The most important things are the hardest things to say (Stephen King)

The other day someone said to me that they wouldn't blog because they wouldn't want everyone to know that much about them. Well, I got news for you, brotha. They still wouldn't. It's all about what you want to put out there...and it can be as frank or as self-edited as you desire. Real disclosure isn't a requirement of this here blogging world. (And it's not that I'm saying you must blog. I'm just saying it's not like that, you know?)

Someone else said (in a different conversation) that the blogging thing was a sign that we were in the age of TMI. I guess maybe that depends on who you are, too. Among what I could consider "personal" blogs (as opposed to informational ones and such), I know bloggers who, indeed, have told or will tell you everything you never wanted to know about them. I also know those who divulge very, very little of their personal information and emotional thoughts (and often not even their names, although I think those are easy enough to find). I hope to have found a balance between the two things. Years ago, I would have blogged about deeply personal things. Even though I admit that was cathartic, it was a at times. Now I try to blog about mostly fun or funny things but I'm especially prone to let go of a little more personal information in hopes of making people laugh.

But I think we actually know very little about each other through blogs alone. They're thoroughly edited for content, read and reread before posting, and each specifically designed to convey what the writer wants, and no more. Similarly, e-mail gives us the chance to edit what we say before hitting the send button (unless we are, of course: (1) drunk; and/or (2) too quick with the send button or "reply all" button). Then we go on down the line with text messages, short phone calls, and so on.

So how...when so much of what we have to say is transmitted via a we achieve any of that great, multi-faceted communication? Face-to-face, of course. There's a pretty good chance to find the truth there, even if it's not what you thought it would be. Does that make any sense? I mean, sometimes people can really express themselves in writing but then also be very, very different in person. Getting to know someone in real life lets you learn their facial expressions, their body language, their neuroses, what they'd rather no one know, and the wonderful things about themselves that maybe they don't even see.

In that vein, I think a lot about communication and communication styles. I notice a lot of body language and I'm fascinated by it. I love how much is said just by how someone directs their eyes when they're talking to you. There's especially that one split second, right after someone feels something and before regaining control, when their body, their face, and their eyes will tell quite a lot. And people's voices say so much, information that's conveyed despite the words, not with the words. (And, for me, that would tend to have the potential for the most sting. It's so hard to quiet the echo of things that weren't said...and maybe that's why...because they weren't said.)

Yeah, that's getting a little heavy. Back to my point. Often I relate these things to tests of theory like the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator or The Hartman Personality Test. (By the way, I am an ENFP and a "blue.") And you know what? If I know you, there's a pretty good chance I can guess which color you are and come pretty close to your Myers-Briggs type. Want to let me guess? If so, the deal is that you have to at least post your initials or Blogging name or whatever (some type of identifier) in a comment so I can comment back then you can comment with your results. (You can take each test via the first two links.)

So I love writing. It's easier to be funny in writing because you have time to choose the right word. Writing sometimes flows from your fingers faster than you can think, because somewhere inside you some inspiration is desperate to get out. But, more than that, I like looking people in the eye. Sometimes you see what you want...and sometimes you don't...but if you're paying attention, you'll almost always see. In writing though, including blogging, there is always room for holding back and for interpretation.

Update: Oops! I didn't realize the Myers-Briggs was a pay test. I looked online and don't find a free one that looks legit, although I can't say I looked that hard. (What's the color for short attention span?)


Anonymous said...

It was nice to have a chance to get to know you better this weekend. Thanks for sharing :) I'm interested in this color code thing, and took the test. I forgot what color you guessed I'd be. Let me know, ok?

TTHBTK said...

I feel the same way! It's like I'm really getting to know all kinds of cool people one weekend at a time. :-)

And I guessed Red. Was I right? If I had to guess further, I'd say Red with Yellow as the secondary color.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm a blue. I took it twice, just to check it out. The second time I came out bluer than the first :) ------ Actually, I just took it a THIRD time.... I'm STILL blue, even tho I know some of the answers were different than before. From reading the descriptions, I'd say red is probably my next highest color, but a mix of yellow and white too.

TTHBTK said...

BLUE! Excellent! Reds scare me. (Kidding, reds...chill out with your red selves.) I get along really well with other blues, though, so it's good to be wrong.

Jennifer said...

I'm gonna take the online Meyers-Briggs (again, after taking the full-blown written one a couple times years back.) Both those previous times, my results were the same. I'm going to see if they're the same this time. And GUESS ME!


Jennifer said...

Mmmkay, scratch that. I can't pay for the test right now -- before, I took it for free a couple times as part of workshops offered in grad / law school. Anyway, guess my previous results! Here's a hint, you and I have only one letter in common -- which is it?!!

TTHBTK said...

Oops! I didn't realize the Myers-Briggs was a pay test! Sorry! There's no way I would expect anyone to do that.

So, if we have one in common, I'd guess it'd be Feeling. Are you an ISFJ?