Fandango’s Provocative Question #64

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Before I ever started blogging, I was talking with a guy who was a blogger. I asked him why he enjoyed blogging. His answer surprised me. He said that on his blog, he could be the man he always wanted to be. He added that he liked who he was on his blog better than who he was in the real world.

That floored me. I couldn’t fathom how someone could be one person in real life and another person in a virtual life. But he explained that he could more freely express himself on his blog. That he was actually more forthright, honest, and open about his opinions, perspectives, and beliefs in the blogosphere than he could ever be in real life, where he felt constrained by the etiquette of polite society. His blogging self, he said, was more reflective of who he was than his “real” self. My mind was blown.

So my question this week is this.

Are you the same person on your blog as you are in real life? Do you like yourself more in the virtual world than you do in the real world?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

One-Liner Wednesday — Open-Minded

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“People are very open-minded about new things — as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.”

American inventor Charles F. Kettering

Yeah, I know. My One-Liner Wednesday post from last week was also about open-mindedness. And truth be told, this is actually my third One-Liner Wednesday post on essentially this same topic, because I also posted this one last November.

So why am I posting so many One-Liner Wednesday quotes about being open-minded? It’s because I have recently had some contentious interactions, both in the real world and within the blogosphere, with individuals who seem to be stubbornly closed-minded. Facts, logic, reason, or rationality could not sway them or penetrate their thick skulls.

So possessing an open mind — or not — is at the forefront of my consciousness.


Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

They Just Disappear

Visualization of poof sound with big fluffy cloudIn the 26 months that I’ve had this blog, at least ten bloggers who I follow, and maybe as many as twice that number, have disappeared. As in “here today, gone tomorrow.” Most of these disappearing bloggers offered no notice of or explanation for their departure from the blogosphere. Just poof and they were gone.

Did they just get tired of blogging and quit? Did they lose interest? Are they having health issues? Do they have pressing personal masters to attend to? Will they be back at some point? Well, if they just disappeared one day, we likely will never know.

In a way, especially if the blogger is one you’ve followed for a long time and whose words, wit, and insights you appreciated, the blogger’s sudden disappearance is like losing a friend. A friend you “spoke” with frequently. A friend with whom you shared thoughts, ideas, perspectives, and opinions via blog posts and comments.

So it’s no wonder that these bloggers who are, for whatever reasons, no longer blogging, are missed in much the same way you miss a real world friend who inexplicably disappears without warning or explanation.

And that brings me to some sad news I received the other day about a blogger that I haven’t been following that long and really didn’t know very well outside of her comments on my posts and her prompts.

Hélène Vaillant, the blogger behind the “What Do You See?” prompt, passed away. Although I didn’t really know her that well, I felt the loss of her sudden and unexpected death not that differently from how I would feel about the death of a real world acquaintance.

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Disappearing Act

0DE6ADF4-60C2-41F7-8BD4-590D9C849F68I received a rather strange and disturbing email via my contact page from a blogger I follow, Marilyn Armstrong, over at Serendipity.

“Haven’t heard from you in weeks. You mad at me?” she wrote.

I didn’t know why the real Marilyn would send that, since I read her blog almost religiously, click like on most of her posts, and comment on many of them. I thought maybe someone had spoofed her email, and that if I clicked on her embedded link, I’d be the victim of malware.

So I reached out to Marilyn, who informed me that the email was, indeed, from her. She responded by telling me that she hadn’t seen any comments from me since early April.

What? The only explanation is that my comments were disappearing somewhere in cyberspace or getting hijacked in the blogosphere.

You know, I’ve seen other bloggers complain that their pingbacks weren’t working or that their comments weren’t showing up, but I didn’t realize it was happening to my comments as well.

So if you suddenly happen to notice my absence in you comments section, it might be due to some glitch in WordPress.

Just wanted to let you know. In case, you know, you missed me.

The Mask I Wear

This is the mask I wear when I wander the corridors of the blogosphere.

With it, I say what I feel deep down inside of me.

Without it, I say what people expect of me.

The true me, then, is the man behind the mask.

(Exactly 45 words)


D7A1540D-A4BE-4617-B8B4-681D7D3F0916Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “mask” in exactly 45 words.