Personalities Shamelessly Exposed Online

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

I was talking to someone recently who told me that he has a lot of blog participation but most of the people that read are from far away.

There is a small number of folks that are in my physical vicinity that read my blog, and even fewer family members, so I am in the same boat. I have a few thoughts on why this is and I would love to know your experiences with this in the comments.

In short, I believe folks look at others through a lens and frame a perception. It can be uncomfortable to explore facets of an individual’s personality.

For example, I was talking to a lady who must see me as a clean cut young man with children in a private school. When I described how my 12 year old had to deal with a bully, she was shocked, not only because of what I described but that what I said came out of my mouth at all.

I chuckle at this.

Others I know have never seen me dressed up. It is kind of funny.

A bit down to earth at times.

While I was not a paying customer, I brought the concept of facets of personality to a therapist and she thought that people wear masks to suit a need, but to have so many personalities like a gem is kind of Sybil-like.

I disagree. In the appropriate environments, I can describe myself as a poet, a dark broody thinker, or a welcoming, sociable individual and not contradict myself.

Ha ha.. I said broody

My dog Bubbles has 4 modes, fetch mode, sleep mode, got in the trash mode, and patrol mode. She is the same dog, and most of my neighbors only know her playful fetch mode. In some instances, her patrol mode can be unsettling to a stranger.

My hypothesis is this. Folks do not like to have their perception be wrong and are comfortable seeing one or few aspects of a person. It makes some uncomfortable to read a blog that expresses very real and personal thoughts.

The thought is not fully developed, but I see it in the blogosphere as well.

I rebuttal the poetry of @youlittlecharmer, discuss mechanical and scientific constructs with @erraticengineeress , light wit with @bharath10291 , the beauty of nature with @stevescountry and many other variations when blog hopping.

Do you have readers from far reaches or an even balance of those you know personally? What is your ratio of readers?

What do you think is the cause? I am very curious to know in the comments.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

87 thoughts on “Personalities Shamelessly Exposed Online”

  1. Most everyone who reads my Blog is from faraway. I do not have many followers to begin with and many of those do not actually read my posts which is fine with me. I do not know why some Bloggers get upset at that. Most of my friends and family know me well, have heard my spiels forever, and can listen to me in person. In fact, after starting my Blog in 2016, I begin many in person sentences with the words, “I just Blogged about…,” so they can stop me if they happened to read the post. None of my friends and family have Blogs and so I often do not know who is reading unless they send comments by private email. I like readers who do not know me because they can just not read me if I offend them. But with family, I feel really bad if I damage a relationship with my words.

    1. Relationships are valuable Geoff, and having an outlet of self-expression is oh so beneficial. You may be surprised as to who reads and does not in relation to follers. The number may not be to your liking, but you likely have genuinely interested and engaged readers .

      I hope your week is going well, friend!

  2. True. People do have their own perceptions about others which are developed from their own experiences of life and the environment around them.

    An individual is a complex being. Different personalities, different thoughts, different desires and sometimes different beliefs/ideology all staying together in that one being. Which one will pop up may depends on the situation and the people involved. Also even in a similar situation with same people the same personality might not pop out.

    Very few people are genuine and transparent inside out. Who don’t change their personality that often.

    Most of us know this and yet tend to be very fast at defining or putting people in slots.

    1. Hello Shashi! I appreciate you taking the time to round out the conversation today. Interaction based on situation has merit. I hope your week is going well!

  3. I think there’s truth to what you’re saying, but I would frame it a little differently. Here’s how I see it:
    1) People are more multifaceted than we give them (or ourselves) credit for

    2) Not all facets are appropriate for all contexts and situations, so I think your therapist is right in the sense that people will put on context/situation-specific masks out of necessity. At work, I need to be my productive professional self, not my partying/dancing all night long self or my Jewish community involved self, or my depressed/brooding self, even those are all accurate descriptions of myself.

    3) It’s normal to connect with others on some ways and not all ways. The challenge then is to not view people only through the things we connect with them on. For example, I connect with my sister because we’re both writers. But my sister is also really into cooking, interior design, and exercise (all things I have no interest in). It would be a mistake for me to see my sister solely as a writer because that the way I connect with her, and forget that she has all these other interests.

