This meme was begun by L. L. Barkat. The rules are as follows:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post (LL says she's "not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so I can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.")
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them
LL didn't originally tag me for this meme, but she asked me to take part after remarking in a comment on this blog that she "created the report after reading a truckload of blogs and today realized the responding group was rather homogenous (read Christian)." Broadening the sample? I approve! Here goes, then.
I don't know that blogging has actually changed my life dramatically. Blogging has reflected my life. Important parts of my development have drawn on blogging to help them along. But, at least with some of them, if I didn't have a blog, I'd have drawn on other things. Here, then, are a few small ways that blogging has changed me:
1. I have -- or at least had -- an alter ego. 'Lynet' was created to play with ideas that I didn't yet wish to include, or didn't yet feel capable of including, in my usual self. Where I was still playing by the 'rules' as laid down by my childhood, Lynet was able to go out and play at being more separate from her parents, more (I think) rambling and indeed unsure of her opinions, and less afraid that having a sexuality would automatically degrade her. Lynet was nice. I liked her. She's still here, it's just that around the time I wrote Penelope we sort of merged.
2. I have a small audience for my poetry. I think I would have written poetry in any case, and my foray into rhyme and metre and other strict forms was begun before I started blogging, but having an audience certainly does change the way I write. Thinking about whether I would post it changes my standard for whether a poem (or a draft of it) can be said to be 'finished'.
3. Even before I came to America, I knew a heck of a lot more about American politics than any outsider has reason to know! Actually that's not quite true. America affects all of us, so it's not like the information isn't interesting. Still, the blogosphere is skewed towards America, and my political knowledge has been skewed accordingly.
4. I've got a perpetual source of reading material. This also means I've got a perpetual source of procrastinatory material, of course. For example, I'm writing this late at night when I should be in bed and I have an assignment due tomorrow :-).
5. I've come to feel like my atheism is worthy of at least the same respect and courtesy that I would afford to a religion. I had sort of internalised the idea that atheists ought to keep their heads down for fear of offending people. These days, I still wouldn't go out to offend, but I find that simple honesty about my beliefs ought not to be offensive in the first place. That's a deep change with just a few subtle effects. For example, I wouldn't feel the need to be apologetic about not joining in when people say grace. And yes, Ebon Musings deserves most of the credit.
I tag, with no obligation:
C. L. Hanson