Bloggers, Are We Attention Whores?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] couple weeks ago I had a conversation with someone which sparked me to ask twitter if they thought bloggers were narcissists or “attention whores”. The answers were a mixture of “eh, sometimes”, strong no’s, and one DM turned email of yes and an incredible explanation why. The lonesome yes was my favorite response. It was clear, it wasn’t an attack and it showed a level of understanding of the personal blogger’s craft.
Yes. I wouldn’t say attention whore, let’s say attention seekers, because I know you, and your vagina is far from a whore. There are a good amount of bloggers sharing every experience because they want to capitalize from it. They want the “oh, ah” impact but not in book form. In a way, they’re looking for validation in a following of people.
But then there is Yetunde, and I can only really go off you because I don’t like to admit that I’m a grown man reading women blogs. And if we’re being honest here Yetunde, I only read it because its you. By the way, you write very well for a techie. But what I noticed, and I think it was from a post like, “Shit is going to happen”, you are private as hell. Secretive even. And I thought, how in the hell is she blogging without giving people the entire story?. It irritated me. Like you were holding out. Then a year later you wrote that rape entry and I thought, and I think a bunch of us thought it too, why is she putting this on the internet? But it kind of made sense. You’re an attention seeker for awareness. After that post, and yes I checked, you didn’t mention it again. I got it. I was one of the men you went to school with cracking rape jokes on twitter. I got the message.
We could’ve had a conversation about it, but I don’t think the impact would have been as strong. Or as shocking, I guess. You really do share tiny bits of you and it’s really only in order to create awareness. So if there are other bloggers like you out there, then yeah, you’re attention seekers. The good kind.
Here’s my truth on this topic: Yes, there are those that simply blog to scream to the world, “Look at me”. There are those who blog in hopes of being the Kim Kardashian of the internet.
And then there are storytellers, personal bloggers who aim to share their story in hopes that someone else will learn and avoid making the same fuck. In hopes that we reach another being to let them know that they are not alone. Or simply because we want to create a sense of awareness through personals essays, similar to what you read from major publications such as Huffington post or buzz-feed list.
I don’t think we’ll ever be able to escape this perception that us personal bloggers simply share because we like to cry on the internet. Or that we blog for reaction sake. But it took my ex calling my blog “A Truman Show”, for me understand that some people will never understand the purpose of storytelling. Some are too ignorant to get it. And others, just don’t have eye or capacity for it. And that’s okay too.
I can’t speak for others, but I know the last thing I want from my readers is pity. I think that’s why it takes me forever to share something personal, or better yet, why some of my posts come off cryptic. I am private. I also have the pride of a typical scorpio, so the last response I want from you all is, “you poor thing”.
But I am in the business of self-love, self-compassion and an unstoppable sense of self-worth. I’m building myself, loving myself and want to document the things I have tired and lessons I have learned. So I share parts of my vulnerabilities, glimpses of successes and failures sometimes for accountability but often to simply let others know it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to work on you. And I do it through personal blogging and storytelling.
There is a purpose to this “Truman Show”. A huge one.1
It could be argued in today’s world that everyone’s an attention whore. It’s kind of the nature of how we live our lives thanks to reality television, social media and these ephemeral channels of attention and fame. There are times when I consider my blog and think, “At least I have this detailed and deep-rooted archive, instead of tweets that are here today, gone tomorrow.” I definitely agree that when we really lean in to the art of storytelling, we move beyond that “look at me” mentality and start to do the real work as bloggers of connecting with others. Great post.
Interesting share. I would agree with the gentleman about the reason behind the shares and sharing within reason for a purpose. I know for myself when I decided to go the blog route it was for sharing of information and uplifting it wasn’t for wow is me and drama. I am also a very private person so when I do share a personal matter it is very minimal, just enough to get point across. Yetti another good one!
I don’t think actors get called attention whores, or authors, or producers, or musicians, not simply by virtue of doing what they do. Artists do not get called attention whores for being artists. But somehow there is this perception that writers – people who tell THEIR stories, not, say, novelists – are in it for the personal glory, that they just like the sound of their own voice, that navel-gazing is there number-one hobby.
I don’t understand how an art as valid as any other makes us attention whores, but like you said – some people don’t understand storytelling. And frankly, those are the people I worry about, because they’re people who aren’t able to see the value in other people’s stories. It’s too bad for them; I think they’re the ones missing out on hearing so many beautiful perspectives & experiences.
100% agree. I believe in the power in storytelling. it’s crazy that folks are not able to see blogging as another medium. as others have already said, it’s no different from being an author of a book, or a screenwriter, or a musician? i think the agency employed through blogging makes folks uneasy. for so long art was curated by a select few, even music, but once the creators began curating then a stigma is attached to the work. I mean look at the way folks reacted to Drake selling his “mixtape” lol. I hope I didn’t lose you but I see a connection.