For several years now, anyone tech-savvy enough to navigate blogspot or xanga has been able to share their thoughts with the internet world through their personal blog (or sometimes, a public “family” blog). Some, like the Pioneer Woman, have made blogging about family activities into a successful home business.
Increasingly common, however, are “private” family blogs. Using the websites of their choice, many create an online forum through which they conduct the bulk of their communication with their own families. In some ways, this seems the logical next step for a family who has regressed from talking to chatting on cell phones, and from that to e-mails and texting. Keeping in physical contact with those in your own household is just a little too much of a strain, it seems.
The other day, Dr. Laura’s blog featured a guest blogger on how “Blogs Are Not Great Ways to Maintain Relationships.” This user had apparently been conducting a good portion of communication with her family via a private blog, only to watch her relationships disintegrate into a heap of miscommunications. Private blogs, says this user, don’t take into account the sharing-and-listening rhythm of normal conversations. The anonymity and immunity that blogs provide the blogger make it easy to type things that would not pass out of a speaker’s mouth in a face-to-face conversation.
From an unlikely source, we have a reminder of the limits of such an expansive mode of communication. Using blogs as a gathering place for articles and discussion may be one thing. Replacing family interaction with cyber connections is quite another.