Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blogging Dilemmas

I haven't been writing much in recent months.  It has been suggested that the confessorial, or should I say pseudo-confessorial, approach that I often adopt is not appropriate and can convey an inaccurate (and not necessarily flattering) impression of me as a person.  Though this hasn't been the reason for my not writing, it does give me pause for thought in considering taking up the keyboard once more.  I never really cared about flattering myself, but there can be real-life repercussions.  To what extent is the persona portrayed in a blog accepted as an accurate reflection of the blogger as a person?  Can it not be regarded as in a sense a type of performance art?  Can the stand-up comedian make the most outrageous statements safe in the protective halo of the stage while the blogger must consider family, friends, and - most importantly - employers? How does one know when one is performing or laying one's soul bare?  Shouldn't that be clear from the writing?  But what if that writing is unclear or just plain bad; what is the price of freedom of expression then?
The debate about  identities in cyberspace, and to what extent we can use them to be something we are not in 'the real world', is rightfully gathering pace.  There are a raft of issues, not least those concerning defamation, copyright and just plain courtesy, that need to be considered whenever we blog, tweet or otherwise use the web to publish our writing.  (How many Facebook users have casually used a status update to devastate a 'friend'?)  But can we limit ourselves too much?  From my own personal perspective, are my blog posts, particularly my more 'personal' entries, taken as intended, that is exaggerated for hopefully humorous effect, or are they instead seen as condemnation of myself from my own mouth, a portrayal of an unpleasant individual inadvertently revealing his dark underbelly?  Are my posts intolerant, misogynistic, and excessively concerned with alcohol, or are these elements, if present, merely the trappings of observational humour as observed by my slightly manic doppelganger?  Is there ever an excuse for their presence in a blog, humorous or otherwise?  If anyone cares to respond I'd be interested to hear your view.  Personally I love to go over the top for comic effect, but apparently that doesn't always come across to the reader.  Any views?  Am I successful or not?  Can readers tell when I am serious or when I play?  Or am I simply a bad writer incapable of conveying the right tone?