Have you seen Jon’s “Drunk on Your Own Words” post at Copyblogger? It’s a good piece, go read it if you haven’t already. After reading it I realized blogging has some things in common with drinking the booze:
- Inhibitions – For some of us blogging can strip away inhibitions. This could be in the way people deal with criticism or trolls, lashing out in a way they never would in real life, or it could be just the lack of self censorship. I have seen people say stuff in a blog that they would never say in mixed company in face to face meetings. Everything from details of their sexual encounters to political opinions and bigotry. Is it interesting human interest or “over share”? You decide …
Solution: Don’t post in haste. Write like your mum or boss is reading.
- Arrogance – We have all seen at one time a cocky drunk. The “I can take on anyone in the room” guy. Some people seem to take a blog audience as confirmation of their infallibility and fame. Everyone else is there as a potential victim to be torn down. This seems particularly rife in the tech and celebrity sectors. Thankfully in both cases someone usually gives them a reality check eventually.
Solution: Realize you are not perfect yourself and what you put out you get back.
- Despair – Just like alcohol can be a mood enhancer for both good and bad moods, blogs can either make you feel more connected or exaggerate your feelings of being unloved and alone. People are often asking me why nobody visits? why will no one comment? why doesn’t anyone like my blog? Just like when the booze alters your judgment, sometimes we find it difficult to be objective about our blogging so continue as we always have while getting more unhappy.
Solution: Make friends in forums, comment on others blogs, chat on IM and email. Other people are usually happy to let you know the truth of the situation or just give support.
- Buzz – People drink for the buzz, for that elevation of mood. Blogging can make you happy, and can make you super-friendly. This is great but don’t let it loosen your grip on reality. Being friendly is great but not every visitor wants to be your friend. When drinking hold on to your wallet and keys, when blogging look after your passwords and privacy.
Solution: Post in draft, do not reveal too much, have clear procedures for keeping details safe and not always using the same passwords, keep backups.
- Hangover – Inevitably realty sets in and you look at recent events objectively. You have to clean up your mess and feel the sting of shame every time you remember what you said or did.
Solution: Prevention is easier than cure but if you do find yourself having to clear up a mess, be honest and remorseful and hope people forgive and forget!
The answer might be “don’t drink”, but like most things in life, moderation with a clear mind is the key!
Does any of this ring true for you or am I just blog drunk again? 🙂