Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 Hmmm, Interesting: Blogging is A Two-Way Mirror


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I am noticing something very interesting happening here on my blog. People are sometimes interpreting my posts in unintended ways. Now, there's nothing wrong with this, as I'm enjoying seeing how the meaning is being filtered through the lens of people's personal perspectives & experiences. This can be insightful, & a lot can be learned through an exchange like this. It's not just a lesson in personal communication styles; the exchange also reveals new information & is an interesting study on how minds work. Often, people's comments are more of a reflection of themselves than of what I wrote, which is not really that surprising. And honestly, I'm pretty OK with that too.

Some of the "lost in translation" nebulae of intended meaning is probably happening because of my writing style. I tend to write in one of two ways: Either I hit people over the head with obvious direct statements that don't have any hidden, secondary meaning, or I write in subtle prose with double-meanings which barely hint at the underlying points just beneath the surface. Maybe you could blame it on my Gemini twins; they make me one fickle writer. :)

Either way, I'm finding that these approaches are having mixed results when it comes to comments. :) Sometimes people take what I say far too literally, & need to factor some much-intended irony into the equation, & other times they are reading far much more into the article than I originally intended &/or finding meaning other than what I intended to express. Either way, that probably means that there's a good chance I'm potentially bewildering & confusing several people at any one time. ;-) (Insert subtle wit here. :) )

Again, what's interpreted is completely dependent upon who's doing the interpreting & possibly what kind of mindset or mood they're in when they're reading these posts. ;-) People who are approaching these articles in a more literal-minded way are getting one thing out of these posts, while those with a more Wildean sense of wit are seeing double & triple layers of meaning in everything I say, whether I intended them or not. :)

Again, it's all cool & I'm not judging anyone; it's just an observation. It's kind of like poetry or music or art; each person sees or discovers something different in what you created. :)

Now of course I can't expect everyone to read my mind or instantly know exactly what I'm thinking, but sometimes it's nice to be "known" without having to try so hard. And so, yes, sometimes I don't feel like explaining the obvious, & would rather focus on the subtle.

And then there are other times where I'm into complete directness & "over-explaining" because apparently, when I don't do this, there are people who are confused by my meaning. But after a while, I tire of having to do this, & go back to my earlier strategy of being indirect & subtle. :)

Sometimes, it makes me question my writing skills (Am I being specific enough or providing unnecessary clarification?), & other times it makes me question my connection to other people.

I think that is part of why I am writing this blog. I am trying to connect with like minds, in terms of finding a common understanding & a common bond -- that goes beyond just the surface bond of running.

Maybe when I switch from irony to obvious modes & back again, I should include little asides, which will act in much the same way as road signs one sees along the highway: "OK, I'm being literal here." "Nope, that was intended as connotation, not denotation." "Warning: Watch out for overly subtle metaphor here." "Don't trip over the rather large & virtually unmissable, dripping pool of irony in that last paragraph."

OK, then again, maybe not. :)

2 comments:

Runnrgrrl said...

great insight here. blogging is such an expressive medium. like every communcation, the message sent is not necessarily the message received. i think over time, as ppl read your thoughts, they'll get a sense of you. and if you keep us guessing, so much the better. your energy, spontaneity and verve leap off the screen and that is priceless.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Runnrgrrl! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts & for your kind & supportive words.

That's a great way of putting how people communicate & perceive words in general. And of course, it feels rather nice know that you appreciate my sometimes rather unpredictable nature. :)

Likewise, when I read your blog, I often feel like we are on the same wavelength. It's like I can hear your voice & it sounds very familiar to me. You have such an immediate style of writing. I love all of these qualities about your blog!

Even though we've never met face-to-face before, I feel like if we did, we'd really hit it off, ya know?! :)

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