  4. I too have readers from far away countries, and I must admit that a true friendship has developed with some. In this regard, just today my friend Pat (equipsblog) recalled that June 8 is National Best Friends Day

    1. That is pretty cool, Luisa. Aquiring friends from a distance demonstrates how powerful the written word can be. True friends are beautiful. Thanks for the insight, Luisa!

    2. Much obliged for the mention Luisa. We run into each other in places I was not expecting, showing that we do not know all sides of the people who follow our blogs. Some people I feel like I know reasonably well and can “maybe” make educated assumptions about, others I don’t know and may be fearful to explore motivation too closely.

          1. One of the serendipitous part of being a multi-year blogger is running into bloggers on other blogs where you did not expect to find them and reading their comments. 🙂

  5. Most of my readers are from a distance. But I’m humbled by that, to have people from across the ocean dig my art is very cool and more rewarding to me than any pretentious twits who admired my work at local exhibits. I have a few offline friends/family that read/admire. One actively likes my work but doesn’t want to be a member of WordPress so she comments via email. “Beckett’s Daughter” is my biggest fan/close offline friend Mother Laura (an Episcopalian Pastor). I’ve found a couple of bloggers from my area of my State, and have become quite close to a few national and international.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Matt. I do have a few local readers, but notably few in proportion to overall. I am glad I am not the only one. There are also a few private readers that reach out by other means than the comments.

      Thank you for being a soundboard today!

  6. Most of my readers are people I’ve never met in real life. I’m cool with that. If someone enjoys what I’m writing I’m glad to share it with them. I also agree that I am somewhat hesitant to share things with people in certain circles. I generally share my blog with people I think will be interested. I don’t want to be a bore.

    1. I get the comfort level. I did a piece on Marty, the Motivated Mower, and Body by Bologna on YT and it went viral at my job site. It may have cost me a transfer due to being unable to be taken seriously. I actually took it down as it was a distraction. I like to keep the creative in a safer circle.

  7. We all have different facets of our personalities.
    One of my blogging friends told me that she has found it challenging when she writes a heartfelt post about some of the challenges she has had to deal with. Because the rest of her site is very positive and cheery, whenever she published anything about some difficult situations, other bloggers would react telling her to go and get medical treatment or therapy.
    I wonder if they are missing the point…she is writing about past challenges that she has dealt with very effectively and still managed to retain her joyful disposition. I admire her for being so candid about what she experienced. But it seems that some only want to read her sunshine posts, and are disturbed by the thought of anything other.

    1. I agree. We will have good days and bad days. It rains on everyone and we have seasons we go through. Candid is beautiful, Lady A. I appreciate you taking the time to have a meaningful conversation this morning!

  8. If I only see one side of a person for a while, I develop a perception about that person and what I think they are like, but then all of a sudden I see this other side that doesn’t match up with the side that they showed me and it’s very hard for me to accept or get used to this other side to them.

    1. Hello Rachel! I don’t hear from you very often and it is wonderful that you dropped by the Campfire!

      I think a lot of folks look at people the way you do and that it is normal and acceptable. Adjusting is always hard. I know at work when someone shows another side of themselves it is always a surprise.

      I think what you describe is why people that know someone in real life have a difficult time sitting down and reading a blog. Do your local friends and your family actively read your blog?

      1. Hey! I keep forgetting to catch up on all the blogs I follow, which is probably why you haven’t heard from me very often, sorry.

        Oh yeah, it’s always a surprise when you realize there’s more to a person than what you thought.

        Probably. Some of my family used to actively read my stuff, but they haven’t had the time to for a while now.

  9. Many of my original readers were freinds and family who knew me. They may read, but seldom interact, as they know me. Most of my new reader sare from all around the world and a few of them interact on a regular basis. We all want to see different sights, views and perspectives out there and that is why we blog, like, follow and comment. We are inquisitive, enquiring and interested. We do not have to agree with all we read or even understand it, but we do have to expand our own narrow views to see that there are other right answers and ways of thinking out there. Thanks for being one of those ways for me and others Benjamin. Stay well. Allan

    1. Thank for the insight Allan. I appreciate the wisdom you bring to the table. Veiws can be narrow at times and it is valuable to expand our thought processes.

