Never Befriend A Blogger

This morning, before I went off to work, I was reading some stories about Sony’s recent leak scandal [1] and found one of great personal interest to me as a blogger. Apparently, until a few months ago, the husband of the somewhat thin-skinned head of Sony was friends with a notorious Hollywood blogger until the blogger wrote something that caused offense and led to a rift that had some serious consequences. What was particularly biting to me was the way that the article ended, with a sentence that is pregnant with meaning for my own personal life: “Never befriend a blogger.” Obviously, I found this particular quote to be deeply troubling, but it had a certain logic to it, and is worth explaining in greater detail, because although I am a friendly blogger, I must concede that it is by no means easy to be a close friend of mine, and there are some people who have not handled well the repercussions of being close to me.

A blogger is typically someone who has a compulsive need for self-expression and a somewhat individualistic approach to life. A prolific writer whose viewpoints were sufficiently amenable to co-option by a corporation or institution will generally find an official mouthpiece, such as an op-ed spot for a newspaper where they can pander to powerful interests. A person who does not have a compulsive need for self-expression will likely not blog at all, at least not blog often, and will not gain a following as a writer. So, one can be reasonably certain that someone who writes a blog and writes often on it, is likely to be a person who needs to express himself (or herself) and likely has a strong passion for authenticity and individuality in terms of their self-expression that is not amenable to corporate interests, or it would be brought in-house in some fashion. This should be the first red flag that befriending such a person is not likely to be a smooth process.

Nor is this the only one, although these problems are not unique to bloggers. For example, if someone dates Taylor Swift, he can assume that when things inevitably go bad, that she will write at least one song about it. The same is true for Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry and John Mayer and Kelly Clarkson and Eminem and Rivers Cuomo (of Wheezer) and others who use personal drama to fuel their professional work. Not everyone may appreciate their own interactions, subject to someone’s interpretation, becoming a public matter. Some people prefer to live privately, and when one’s actions are possibly misconstrued and become open for others to read and even to criticize, it is easy to feel uncomfortable with that. Even where the world at large may not be able to identify someone in a given creative work or blog post, the person or people who inspired it may often recognize the telling details, especially when it was written. Many people, even public people, are not necessarily pleased to inspire some creative works by others, and this is especially true of critical bloggers.

Given the fact that being a friend of a blogger, or even someone who is close to a blogger in some fashion, is likely to be a difficult experience, it is little wonder that some people cannot deal well with it. Whether the response involves trying to pull away from contact or communication with someone who is known to be an open book about their life, or whether the response involves telling one’s own side of the story, or trying to personally set boundaries as to what areas are appropriate for sharing and which are not depends on the personality and maturity level of the people involved. Alternatively, one could simply deal with it, and accept that the blogger was going to blog not out of personal spite or a desire to humiliate or embarrass or cause suffering, but because of factors inherent within the blogger. If one is going to befriend a blogger, one should have some idea what one is getting into, and one ought not to openly say that one does not mind being written about if one is, in fact, going to mind. Be careful what you wish for when you court attention. You may actually get it, and not like it as much as you thought you would, regardless of whether you are the one writing or the one being written about.

[1] Only one of many such leak scandals that fall under this blog’s beat:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/tunisia-and-the-wikileaks-revolution/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/ironies-ofwikileaks-and-transparency/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/what-wikileaks-says-about-somaliland/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/a-non-book-review-thaistory/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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11 Responses to Never Befriend A Blogger

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