How much is too much? POAYG or ‘Pouring Out All Your Guts’ is the bloggers’ equivalent of PDA, in overkill. It’s not the 5 seconds lovers’ kiss in a crowded street, it’s the 90 seconds-long make-out session at a crowded bus stop, complete with extras, toppings and asides. There are sighs and groans. You want to look away but you’re too stupefied to do so, and you keep looking, silently wondering what cog of the universe’s wheels slipped out of place, or if this is the new normal.
I understand that everyone blogs for different reasons. Pleasure, work, therapy, and a myriad other reasons. Some bloggers are comfortable sharing every tiny bit of themselves with the world. They’ll let it all out, leaving nothing to the imagination. I imagine it’s the allure of being hidden behind a screen, writing to people you’ll most likely never meet in your life. It’s empowering. I’ve heard it said that it’s easier to talk to strangers about things we would normally find it harder to share with people close to us. Maybe it’s the absence of the fear of being judged by the people we know.
After reading quite a number of blogs out there, I came across many writers that wrote in great detail about there personal lives, all to varying degrees. For some, it was about the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of loved ones, and for others it’s their sexual life. There are those that write about the conditions that ail them, and how they deal with them on a day to day basis. These write for therapy. Now by POAYG, I don’t mean those writers, I’m referring to the other end of the spectrum. The kind you read and fail to come up with an appropriate response.
Everyone goes through a rough patch now and then, and we deal with it in different ways. I once chose this blog as the method to deal with one very rough patch of mine, putting it all out there. Well, not all. I wasn’t quite as brave as my fellow bloggers. I didn’t feel very comfortable with having people read the most intimate details about me. I wrote about the surface of the problem, how I felt, and what I was doing to keep my spirits up. Still, it didn’t feel quite right. I felt too exposed, and soon, I took all those posts down.
I’m not judging anyone here, but how much is too much? Should we draw the line somewhere? How do you feel about exposé-style blog posts? And how much of the very same very personal topic can you take in repetitive posts before you’re desensitised? How many times can you comment ‘I am so sorry to hear that, you’re strong, keep going’? At what point does writing for therapy turn into a never-ending pity party? How long are we allowed to wallow in our sorrows and self pity? How much information is Too Much Information? Does it even matter at all?
I once read in one blogger’s post about how a certain culture’s women dealt with tragedy. If one of the women had a grievance, first time she wanted to discuss it the other women made a circle around her, facing her, and they listened and comforted. The second time same thing happened, the women facing her, if memory serves me right. If she raised it again, they still gathered around her but this time faced away from her. Symbolic? Harsh? We don’t all grieve or handle difficulty the same, after all. Still, I think there’s a line to be drawn, perhaps a point after a reasonable period at which a little tough love and a cajoling to ‘get back up’ might help.