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There seems to be an interesting debate asserting itself in the blogosphere currently, and it appears that a quick browse of most of my favourite websites can't be achieved without becoming ensconsced in the conversation. The topic? Online authenticity, and the argument whether a positive writing style vs. a somewhat less optimistic tone constitutes as an honest portrayal of the writer.
Personally, I conduct Frock & Roll in an upbeat manner. This isn't because I possess a fantasy complex that all of life's dealings revolve around sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but rather, it is mostly the product of my personality (I don't tend to take a lot of things very seriously), and the way in which I was raised. It was instilled into me from a very young age that no matter the complication, miniscule or astronomical in size, that there was always somebody out there in a less fortunate position than myself. I was encouraged to, in replacement of complaining and feelings of despondency about the things I didn't have, to take into account the wonderful things that I was the proprietor of, and to feel an immense appreciation for them, whether it was the hot water I showered with or the clean sheets I slumbered amongst. And yes, this viewpoint used to drive me slightly maniacal as a child, when all I wanted to do was stamp my feet and huff and puff about various (apparent) injustices, but am now forever thankful that I was taught this behaviour.
The ultimate motivation for the creation of this post arrived after reading a comment on another website from a reader who insinuated that unless a blogger shared anything unpleasant about their lifestyle or daily activities, they were unrealistic and imposters pretending that everything was perfect 24/7. I disagree. Vastly. EVERYONE has less-than-spectacular days occasionally (my personal favourite term for such occurences would be CRAP-tacular), but I don't believe that such events require the documentation of our disgruntlements with missed buses, paying premium for supremely average coffee or trivial squabbles with our families over recycling. Particularly if you are the creator of a niche blog. Upon discussing this subject with fellow blogger Ashe Mischief, I was introduced to a very vaild pont:
''Would ProBlogger (Darren Rowse) be accused of being disingenuous because he doesn't write about his bad days? I think that's what Twitter's for.''
Exactly. I find Twitter acts as the perfect marketplace to air grievances, because it allows users to post brief, random bursts of thought, without compromising or being irrelevant to a website's overall content. If I produced a personal blog, I would also perhaps find this an appropriate environment to share any trials or tribulations, but in all honesty, I would be overwhelmingly surprised if anyone was interested enough in my fury over manicures that chip after a single day to absorb more than 140 characters of reading.
In a final nod to the matter that is online authenticity, Cupcakes & Mace reader Amber suggests that if anyone feels uncertain in regards to how genuine a reflection their websites are of their personalities, to enlist the assistance of a loved one to review their material. I completely recommend this. Everyone in my life reads/is aware of Frock & Roll, and although very few comment, a barrage of probing questions would ensue from fellow employees, college classmates, teachers, overseas companions and my parents if consistency wasn't employed in both my online and real life personas. While at times this can be the teeniest bit embarrasing (wearing your heart on your sleeve, and all!), confronting (particularly when walking into your classroom on a Monday morning only to be greeted with ''so, where are the snacks?!'') and frightening, it's also entirely rewarding.
What are your opinions in regards to the theme of online authenticity, and the positivity vs. negativity debate that invariably trails behind it?
(Image thanks to jonas-girl.)