Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm not like you.

I find this blogging experiment rather interesting. As much as I sometimes feel like it's possible to fit into online communities better than the 'real world', there are also times where I feel very different from most of my online contemporaries. Particularly in the Christian Blogging community.

1. I think I'm a fish.

Okay, let's get this one out the way right up front, so it doesn't become the elephant in the room so to speak. I pretend to be a fish. All the time. My blog posts and comments often have fishy overtones, and sometimes even bad puns. In fact, I am so into my fishy persona that only a handful of you readers even know what my real name is. Sometimes it feels like I'm hiding myself away, even though it also gives me a lot more freedom to say things. Sort of like a mask.

2. I am a boy who thinks he's a fish.

Strange as it sounds, this is a big deal. Most of the blogging circles I find are almost exclusively women. I don't know whether women are taking over the blogging world, or if they just make better bloggers. Probably both. Seriously, what guy is going to sit down at his PC everyday and share his feelings with the world. We don't even do that with each other. DUDE!! But I noticed that often I would be following a blogger for a while before realising that she assumed all her readers/commentators were ladies. She would call us ladies, or some such, and I would notice the distinct absence of males on her blogroll. I don't mean the 'single mother' or 'homeschooling' type pages, but jsut general Christian blogging. I was even once given a 'shout-out' for being "not our usual commenter, he's a guy."

3. I am a boy from far away who thinks he's a fish.

So maybe you think the boy thing is not so unusual, but the living far away is. Almost without fail, the blogs I follow and people I interact with fall somewhere on the North American Continent. (With one or two Aussie and UK exceptions) It might not seem like a big deal to you, but sometimes it is a little isolating. The fact that I will probably never actually meet any of yuo guys. The fact that I have to watch conversations like "Who's going to (insert cool church gathering) in July, it will be awesome.", "My friend Mindy finally came to Portland for a visit, and we got to hook up.", "That was a great sermon you preached on Sunday, and all the other bloggers at Smallville Community Church agree." Not to mention the fact that half the videos my friends post on their blogs are "restricted to US only", as are many of the special offers, giveaways and "join our network (not yet in foreign countries)" opportunities.
And don't get me started on the fact that I don't understand most of the sports, TV or product jokes. Why is Walmart funny? I have no idea.

4. I am a single boy from far away who thinks he's a fish.

Okay, this one's kind of my fault I guess. No one forced me to still be single in my 30s. And to be quite honest it doesn't really bother me much. (Being a single blogger I mean, the single part does suck a leetle.) It just seems that many of the blogging communities I interact with have families and children. So sometimes I just smile and wave when I see the cute post about your kids. Seriously though, I do love them. I love kids, I love the insight into your family. It just sometimes feels like I have nothing to contribute, because I have no one to tell you about.

So here's my question...

What makes you feel different?

Is there some way you sometimes feel like you don't fit in with others?

Let me know I'm not the only freak out here, swimming in unfamiliar waters.


  1. I don't blog as a fish, but MANY times I feel like a fish out of water with family and friends. I am always a bit outside the box, just simply put: DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS! I suppose we all have something that makes us feel different whether it is evident to others or not.
    Blessings, andrea

  2. Like Andrea.....I often feel like a fish out of water in my real life interactions with people. But that's OK.....I like me! :)

    And I like you, SB......for who you are. You keep it real and that is more than many other bloggers I am noticing/finding out. I enjoy your posts as well as the comments you leave when you visit my place (and my hubby's too). I look forward to reading your unique take on life.....I always leave with things to think about.


    just keep swimmin'

  3. Sharkie, I don't know if you ever read my posts about not being able to have kids, but that is what I find hard. Reading blogs where cute things kids said and did are written that end with the sort of "How about you? Your kids do anything adorable lately?" kind of question.
    People mean no harm and I need to develop a thicker skin. But I do know what you mean.

    On another note, I have thought about you and how you being in South Africa makes us all less likely to meet you. If we all came to South Africa, would you drop the fishy identity? Just wondering. I actually can't do it. My mom should hopefully be coming home, and she needs me.

