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.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...