January 12, 2007

Mr. Blogger's Bloggerhood

Every year I get a phone call from a university doing a study on...well, I'm not totally sure, because it's one of those studies where they don't tell you exactly what they're looking for, because they don't want you tailoring your answers to skew their results. They seem to be looking for changing attitudes toward various media. They ask me how I feel about newspapers, books, television, the Internet, etc., and how much time I spend per week with each thing, and how much I trust the information I receive from each source.

I remember the first year I participated in the study, in I think 2002, they asked me if I had a blog and I said, "A what?" The next year I said, "No," and I said it in that dismissive tone of voice you'd use if someone asked you if you had a Delorian. "Clearly not," my tone of voice said. This year I'll be saying, "Why, yes! Yes I do!"

I am so glad that blogging got started around the time I became a stay-at-home mother. I don't need a lot of contact with other people, but I do need some, and reading other people's blogs helps. It makes me feel like there are other people out there, and I'm not all by myself here in this parenting thing. It gives me other things to think about as I do laundry and wash dishes and change diapers: I might be thinking about the latest Ask Beth question, or about some funny thing Sundry said, or about Semi-Desperate Housewife's exciting pregnancy news, or about how much Baa Baa Black Sheep reminds me of my adored sister-in-law, or about how Catherine Newman always manages to articulate things so perfectly, or about how much I hope Farrago has good news soon, or about how awesome I am that I can do html links without looking it up now, or WHATEVER, but in any case I'm thinking about people other than myself and situations other than my own, and that seems like a good thing for anyone. It makes me feel like I know people, like I have contact with other people, and I'm not going to act like that's pathetic because I don't think it is: Internet contact is contact.

I don't know how people handled the isolation of motherhood without the Internet. I suppose they were just less isolated. I have this mental picture, probably not even real, of mothers talking over the fence and dropping in for coffee. Maybe they really did that. I can't picture being un-shy enough to do that, but I can see how desperation could drive the shyness out. I'm grateful not to have that desperation, and I give credit to this international bloggerhood: we talk over our virtual fences, we drop in for virtual coffee, and ideally none of us lose our minds.


Black Sheeped said...

Today at work, I put a room-temperature soda outside in a snow bank and forgot about it. And it froze. Rock solid! I now completely regret not throwing it on the ground to prove to my boss how frozen it was.

Your sister-in-law? Is she overly obsessed with her dog? Also, her cats?

I'm a twin, by the way. I'm afraid of one day having twins. Mostly because my mom still complains about it.

This comment has got to stop.

Blogging is good. I agree.

Swistle said...

I'd always liked the idea of having twins, but didn't think I had any chance of having them. When I found out I was, I thought, "Maybe it won't be as fun as I think it will." I read a lot of books that warned me it would be really hard. But it's been fun! Double the cute! I'm glad they weren't my first kids, because it was a lot easier to do it with the experience of baby 1 and baby 2 behind me.

My sister-in-law has a way of writing that is similar to yours. It is hard to put a finger on. A whimsical way with words that seems appealingly different from the way other people write. I always feel like copying her.

Black Sheeped said...

I can see how it would be double the fun. And it was super nice always having someone to play with. I believe my mom complains (lovingly, of course) because I had colic. And it was twice the expense. And we were both slightly (overly) mischievious.

I'm going to link you, Ms. Swistle. Linked!

Shelly said...

As a new mom, I want to say "Yeah, what she said" about your post. I don't need a ton of contact with the outside world either, but some is nice. Blogging has been such a great way to get those needs met.