Identity & Emotion

Are they mutually exclusive?

Specks of Identity

My earlier addiction to blogging — the compulsive need — has diminished. I am not bored, I know that. I still love blogging the way I did when I entered blog addiction rehab and when I escaped it. The pangs, however, are weak enough that I can overcome. Perhaps having all the tools and gadgets to blog, weakens the blogging-spasms — you are constantly aware that you can post; and you let the post wait. That awareness creates complacence. Doesn’t quite make sense, but that’s how it is.

Many things are still bloggable, each conversation (or non-conversation) is a basis of a wonderful post that is waiting to be posted. All events, news, and thoughts are worth sharing, wrapped in your own flavour of cynicism, humour or anger. Somewhere, something holds you back.

Expression of identity and emotion seem to mutually exclusive to me, in the blog world at least.

Fellow bloggers who express their identity unabashedly seem less inclined to publish personal emotional expressions — at least explicitly. Fellow bloggers who create a separate web identity seem more inclined to share personal thoughts. I have written earlier about this — anonymity — and I continue to retain the belief I had then; nothing has changed. I don’t look down upon anonymous blogging. The thought is far from that.

The question that hovers, like blood-thirsty mosquitoes over your head on a warm Bombay evening, is whether expression of an identity in a public space is the end of expression of personal emotion in that public space.

Would I write any different if people didn’t know the reality of my existence in meatspace? Will my writing be any richer and complete? Does a separate identity in cyberspace protect you from the vulnerability that is a result of being and emotionally outspoken entity? Is it therapeutic, almost?

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9 thoughts on “Identity & Emotion

  1. For me, there is a crossover. Some people who know me, read my blog. Some people only know me from my blog. And I believe that when I can convey the real ideas I have or feelings, despite being known or annonymous, that I have done what I came to do- to express the poignancy of the thought.
    I am supposing that there are different levels of honesty or suppression, but those would be hard to measure. I don’t believe it’s all or nothing, in person, on a blog, etc.

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  2. Like you said in a comment in your earlier post, it isn’t about guts it is about choice. I think most of us unveil what we understand about ourselves and what we are strong enough to accept about ourselves.

    Whether I use my own name or a pen name I will battle between knowing and acceptance and then attempt my best to write a readable post.

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  3. ==Videoxy:
    I’d agree @ “it’s all or nothing, in person, on a blog”. Like I have said before, anonymity or otherwise doesn’t directly imply honesty or dishonesty. What anonymity probably does is allows a person to exercise a greater extent of freedom of expression. However, you do bring an interesting thought to the fore: irrespective of the presentation of your identity, expressing a though becomes that much more creative. I believe this is one wonderful way that blogging helps us.

    ==EU:
    Absolutely! As above, depending on what our cyber-identity is we end up working hard on expressing right, in line with how we have identified ourselves.

    🙂

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  4. As someone who has a a semi-anonymous blog, I have to comment. Semi because though I blog under a different name, I have given out my blog under my real name in the various social networking sites.

    In the beginning when I started blogging, I was not comfortable blogging under my own name. And also, I had heard horror stories of people being fired from their firms for ranting against them. So you can say that having a blog under a different name is a kind of precaution. Now though I have ceased to worry about such things.

    Writing under a different name does not change my style or content because that is determined by who I am. And pretending to be someone else is tiring beyond a point. But yes, I do know that I write on some topics and avoid many others. But this is mainly because I am not comfortable talking about these topics. Yet.

    I have been blog addicted, blog bored, and blog stabilized. Actually, through all the stages. And I totally understand where you are coming from. 🙂

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  5. I would go with what is my cyber personality that I have defined for myself. Whether I choose to have intelligent conversations or with sarcasm or in a jocular vein its all about what facet I’d like to express or want to express, though I may be all or none of the above in meatspace.

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