Saturday, December 5, 2009

Curiosity Got the Cat(herine)

Ok, I’m curious.

I’ve been writing on this blog for over five months now, day in and day out. I see the numbers on my counter go up every day, but I’m kind of ignorant regarding their true meaning. Do they mean that I’ve had that many visits, total, or do they count unique visits? Either way, I’m pretty astounded that almost 800 people have read my stuff. (Or that it’s been read almost 800 times. Whatever.)

Astounded and a little humbled.

Astounded, a little humbled, and just a tiny bit freaked out.

But that’s life in this digital landscape, isn’t it? Everything is out there for you to see. Anyone can know anything about you. All they have to do is push a few buttons.

I try not to freak out over this idea. I publish my kids’ names, my husband’s name, etc. I don’t put our bank account numbers out there, nor do I include Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, etc. If you look hard enough and deduce enough, I’m sure you can get the birthdates of most of the people in the house, but I’m pretty sure without any other corresponding numbers that’s pretty useless. Besides, most people put that information right on Facebook, so how would it be different to have it on my blog?

Anyhoo, I’m just curious because I have these numbers—this almost 800 visits—and I’m wondering who these people are. Where are they from? I can look at some of the data provided by my blog counter, but honestly I’m not always sure what I’m looking at. The graphic overview is nice because I can see that most of my visits occur late at night (I post late a night, usually—coincidence?). I can see that my average number of visits is growing most months.

I guess I just feel weird not knowing who’s coming into my virtual “home.”

To that end, I’ve added a Live Traffic Feed that I can watch obsessively (yeah, I need to get a life) and a Followers widget so that people can let me know they’re, you know, following. Because I’m curious.

I made some kind of statement way back in, like, June or July about how glad I was that people weren’t talking to me about the fact that I’m posting on my blog. The roar of crickets, comments-wise, has been deafening. I’m not sure if people saw that and thought, ‘Hey, she doesn’t want to hear what I’ve got to say.’ Maybe people think I don’t like comments? Maybe people just don’t care? (Self absorbed much? Me?)

I know that when Robert and I got married, we decided that we wanted to wait to have kids until I was out of school and working steadily. This took almost ten years. Since we didn’t share our plan—it was our plan, after all, not everyone else’s—many of them thought that we didn’t want kids. My grandparents actually thought that Robert was keeping me from having the kids that I wanted—when I told them I was pregnant, they said, “I’m so glad that Robert finally let you have a baby!”

I think what I meant to say was, “Man, I’m really glad that people in my “real” life don’t bring up the fact that I write on my blog every day and make some kind of bone-headed comment to me because that’s all they can think to say to me. But virtual friends—man, I’d like to hear from them!” Because that kind of real world vs. virtual life paradigm is kind of weird. If someone IRL says that they saw that I was writing again, I would expect it to be followed by, “Hey, that’s interesting that you think this about [topic x], but did you ever consider [idea y]? Unfortunately, the only thing I ever hear (aside from my sweet, sweet husband) is “So yeah, I saw you’re writing again.” Crickets.

Maybe I’m just too self important for my own good and there’s not really that many people visiting.

I dunno.

I’m curious.

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