Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Frankenstein

I shared a post I had written with Mo, and was wondering whether I should put it up on the blog. She remarked that it might evoke a lot of reactions, comments and opinions. Something which I enjoy in the ordinary course of things, but not with a post as personal as this one – hence, the delay.

So I wistfully stated that perhaps it was time to get an anonymous blog. Mo laughed and pointed out that “yours IS an anonymous blog” and then went on to ask whether I was also a slave to my blog.

And I realized that I probably was. A slave to my blog.

Despite the fact that it is anonymous (not shared by name or my mug-shot, and only a handful of readers might know those details) I have probably given a lot of my identity away (who I am rather than what I am called).

Thus, seem to have inadvertently created a framework for the kind of posts which I can or cannot write which I subconsciously follow. And that is the tonality with which I engage with all the readers as well. So unconsciously I have moulded myself into a “type”, as I am sure a lot of bloggers do ( at least those who have written for a while), of a style, boundary, tone or image.

Comfortable and comforting, yes, but also strangely restrictive.

How many times has one met a blogger and felt a slight sense of surprise – “Oh I thought he/she would be quieter or louder or funnier or sadder”. The point is the blog in essence one-dimensional (or at best) few-dimensional. But a person is a composite of many moods and thoughts. I might be feeling like Cynic in Wonderland one day, but some other day I might be feeling as irreverent as Austro, or subtly layered like Mo, or even as pun-ny as young Manuscrypts.

There was a time I would write melancholic posts here, or whiny ones or just an arbitrary collection of disjointed lines capturing the white noise in my head. Where the blog was in fact, the substitute for a diary. But somewhere along the way in morphed into an entity (?) with a distinct personality of its own (I do not know what that personality is, but I sense it has one) which is a part of me, but not the whole.

Have I created my own Frankenstein? Have you?

27 comments:

Parul said...

Of course. We all have. We have created brands, some well-known, some not. And these brands all have a personality and equity all their own and we sense that any diversion from the beaten path will have repercussions, whether welcome or not, we cannot say. But I, in my infinite wisdom have figured a way out of this. Leave the Classic Coke alone and create a New Variant Coke when you want some excitement around the brand. Heehee.

manuscrypts said...

oh wonderful! first YOU go get all messed up in YOUR head about YOUR blog's personality disorders, and then you go right ahead and script a personality for MY blog too??!! It can't get more WTF!! :p
and you asked Mo!!! can't you see her executing an ROFL loop now??!!
but seriously, you beat me to the post, which is ready and waiting - complete, in the drafts folder.. not posted because i'm trying to break the conditioning...
it's all in your head, as Mo would perhaps agree.. you decided to be anon, you decided the kind of posts you want and so on... first get rid of your conditioning, the audience will condition itself if it wants to, else it will move on, and you will have a different set :)
hell, look at me, i have even fixed that if its tuesday/friday there will be a post on my blog!! at least you aren't into such insane levels of self flagellation :) so relax... you can do what you want, its your blog, so er, you need to be content!!! :D
when i discussed this with a friend, he said "don't post on tuesday. tell them you changed your mind. actually don't even tell them" :)

AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn-that was quite a thoughtful post..and,I agree-we do create a kind of 'branding'for our blog(s)..and, a solution,if you want to do 'something different', is,go ahead and create another..and another...like I did-I have my regular blog,one inspirations blog and one jokes blog(which not all know about-do you??haha):)
---
Frankly,my blog meetings have been great..because I believe that bloggers(the ones I read and who read me)are basically nice people!And,niceness attracts niceness.right?:)Cheerio..and,don't worry about having created a Frankenstein...maybe 'Frank Einstein' would be a better phrase for you and all the creative people out there,who're Frank Einsteins with their own styles.:)

Princess Fiona said...

i completely hear u girl and am soooo on the same page....i too have a pseudo name and no mug shot..yet do not write about a lot of things I would like..fo fear of...I have no friggn clue..somehow the image has been created..and virtual or not...people identify with that image...
maybe..now;s the best time to throw caution to the wind..and write with gay abandon with no thought of image . brand..etc etc..wat say? :)

Arunima said...

you are right. I feel I also do not write many more things that I'd want to write though I know my blog comes as quiet personal. We all go through it. It is up to us. I have never felt to go anonymous or change the blog however. I stick by my own instincts whether this should be shared and this shouldn't be shared with the public.

