Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogstalking and Soap Operas

I have a confession. I am a blogstalker. True story. I LOVE to read people's blogs, even if I haven't spoken to them in ten years. Lately, while I'm busy not dating or training for a marathon or finding a cure for cancer, I peruse blogs.

Recently (as in three months ago) I found a blog list for my high school class. So as I've been following and reading my former classmates' blogs, I have come to an interesting realization: blogstalking is a lot like watching soap operas. 

I remember when I was younger (as in somewhere between the ages of 5 and 15), I learned that we don't watch soap operas because they're addictive and they distort our perception of reality and they make us want things we can't have like handsome men and fancy cars. I'm not sure who said this-- it could have been a teacher, a parent, a church leader, or something I'm completely making up right now. In any case, I remember soap operas being a "no-no." (Note: this has not stopped me from indulging in guilty pleasures like Beverly Hills 90210, Grey's Anatomy, and The Hills.)

Blogstalking is no different than obsessively watching The O.C. or Days of Our Lives (by the way, whatever did happen with Bo and Hope?)

Many of my former classmates are now married with children. They make cutesy blogs that look like digital scrapbooks and frequently post pictures of their children, who usually have blond hair, trendy names like "Kyler" and "Braxley", and disturbingly high IQs, which are miraculously manifested at the age of two.  A nauseatingly cutesy sign declaring "We are a happy family" can literally be found on one of them (yes, I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw it), but they all say it one way or another. Fulfillment has been found in family and friends. 

Those that aren't married live another kind of life. They have recently climbed Mount Everest (with pictures to show) and now they are building orphanages in Africa. Or they are living in New York City and spending their evenings sipping wine and engaging in intellectual banter with artists and writers and scientists. The world is their open book and they aren't afraid to scribble their names all over it.

Then there is me. 

I turn 27 next month and my blog does not fit either category (which is one of the reasons I refuse to add it to my high school list). I read these blogs, and think to myself, in my 26 years of life what have I accomplished? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I have not written a book or produced a documentary about the prevalence of AIDS in South America. I don't have the doting husband or the adorable kids (it's probably for the better-- my kids would most likely look like trolls anyway). Basically, even though I'm a normal job-holding, taxpaying citizen, I'm a menace to society because I have no idea how to French braid, I'd rather die than climb Mount Everest, and I learned the definition of "mens rea" from Legally Blonde. 

In other, more concise words, blogstalking is akin to torture. And yet I keep going back for more. 

See. They're addictive, they distort my perception of reality, and they make me want things I can't have.

Just like soap operas.

But I like them anyway.


tammyfaye22 said...

Oh Jamie Lyn! I sure do love your sarcastic little self, and I love this entry! I'm not a blogstalker and although I torture myself in other ways, usually it's not by reading other people's blogs.

Just because you haven't traveled the globe (although you have seen a lot more of the world than I have) or popped out 5 kids doesn't mean that you're some type of failure. It just means your time schedule is different. And there's nothing wrong with that. Don't let your blogstalking completely ruin your sense of reality!! Don't do it!

And NO you're children would NOT look like little trolls. They'd be adorable, just like you. As an added bonus, they'd also be full or sarcasm and wit. :) They'd also have an adorable silly time of afternoon when they laugh a lot and their cubicle neighbor would be quite amused by.

NikkiAnn said...

Also, you should remember that these blogs are out there for the world to see - and these people KNOW that their high school classmates are looking at them. So of course they're going to try and make their life look like the best ever. I see it as kind of a 'beat the Joneses' thing and I doubt if anyone's life is really THAT perfect.

One other thing to keep in mind is that it's not like you've done nothing with your life - you've had a TON of AWESOME experiences. Living in London, backpacking through Europe, serving a mission, living in Alaska for a summer, graduating from BYU, as well as countless other smaller trips and excursions. You've had experiences that I envy, and shouldn't look down on the amazing things that you have done.

Kimberlie said...

I totally know what you mean. I like to blogstalk people also. I will follow them anonomously so that they won't know that I am watching.

(insert evil laugh here)

Heidi said...

I found a satirical blog you might enjoy:

Bookworm said...

Jamie Lyn: This was written in June. It's now August. Please give us some more of your gems.