Lots of people use blogs to keep in touch with family and friends, share milestones, and preserve memories for the family’s history. You can even get your blog pages printed now! It seems to all the rage to blog about your bits and pieces. You know when things are all the rage because they get satired.
So not too long ago a friend of mine returned from a cross-country trek to see family - their little family traveled by air, which can be a nightmare. As I was blog hopping one day I landed upon an account of their trip. The depiction of the journey was a sunny one. The toddler was given a rather glowing review. Phrases like “good job” and “did well” were used. (now imagine that sound where a needle scratches across a record).
The first-hand account I had earlier been given of the flight was quite different. The child was reported to have kicked and screamed and thrashed for a great deal of the flight to the point of drawing blood and incurring the wrath of fellow passengers. Apparently it was the tot’s worst flight ever. Or so I believed after my friend related it to me inprivate conversation. When I read the blog description I almost wondered if I had been hearing about a different trip!
So I ask you this: Why is it so difficult to recount “family memories” the way they really happened? Are we doing anyone any favors by polishing things before we send out the “official” versions?
If I had read the blog account and then traveled with my toddler I may have wondered why in the world my friend’s kid was so capable of traveling peaceably and my kid was torturing everyone within five aisles. An honest accounting of the occasion may have been occasion to feel some mommy solidarity or empathy while ticking away the miles in the sky. The way it was worded I may have ended up reduced to a pile of weep wondering what was wrong with me (take home message don’t compare yourself to others all the time). I mean seriously have you READ some of these accounts? Family reunions where everyone was just so blessed to be near each other. Oh yeah? I heard about some serious screaming matches when you told it earlier.
Do revisionist versions of things shared on blogs serve a purpose? Does it count as family history if it’s a VERY loose interpretation of what really went down? When you read a version of something on a blog do you automatically assume it’s fictionalized fluff or do you really think their life is as peachy as they make it sound?
Is this yet another variant on my perpetually half-empty life perspective? Help me out here.
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