  4. Even in the real world I've always felt a little different. So maybe that's why I do the blogging thing, a chance to find people who actually are like me. Because if I am following your blog, chances are you are different enough for me to relate. :-)

    I am reminded of a scene from The Life of Brian where the crowds all shout "We are all individuals" together, and one lone voice says "I'm not"

    Okay, told you I was weird.

  5. Oh dear! There's just not enough room in these little comment boxes to answer your questions or address the children aspect of bloggers. I'm curious though. Are you a salt-water fish or a fresh water fish? :)

  6. Shark Bait (wishing I knew your real name),
    Now I'm wondering where you live! Do your readers know that and I just missed it along the way?

    I think it's awesome that you are a "guy blogger". Honestly, I wish there were more. I think guys are catching on, but yeah, let's face it, us girls like to talk! A lot! So, you'll probably always be one of the few. But you're clever and funny and add a wonderful element to the blogging community so don't quit!

    Now, I feel I must say - I'm totally odd - but you know that. I've never felt like the rest of the world, but I like it that way. I'll admit, I'm kind of addicted to being unique and different because I think people like it. It's kind of like an addiction to being the snow shovel in the garage in Hawaii. Ya know? People always wonder why you're there and what your purpose is. :) Yep, that's me! ha!

    So, embrace your place in this blogging world! You definitely have one!

    Signing out for now,
    PS And actually that was an awesome clue! You just don't know it yet. Feeling very sneaky over here.

  7. By the way - you must change your black background with white lettering because it makes my eyeballs feel wild! Weird!

  8. Lynette, if you look at your 'recent visitors' location on your blog, you'll find a regular from the tip of Africa. That would be me.

    And if I'm not mistaken you once introduced me to the ladies on your blog as "a little different than usual - well, I don't mean he's different - well, maybe he is you'll have to go and ask him, but that's beside the point. All I really meant is that IT'S A GUY'S BLOG!"

    (Did I ever mention that I have a near perfect memory? I think I did.)

  9. How am I different? Well, I'm not different from YOU- I'm South African too. Only- from Cape Town. And I don't blog. My husband would add- yet. Now you got me thinking that his encouraging me to blog is because I talk too much and not neccessarily that I have much to say.

    Otherwise, I'm about as unique as everyone else.

  10. I thought I already commented on this post, but I guess not. Thanks for coming to my blog. The only other male reader I have (that I know of) is my brother in law. My blog is pretty much a typical mommy blog.

    What makes me different is that I have a pretty dysfunctional past. I feel like God really wants me to open up about that on my blog but I haven't had the courage to do that. So I need to keep praying for boldness so that I can do what God is putting on my heart. But for now, it's all kid and marriage and home stuff on my blog.

    I've really enjoyed reading yours! I was surprised to see Africa pop up on my reader locator and I'm happy to tell you that you're the only male on my followers list. Bare with me though... the next two posts are really geared toward females. I'll try to be gender-neutral from now on :).

    And please, write a letter to someone this week. Let's bring letter-writing back.

  11. Kristy K, you will be pleased to see that I blogged today about a letter I wrote this week.

    One down, fifty-ish to go.

    Hoo Ha Ha!!

  12. I'm reminded of a poem I learnt at school, abouty the world seen from the viewpoint of a fish, and the vision of God as "squamous, omnipotent and kind".

  13. Heaven by Robert Brooke?

    "And under that Almighty Fin,
    The littlest fish may enter in."

    Love it!


  14. Ok, so I was over at Matt @ the church of no people's blog and found a fellow south african (woo hoo) so i decided to check out your blog.

    hmmm, so i don't think i'm a fish...and i'm not a guy (although for some strange reason people online tend to think i am...i ended up adding the line "i am a girl" to my about page on my blog just to clarify things) but other than that, i can totally relate on the far away-ness and the single points.

    also i've been told by other people my whole life that i'm "different" or "special" or "weird"...don't really know what it is about me that makes people think that...oh well...


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