Parul said...

I have linked to you here - http://orangeicecandy.blogspot.com/2009/06/prisoners-of-our-own-creation.html

Cynic in Wonderland said...

parul - point is it is a tough line. on one hand, you want readers, but you also want anonymity. so does one tom tom the new coke? or does one not. and well, lotsa mood. how many blogs? read your post too :) ( danke for the free publicity!). lot of people seem to feel that pressure apparently.

young manu - come to think of it, you are more punny on twitter than blogs? but you are right, it is self flagellation. and its not that i do it becoz of the readers so much ( or at any rate, i like to think i dont play to the audience THAT much). its just that YOU have a sense of what goes well and what doesnt. and that is the one that creates the problem. \
and well, a lot of times, i write as catharsis rather than validation - so to reconcile that with an image. gets difficult.

amitl - boils down to how many blogs. and honestly with the vast variations of moods which i have, i suspect, it would be quite unwieldy to manage all.

fiona like i was telling manu, its not even becoz of what people expect - its just more self inflicted rather than expectations. i CANT write some stuff - either beco its too personal, or too identifiable or something. and its weird becoz this is supposed to be the anon avatar.


arunima - exactly i do too. but sometimes, dont you feel the need to just write for the sake of writing - whether its in the right tone, the right way or whatever?

??! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
??! said...

We all end up like this. But it can get weirder.

Epiphany said...

I'd say it is in your head rather than ours...since it is your blog and we don't pay for reading it (cash or kind :)) it is completely up to you what you wanna write nai? Don't worry we (readers) aren't gonna go away so easily ;)

The stuff you had written about the kid in your building was also different from the usual stuff AND we are still pestering you...SO hope to see the "controversial" post soon!

Lazy Pineapple said...

absolutely... a blog is like a human...wanting needing attention and love :)

Iya said...

u know sometimes i too feel that i should have had an anon blog.. there are things i so want to wrtie but cant as i have a name and face associated with my blog..
but then as i said its only sometimes..i couldnt have managed to blog anon for too long..
yes, my blog is a part of me, a few percentage points..thats it..it will be nice to meet a blogger and then see how much people have understood me through this medium..

sra said...

Interesting post, but I must say I'm enjoying my Frankenstein - what I aim to be and my Frankenstein as is perceived by my readers. Not to say that I'm a different personality on my blog, I'm not, but no harm in only a few traits of me being seen as a jolly person rather than someone who also tends to obsess, be finicky, worry, etc etc. I'm not sure anyone will want to make a habit of reading my blog if all it contained was insecurities, worries, rants and rages.

Also, while I try to be anon on the blog, my family and friends know it so, of course, I can't vent about people from that circle. But it doesn't bother me as my blog was not intended for all that - though I do feel so much of my life is out there, even tho' I am anon. The who, rather than the name, as you said.

In love with my life said...

The blog is almost another existence..a personality trait that is not so strong in real life.

They essentially have the same thought process...so not quite frankie here. It is never a whole being- just traces of it..

Sounds plausible??

Mumbai Diva said...

absolutely!! i try and keep away from 'what i had for breakfast' kinda posts. that leads to self inflicted pressure and soon, writer blocks. and i just went non anon.....!!! am suddenly feeling a bit limited. it's also true that each blog that i follow, in my mind has a personality of it's own. for eg i mostly associate you with brilliant humour and iya with brilliant but simple stuff she notices about life in general.

Mo said...

