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Too Much Information

May 27, 2009

I’m feeling like I have a little T.M.I. overload. Obviously, I haven’t been very good about writing blog posts here. I have a lot of thoughts, and I imagine putting them here, but I can never organize my thoughts when I sit down at the computer. I also ultimately figure that noone really cares what I have to say about any singular experience I have.

Anyway, I’ve also cutback on my blog reading time. Yes, I’ve been busy, but it’s a bit more than that.

I’m thinking that it’s strange that I am so interested in other people’s lives. People I will never meet. I know, there is an amazing community out there and some people have made new, great friends. But I don’t really think that’s why I started doing this. But why am I so anxious to read someone’s daily updates, even when they’re about their major life events? They’re not my life events. I have my own life events, every day, that I should be paying attention to.

I guess this really became clear to me this morning, when I was thinking constantly and Jon & Kate. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Jon & Kate Plus 8. It’s always been a cute show, all those little kids running around with their OCD annoying Mom and cheerfully abused Dad. Now they’re talking about their marital problems, they’re on the tabloids, people are writing blogs and doing “exclusive” interviews about the “real” family dynamics. And I’m reading all this. And it hits me, I’m part of the problem. Worse things than whatever is going on in that PA home happen to people everyday. And we don’t all hear every detail, or think we’re entitled to hear every detail. Yes, it’s a reality show. Yes, they did it willingly. But I don’t want to talk about what’s going on in their family. It’s creepy to be that interested in people who you don’t know and you don’t really even care about. (I guess this IS the premise behind “reality” TV though, huh?)

I started having this feeling a couple weeks ago when I read A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs. He also wrote this and his brother wrote this. It hit me: I know too much about this family. I felt like an intruder. I know they put it out there for us to read. But I felt like I had done something wrong by reading ALL the memoirs, of different relatives. Maybe we should only be allowed Running with Scissors, and not the other two. Or something. 

When I started this blog, I didn’t know what my objective was. To keep up with family and friends (very few friends even know about it)? To talk about politics? I talk about it so much in real life (even though it’s not even my job anymore), that I often don’t want to re-hash online. I still don’t know what it is. But I think for now, it’s not to anonymously read all about others’ lives.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2009 2:10 pm

    Ok, I admit, I watch J&K +8 but I’ve been a follower long before THIS happened so I don’t feel so bad about wanting to know what’s going on with them. As for reading blogs of people you don’t know…I do it too, mainly other photographers’ blogs. I think we do it out of curiosity or maybe validation. Does anyone else feel the same way as I do? We find answers to that question. We feel a little more “normal” or a little less “guilty” when we share experiences. We really have a lot in common with others and it is nice to see that once in awhile! Anyway, just my two cents and I hope you continue your blog!

  2. May 28, 2009 4:14 pm

    I’ve watched Jon & Kate before too. Not religiously, but I watch. I just feel like I am seeing something that I shouldn’t, when they’re talking about their situation. And the scenes at the bday party when they wouldn’t even look at each other were painful. Again, I know they’re the ones putting it on TV. But it’s like a heartbreaking train wreck. I can’t look away.

  3. May 31, 2009 9:15 pm

    Yeah, you’re right. I’ll never read or write a blog post again.

    OK, I’m kidding about that. But I’ll sure as h@^l never watch J&K+8.

  4. June 3, 2009 6:22 pm

    This post really hit home for me. I’ve cut way back on my blog reading since spring hit, partly because I’m just too busy and partly because I don’t want to spend my time reading about people I don’t know. The real reason I started reading blogs was for inspiration, so I’ve decided to only read the posts in my blog reader that look interesting to me on any given time. That has been incredibly freeing for me. I still blog for myself and my family though. That hasn’t changed.

  5. JEC permalink
    June 9, 2009 5:04 pm

    I missed J&K+8 last night–found out Emeril was going to be on, didn’t care. I’m sure I’ll get another chance. Now, do I watch RHofNJ tonight, or not?

    Reading memoirs is perfectly acceptable–even “dueling” memoirs and/or biography. Reality TV is sort of like that. It’s just normal curiosity–and I think women, more than men, want to know what is going on in other people’s lives. Although male WRITERS should have that curiosity, BIO. Okay, okay, you don’t have to watch J&K.

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