“Why do so many people have those blogs?”
“They give out too much information. Don’t they know about pedophiles when they put their children’s pictures on the Internet?”
“I can’t understand why they want to tell the whole world about every little detail of their lives.”
I’ve thought about these tidbits of conversation when an older group of women got together.
What I heard myself saying was, “I think posting on a blog is like what we used to have that we called ‘the front porch.'”
I would guess that the majority of the current blog-set have never experienced the “old front porch.”
Here’s a snippet of what I remember:
Grandma’s porch had a slightly slopping, painted wood floor with railing on all sides. Although it was officially a “ranch house,” it was headquartered in town and had a nice, long worn path from the front gate to the porch. On warm summer days, we kids liked to sit in Grandma’s rockers and sip lemonade. If our mother’s were with us, we had to give up the rockers and opt for the stairs or regular chairs. (Mother’s rights to rockers superceded kid’s rights.)
I don’t think it was totally the lemonade or the rockers or the warmth of summer that made sitting on Grandma’s front porch so comfortable and welcoming. I think it was the conversation that went on. Our mothers could sit and talk about all manner of things, from how to make a detailed Easter bunny cake with colored coconut to how the new preacher’s wife didn’t wear any make-up. Sometimes our mother’s would talk about somebody having too much to drink at the Lady’s Club Hall, or how somebody always burned their cookies and still brought them to the pot-luck. Sometimes we actually joined in the conversation about 4-H or something at school, but most of all what I liked the best was being quietly included into that circle of “sisters.”
(Later on, my best friend would tell me that her Grandma told her that my Grandma was a big gossip. I was so surprised to hear that. I had heard that her Grandma was the big gossip.)
I think blogging and front porches have a lot in common. They are all about relationships. While we no longer have the ability to rock and chat the afternoon away on that warm porch, swatting flies and sipping lemonade, we do have the ability to grab the laptop, swing our feet up on the coffee table and share some part of ourselves with our “worldly” neighbors.
(I believe we are still in the learning stages for what and how much to share with anyone who wishes to “eavesdrop.”)
HOWEVER: Wouldn’t it be a great connection to have both front porch relationships with our neighbors and family; and, concurrently have Internet relationships with our ever-expanding worldly neighbors and family?
Perhaps our newest front porch will intercede where politicians and diplomats have struggled.
Be gentle with yourself and others.