|Photo credit: ISD 191 Performing Arts Programs on Flickr|
I was thinking the other day about how we perceive others on the internet.
When we meet people in person, there’s something vulnerable about it—we can really see the person, look into their eyes and hear their voice. You can shake hands and see their smile and get a feel for what they’re like. We develop connections this way that we can’t do online.
Because online people seem untouchable. There’s a barrier between you and everyone else out there—a screen that stands between that personal connection. Even with video chatting and vlogs it’s not the same thing—sure you can see and hear the person, but you can’t shake hands. You can get a feel for the vibe they’re sending off or pick up on the little mannerisms the camera didn’t catch.
So it’s only natural, I suppose, that we sometimes view those online as something magical. I don’t necessarily mean random Facebook or Twitter friends (although I suppose the same could apply in certain cases), I mean bloggers. The ones that have developed some sort of authority in their field. The ones that give tips and tricks and people ask advice from. Those guys.
I want to clear the air. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you with upmost certainty that there isn’t a Wizard of Oz here, and I have a feeling he doesn’t live behind other blogger pages, either. Because regardless of what they write about, most bloggers aren’t masterminds and geniuses in their fields—they’re normal people with quirks and favorite TV shows and they make mistakes and they’re learning along the way just like you and me.
They’re normal people.
No, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak from experience and as a blogger, I can tell you I’m learning right here along with you. I’m learning when I’m writing my posts, I’m learning when I’m attacking the manuscript in crazy #wordmongering sessions, I’m learning when I read other blogs and random books and tumbling sheer internet randomness.
There is no Wizard of Oz. At least, not here.
I say this because occasionally I get an e-mail. Not just any e-mail though, an e-mail from one of you amazing people. And sometimes I read these e-mails and it’s something really nice and I get all smiley and happy and throw hugs around like it’s nobody’s business.
But sometimes I get an e-mail that asks for advice and honestly? I’m not qualified to give advice. So I don’t. And it’s not because I don’t care and it’s not because I don’t think it’s worth my time or anything like that, it’s because I’m just like you. Learning. And I don’t have all the answers, nor will I pretend to.
Because like you, I’m figuring things out and learning along the way and the only difference between you and me is that I sit down and write about some of the things I’ve figured out three times a week. That’s it.
So if you ever write me an e-mail with advice-like questions and I don’t answer, I hope you know I’m not ignoring you. I hope you know that it’s not that I don’t care. I hope you know that I just don’t have the answers and I wish I could help, but sometimes I can’t.
And that’s all I have to say on the matter.