Do You Have Blogorrhea?

Bloggers who write detailed accounts of their lives tend ramble on about the littlest details. Sometimes they’re juicy (what you did during a weekend getaway with—oops!), sometimes they’re a tad too colorful (how you won a hotdog-eating contest and had an appendectomy in the same day).


You don’t mind, since it’s unbelievably soothing to write all these details down in the free-for-all that is the Internet. But what about your readers? Your visitors? People who know you in real life? (Your boss, your teacher, your aunts and uncles, your colleagues?) Would you actually tell all these people these details?

If the answer is no, you’re suffering from blogorrhea. You might have guessed it’s short for blog diarrhea. Doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it?

Blogorrhea is representative of the paradigm shift we are experiencing right now. (It may not be all-encompassing, but we can still feel it.) That it’s okay to share an excessive portion of ourselves on the web: your current relationship status, what a drunken you looks like, how you sing/dance to a Backstreet Boys song in the dorm, which webpages you’ve stumbled upon, and what exactly are you thinking of right now (in 140 characters or less).

Some of these things are good and can actually turn an unseen hermit into a social butterfly. But the rest are a product of riding the I Want to Be Cool Too Bandwagon; worse, they disrupt productivity and can even ruin your reputation.

But this is my blog! I can do anything I want with it. Sure you can. But anyone and everyone can see what you do. Even people from the future! Imagine if you broke up with that signifcant other you spent your weekend getaway with, and your future s.o. somehow ended up reading that juicy post.

But I can just delete my posts and my blog whenever I want to. Your blog can still get archived elsewhere. Look at how this blog is archived using Google and The Internet Archive. This is probably why LiveJournal is very popular: you can set which set of readers (friends, school, others, everyone) can read which entries. Your best bet is password-protecting your post, but it takes the fun out of blogging, right?

But this is exciting! And getting worried about what others will think is boring! You should always look before you leap. The Internet is vast, but it’s not okay to say there’s plenty of room for error. Besides, a good writer will find a way to make any story interesting. As a blogger, you should develop the same skill.

But I don’t think this is blogorrhea! I’m just being very articulate. It’s a matter of taste. But remember both your regular and walk-in readers. There are some details you will just have to leave out about that appendectomy, okay?

But you’re just saying that because I have a personal blog, not a politics or technology blog. It’s true that personal blogs are more prone to blogorrhea than topical/filter blogs, only because they lack restraint. Similarly, one must not dismiss personal blogs as pure blogorrhea because of that.

Take a look at your blog. Are you suffering from blogorrhea? Be very careful, then!

Originally posted on May 18, 2007 @ 8:16 pm