about it - only rarely do these occasions find their way into the blog. Sometimes, people like this find it difficult to blog when the going is tough - it doesn't feel right; it doesn't actually help.
Others have no problem saying it as it is; telling us how it feels; expressing the bad as well as the good without feeling the need to apologise about it. If it doesn't help, it doesn't make things worse.
And some bloggers are prepared to grasp the nettle and blog a difficult subject or life-event even if it's is rather contrary to their usual tone and they often doing it in moving, engaging and life-enhancing sort of way. And I'm thinking in particular of two blogs I read when I say this. The first is Lunar's blog and the second is Annie's at artistica domestica. I'll leave you to read and discover for yourselves, if you don't already know, the immense courage they both show in the face of the things life has taken from them or thrown at them..
Being fascinated by how people react, work, think and behave, I did a bit of very quick research to see whether there is a link between personality types (Myers Briggs - this is a place you can do a quick online test - try here for more information about Myers Briggs Personality Types proper) and blogging. There doesn't seem to be much as yet, so I can't say whether there is any correlation between certain types being more likely to blog or, whether certain types have particular blog focuses although anyone might make a guess that extrovert type (E) would have less of a problem in writing about their own lives and feeling types (F) would include ...well, their feelings. My own Myers Briggs type is ENFP, described by Myers Briggs as:
"Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency."
I would say this is me most of the time, most of my adult life and how others people often perceive me. It doesn't mean it's how I am all the time because I do suffer from mild depression sometimes and am currently just coming out of a bit of a hard time. And when I've been down, I often indulge in a little bit of reflection - which is useful because when I'm 'up', there's no time to look back - the future is far more interesting!
It struck me that my 'Month in the country' posts read and look absolutely idyllic though at the time, I was mostly miserable - feeling down and having no energy, not sleeping properly, getting a urine infection that went to my kidneys and being bitten all over by bastard mosquitoes. I also struggled at times with FR's mother, who was naturally anxious about her father and tired from all the care she had been giving him. This showed itself in her state of nervous tension, stress and an apparent need to control everything. It often meant that when I said I'd do something, she'd insist on doing it herself or when I did do something, she would criticise what I'd done and how I'd done it, regardless of the thing itself - and usually this criticism would be about the smallest, most ridiculous thing, from how I cut the beans to how I hung the washing out. And it made me feel very guilty, hopeless and frustrated...and, I'm afraid to say, resulted in some childish behaviour on my part - I started doing it back. I would criticise - or more, pass comment on things that I didn't really care about one way or the other and not agree with the things she said. We didn't bicker and it wasn't all the time but on some days, we weren't our usual good friends. And we were both doing it to the others in the house as well...
I recognise now (having come home and reflected) that I my 'shadow' personality had come to the fore as I was not feeling too good - and, surprise, surprise, and ENFP will become critical of others, be pedantic about unimportant issues, do things to excess and take control of situations without due consideration. And weren't these the things I was complaining about in my mother-in-law...? And isn't it interesting that these traits are visible to the people who know me - mainly invisible to me - but are the things that most annoy me in other people. Very possibly, Amelia too is an ENFP!
To come back to the beginning, blogging and how we blog - or even why we blog. I found a website called Typealyzer which claims to analyse the 'type' of blog from the text used in the blog. And of course, I jumped at the chance. Not surprisingly, it came back with a type that was close to my personality type, but NOT my personality type - ESFP. This type was described as 'The Performer'. I can see the rationality of this assessment - we, sorry, I 'perform' when I write
How do you blog? Try it and see! (And do let me know!)