Sunday, May 01, 2005

True Confessions

Once upon a time our whole family was addicted to watching Days of our Lives. We inherited this addiction from David’s mother who had always watched this soap opera. It became easy to watch in 35 minutes each day when we could record the hour-long program and then just watch it later by fast-forwarding through the commercials (yes, there really are 25 minutes of commercials in an hour show!). The world of Days (centered in Salem, in the midwest near Chicago) was very restricted: there were no Jews, no Hispanics, no Asians, only 1 gay man, no lesbians, no abortions, etc. In the hottest of sex scenes everyone kept their clothes on (I never quite figured out how this worked...) But then when the summer Olympics superceded the 1 PM NBC slot, we realized how stupid it was to watch this idiotic story every day and it all ended. It was actually much more pleasant to talk to each other at dinner!

Of course we didn’t tell any of our upper-middle-class intellectual friends that we actually watched a soap opera. After all, aren’t those written for the stupidest of Americans who don’t read books or listen to good music and who have nothing better to do?

But I must confess, I have found something more addictive than watching soap operas – something that is real, not fiction. I read other people’s BLOGs. There is absolutely nothing illegal about this. Virtually everything on the Internet is available to anyone who knows how to find it. It turns out that GOOGLE and a few addresses of friends’ BLOGs make it not too difficult to discover a world of entertaining reading. And one BLOG leads to another as people add their comments. There is the deepest of intellectual thought; there is X-rated sexual commentary; there are stories of lost love, found love, no love; there is a virtual smorgasbord of things to read.

The interesting thing about being a BLOG-junky is that it is in no way apparent to the authors of all of this reading material. You can simply slip in and read what you want and then leave undetected.

One might ask whether this is unethical, even though it is certainly not illegal. Is this the behavior of some pervert, a veritable stalker, who is entertained by the exploits of pure strangers (in some cases)? It might seem suspiciously so. But on the other hand, what’s the difference in being entertained by a program of fictitious stilted characters who make their appearance for an hour every day and this other world of real characters who are available 24x7?

Every now and then someone tells me that he/she read something in my BLOG and I am always surprised that anyone reads it. For all I know, some stranger might at this very moment be reading my latest posting. I can guarantee that it does not provide the fascinating reading that some people who live on the fringes of society provide, so I would be surprised if I had even one regular follower! But even I will never know...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing beats Days!

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm only following one Blog regularly. I find it fascinating and an inspiration to see how open and honest L2L is in life reflections and musings. Keep it up. FL

6:25 AM  
Blogger Liea said...

It's very interesting to have a peak into the life of other people. Sometimes it puts things into perspective for ourselves.

I am a regular reader of your blog, or as regular as I could be with being so busy. In my hubble opinion, I believe your online journal is wonderful. It's life, it's you and you are a very interesting person.

I know what you mean about how addictive online journals are. I use Live Journal and they have a very nice search feature. You should check it out sometime. I don't post very regular but I do post sometimes and my journal is not as interesting as yours is. I guess it is kinda voyeuristic of me to look into other peoples lives so much more than I share my own. We all post on the internet knowing that all things online are public and everyone that knows how can find that information, so I guess we shouldn’t feel bad about taking those peaks we take.

3:00 PM  

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