NPRs story of the day for today was about blogging and marriage. You can listen to it at their website. The commentator talks about how she and her husband have developed an etiquette of blogging – reader obligations, who has the rights to blog about a topic or event, etc. She talks about the affirmation of comments and hits on her site counter. And I know what she is talking about. Not that I have a marriage that is either benefiting or hurting because of blogging. But it lead me to think about what blogging does to my friendships (which I have discussed several times before).
And I think it mostly is a benefit. It allows me to write thoughts succinctly and to have long-term and even long-distance discussions of issues that matter. Or issues that don’t. And it opens up the discussion to people who wouldn’t be part of an interpersonal discussion because they are far away or too busy or I don’t really know them. And I think that’s kind of cool too, although it does take away from the intimacy of the conversation.
I think, though, of silliness like the author emailing her husband to see where he is, or checking his blog to find out what’s going on. And it reminds me a little bit of days in the WA office when our conversation would lead to independent blog posts, which were written, announced, and commented on (digitally and verbally) all in each other’s presence. That was a little silly. But, then, if we hadn’t had the blogging habit, we wouldn’t have the blog post as an artifact of the conversation, which would probably be long forgotten by now. And if dad and I didn’t sometimes post as a result of our commute conversations, we wouldn’t be able to include other people in those conversations either.
Is digital communication inherently less beneficial to relationships? I can understand that a marriage relationship has a physical element that the relationships I’m discussing doesn’t have, so maybe it needs to be discussed differently. And I also think that there is something inherently good about in-person interaction, mediated only by language and nonverbals. Like the NPR commentator, I am slow to pass judgment one way or another, but I am fascinated by it regardless.