      I hope your week is bright and wonderful!

  10. It certainly seems like people derive a sense of stability and/or control by filtering what they interact with in life and online. Something that bothers me at times is how willing some are to apply labels to themselves and conform that standard instead of ditching the labels and just living life. All of the “us vs the world” and “ride or die” nonsense puts unnecessary blinders on and paints unnecessary targets. And yeah, that seeps into online interactions too.

    The only reader I know personally on my blog is an old friend who also contributes on occasion (so that doesn’t really count.) There’s maybe a dozen people in my personal life who know it exists. But I am thankful for, and frankly prefer, the varied readership. They all have unique opinions, many are willing to make that known, and all the different perspectives allow for better understanding. And better understanding tells us not to fear what we don’t know or understand and not to fear what we can’t control.

    1. Way cool C.D. Anders! Living life is fun! Varied readership had greatly expanded my worldview and solidified thought processes. Thanks for dropping by, friend.

  11. Most of my followers are far away, I only have 7 from Canada, plus a few family/friends who don’t have a WP account so they can’t follow. That would bring me to 11 from Canada. Most of my followers are from the US, Europe and India, in that order though all 3 are close. I have made some good friends blogging and we now email/text regularly and even video chats with some. But because of the type of blog I have, most Canadians already know what things are like here so that’s probably why I don’t have many Canadian followers. Thanks so much for being a blessing and encouragement and for letting me write posts on your blog as well! Have a great day!😀😺🌞

  12. I like this post a lot. Fits with “Me You Can’t See” docseries that taught me a lot concerning different personalities, and just being patient with people because you just never know what is happening to them at the moment.
    P.S., Bubbles sounds chill 🙂

  13. Interesting question my friend.

    I, like other commenters, find the majority of folks who visit my blog come from far away. I don’t think there’s anyone at all from my city – perhaps a couple from Scotland, a handful from England and the rest are overseas.

    I love this though. It’s amazing how words connect us all and, to be fair, how lucky we are to live in such technological times that air, land or sea do not act as barriers to that connection.

    As for people who I know privately – I think there are now five people who know I write here. It took me over a year to tell anyone I was writing – other than the one person who inspired me to start posting.

    My desire (and need) for anonymity is well documented. There are many reasons for this – some that have faded over time and some that have arisen during the I’ve been blogging.

    Sometimes I flirt with the idea of revealing ‘more’ of myself. But then I remind myself I have been more open, honest and revealing in my posts here than I’ve ever been, anywhere ever before.

    The fact my posts are not connected to my name is inconcequntial, thus far, – at least to me anyway! 😁👍🖤

    1. You Little Charmer, thank you for your insight on this. Anonymity has merit in self-expression. You, friend, mitigate risk, and in that is some sort of lesson.

      Whew! It was hard to make that rhyme.

  14. They are mostly from far-far away. I think distance makes the heart and mind fonder. Maybe more open to having neutral perceptions of those we interact with. And writing is the common ground for most writers and bloggers. So our words become our personalities and identities. It’s probably better to be read than heard or seen. Lol 🙂

  15. I have readers from across the globe too. They don’t comment, but I appreciate that they read me. I don’t really like to identify a person by a blog they write but it does give one the first impression of a writer. I am open to both criticisms and praise. Criticisms always gives rise to improvements no matter how hard it is to take. And, just like all writers, I love writing and anyone who reads what I put out to the world makes a difference in my craft. They give me the enthusiasm and energy to carry on doing what I love.

  16. Oh I love this post. I agree, we all have different facets of our personality, which come forth as needed. What I love about the blogworld is the possibility to learn various perspectives. Thanks for sharing yours, and for being a kind support. :)) xoxo

  17. Good questions. I have followers around the globe but the faithful that engage have some kind of connection. There are the “spiritual connections, adventure in nature connections, photography connections and a smattering of curious onlookers. In reality I don’t have many “followers” in my word press counter.
    Age doesn’t seem to be the draw and definitely not looks. Family spies on me once in awhile and there are a few bloggers that would love to stop by and go fishing if they ever get this way. It could be that I write to connect with people. Motives of writing are a big deal for those who read.