Cyn- writing for an audience has always been hard. And what Manu says is right, you need to stop worrying about about your image, and write what you feel like.

thanchoo, I quite like the "subtly layered" bit. Makes me feel like blog is fashionably dressed for winter of content. :P

Aqua said...

Restrictive? Oh yes!

I find that I modify my posts or don't publish the mental posts because of the assumed reactions of the people who I know in real life who read the blog.

Lately, am a bit disgruntled with the blogosphere, what with all the judging that goes around.

Meira said...

Oh yes...though you put it into words rather well. I feel this pressure to keep my blog funny and light, and refrain from posting 'ranting posts'. I do have another blog where I write when I'm not in the 'happy mood' . I call it 'Mr. Hyde'. So yes, you are right, Frankensteins we have created. Though I always thought blogging anonymously made it a tad easy.I guess no.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

??! Read the posts. and yes, consciously or unconsciously one DOES play to an audience no?

epiphany - yus, i do the so called offbeat posts sometimes. but if you really see my posts, i always avoid the super personal ones. and those are the ones i still am not very comfortable putting up. my personal ones are more observational than anything else. and yus, why is it that no one pays me eh? eh?

lazy pineapple - and sometimes it goes thru a mid life crisis too!

iya - i think a lot of people who write anon, are the ones who got into the blogging bandwagon five six years ago - i reckon at that time almost everyone was anon. its only the last few years more real life avatars coming out

Cynic in Wonderland said...

sra - i agree with the part of it bit. but sometimes, arent there certain things which you just write for the heck of it - because of the passion, love or what have you. and its not even bitching - writing can be intensely personal for me i spose, so sometimes it lays open many vulnerabilities which i am not sure im comfortable laying open for the world to see

in love - i suppose thats true for everyone? if there is not a part of oneself in the blog, how does one sustain it? maybe a few months at best, but might be difficult for long stretches of time. so there has to be some degree of honesty.

mumbai diva - i guess one has different personality facets for different sets and occasionals - the minute you go anon, do they clash? its an interesting question.

mo - like i was telling you, there is the plus side to writing thinking an audience will read as well - you force yourself to try and write better. i like to think i dont write for an audience all the time. at least i hope i dont.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

aqua - thats why most people in real life dont even KNOW i blog. or at least the ones who would restrict me hehe. and also, COME BACK.

meira so you DO have an anon blog then. i just write stuff and dont post those. works well?

a million different people said...

EOD, we're all terribly judgemental? =)

Drenched said...

The trick is to brush this whole blog-type aside and post what you want to. The maximum fun is in doing things that people think are not your "type". I know that blogs do tend to form an image/personality of the writer in the readers' minds but just obeying to that whole personality thing is defeating the purpose of why you started a blog in the first place - to express yourself, in any manner whatsoever.

PS: As an aside, why do people say they've "created their own Frankenstein" when actually Frankenstein was the name of the pagal scientist who created the monster and not that of the monster itself?

Satish Bhat said...

Cyn,how is your blog any different from you - after all you shape the words/moods shown on it.And if it only reveals part of your personality, so be it !

In my personal experience, the act of writing is more soothing than the final "product". Although not having the pressure of anonymity is a bonus too. I am Satish Bhat.

Epiphany said...

Cyn - the only reason we don't pay to read your blog is coz we fear that then blogging will become a "job" and you make flick some colored stationary from blogger ;)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

million different people - nope not really. it just makes me feel like im hanging out private stuff i suppose. more in my head than anything else i guess

drenched - yes, see the point is, i can write stuff here, people will read it. but reality is i have built a relationship and rapport with the readers -friends, aquaintances etc. now there are some things which are very personal insecurities - which one writes more as a catharsis than anything else. those are the problematic ones i spose.

Satish yes its only a part of the personality. nothing wrong with that. the act of writing is personal - but the product is not. therein lies the contradiction.

epiphany - hmpf

ThoughtSafari said...

Its true! So understand and acknowledge. Trying to start and anon blog myself! People you know tend to misconstrue you sometimes based on what you write.. correct?