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Media is not real. Period.

god save the queenOur series on blogging confessions has really struck a chord (a nerve?) with readers. I am the first person to shy away from drama and controversy, but like I said in my previous post, I get really edgy when people start judging other people. I couldn’t skim past a racist comment when I lived in a racist-leaning city, and I can’t really skim past it when people start getting all Judgy McJudgerson on my blogging peeps.

Here’s the thing. Media is not real. Period.

Media is a series of carefully constructed words and images put together to elicit a desired result.

Youtube videos are not real. Commercials are not real. Reality TV is not real. News broadcasts ARE NOT real. Everything has a spin, an angle. Show me a piece of media that is completely real and tells the whole store about something.

You can’t. Because it’s an impossibility.

I can understand the desire to believe that your favorite blogger is keepin’ it completely real on her blog. But, the truth is that she’s not. Because that’s not possible. Anytime you tell a story or take a photo, you are leaving SOMETHING out. You always have to crop some part of the room out, or leave some detail out. You can share TMI details, and make your readers feel like they know the whole story, but no matter what, they are only seeing part of the infinite number of details available to tell. That’s what makes a particular blog compelling — the details the blogger decides to share.

Media is not real. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Like Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “Everything is true… from a certain point of view.”

Our blogger confessions may have been shocking, but sometimes real life is. Don’t let the fact that someone once fudged a Random.org result jade you against the whole blogosphere forever and ever amen. Like I mentioned in my previous article, there is a low barrier of entry to blogging. Nobody is a certified blogger. Nobody has it all figured out. There is no license to hold a giveaway on your blog. There is only you, your own personal integrity, and the FTC.

Bad bloggers weed themselves out. Because we are all such connoisseurs of media, it is pretty easy to tell when a blogger is pulling one over on you.

But please, have grace on us. We are all learning how to be good bloggers. Sometimes it just takes a few crappy choices to learn how to be a good one.

image: caaoss, licensed via flickr/creative commons

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