    1. Gary, I think you have touched on a lot of valid points. Writing to connect is amazing and I have seen that numerous times in blogging.

      Thanks for weighing in today , Friend!

  18. I have several readers from across the globe, several in the U. S., but not as many that know me personally. I believe it’s because they do know me personally whether friends or family and they know my views and where my heart lies – to them they think there is nothing new to hear or learn. That said I do have a few faithful friends who stand with me any way.

    1. I really like the idea of having friends and family you are an open book with. Occasionally, I write stories and it is the folks that know where my heart is that reads them. Thank you so much for the meaningful conversation today!

  19. I have readers near me and far from me – the ones near me, I relate to things with – the ones far from me, I learn things from ❤️

    I love near or far ❤️

    I do not “allow” ANY friends or family in real life to know what is my blog – I keep that silent to them. Only for here ✌️😘 that way I can speak ❤️

  20. Most of my readers are from all over the world as well, very few are people I actually know. I don’t think people are uncomfortable reading personal thoughts (hence reality TV), I think writers are more uncomfortable sharing and exposing themselves fully, because the Internet is very public and very nasty. Even if you try to stay authentic, we all craft a sort of blog persona that others get to know when reading our work, which usually only includes the good stuff (you won’t see me explaining in detail how I get hangry and am loud and annoying, even though I do try to honestly show my mistakes and shrotcomings when appropriate for the story). That’s even worse on social media, where everything looks perfect, but that’s because of marketing.

      1. I think as long as you’re building your online persona on authentic grounds it’s still ok, marketing is a lot more overly exaggerating the positives.

      1. I think my personality has changed somewhat from years of abusive relationships. I’ve gone from carefree to more emotional; from always laughing to more apprehensive; and I’ve always been highly sensitive.

          1. This is such a great question. Right now, I’m working on a Memoir. I also am growing closer to God. I wish to think more on this question.

            What do you think would be a healthy answer? Any ideas on how to move forward?

          2. Reading the Bible andd praying is an excellent practice! Doing so as a discipline when you do not feel like it is valuable as well! Independent thought, something abusers tend to be uncomfortable with is a gateway to healthy, respect filled relationships. You make choices for yourself is what I am trying to say.

          3. I copied your answer and will put it in my notes of goals. Thank you so much. This is marvelous wisdom!

            What you said about reading The Bible and praying even when we don’t feel like it is discipline training is Right On!

            Also, independent thinking is something I still need to work on and I’m so glad to have this advice from you.


  21. I have a few people I know following my Facebook page, but none follow my blog directly. I have two different sides to my personality, my writer’s side and my “real life” side. I even have 2 different accounts on IG. As a result, I connect with people that I may have otherwise never met. I joke that I’m both Gemini and Cancer, so I never know what personality will come out.

    1. That is cool. I did that on a small scale for a while and then condensed it into one place. I find this way that folks that like me like the whole measure. I will say it is tough personally expressing to some demographics.

  22. Interesting post and equally interesting comments.
    I have a mixture (or balance) of both readers and followers. The comments says it all: human beings are complex and tend to view others with lenses – theirs or borrowed.

    Thanks for stopping by and liking my post/s. 🙏🏾

    1. Thank you Think Talk! People are indeed complex! It is nice to see through the goggles of others at times! It has been a pleasure stopping by your site! Have an excellent day!

  23. Good article and nice introspection. Sometimes we are as people see us and occasion demands/requires. I think that our inner essence remains the same. I like how JYP summed it up.

  24. I wasn’t sure if my love for Jesus would hinder my relationship with my regular readers (there aren’t many), but then, I realised my readers acknowledged that I am a human being with different facets and they accepted me. So I echo what you said in this post.
    I blog, but my blog is not an online diary. It is a platform for me to be able to express my creativity in writing freely without the constraint of being preconceived.
    I enjoy reading many facets of your blog.

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