Thursday, November 20, 2003

Lines

and where to draw them. I have mentioned before that my coworker thinks the idea of blogging is kind of creepy. Putting your private thoughts out where total strangers can see them is, to her, not something normal people would/could/should do. Then again, I've never been normal. But I do realize there are lines across which, we should not venture. I'm just not sure where they are.

Let me be a little more specific. I am a happily married 41-year-old male. As such, I have no issues interacting with the other males on my blogroll. Terry seems like someone I've known for years. Nate is like an old friend from work. Lee and Brian are younger, hipper, smarter versions of me (Aardvark 3.1.2 Gold Edition). Mark and Alan are like old friends of the family. You get the picture. I also have no issues interacting with most of the ladies. Dawn is a "Hey, we should have lunch" kind of woman; quiet on the outside, but fun and funny once you get to know her. Miss Janice is a woman you can have a decent conversation with, charming and witty, but with a strong sense of propriety; as a result, she'll zing you when you least expect it. Susanna is like a sister who's fun to tease; she can be silly one minute and serious the next - underestimate her at your own peril. Jordana takes me back to the young-married new-kid stage of life; it's fascinating to see what my wife has experienced through the eyes of another.

And then there's Meredith. Meredith presents some issues that the others don't because she is a young college student. From what I can tell, she's as sweet as can be and is still in the process of figuring life out. She has a close circle of a half-dozen or so blogger friends, all young college coeds - then there's me. My oldest is just a few years younger, so part of me feels that I automatically fall into the category of "creepy, lecherous old man"...only I'm not creepy and lecherous, I'm just old. I know that, but I can't assume that everyone who might visit Meredith's blog and read the comments (including Meredith) might understand that. In the last couple of days, one of Meredith's friends, Jeni, has left comments here and I've left a comment on one of her posts. In checking out Jeni's blog, I noticed that her dad leaves comments. That got me to thinking, how would I feel if my daughter had a blog and some old dude was leaving comments? There's a line there somewhere, and I don't want to cross it. I don't want to be known as the "creepy-old-guy-who-won't-go-away-and-leave-us-alone". I don't want to overstay my welcome with anyone, and I don't think I have, but I'm way more sensitive about it with these girls (I can say girls, can't I?) than I am with any other blog I visit/leave comments on.

So here are the Aardvark's rules for not being creepy to college coeds:
No non-public contact - all interaction must be in public comments.

No flirtatious comments - my wife should be able to read anything I write (always true).

It's not necessary to comment every day or on every post. Give 'em some space, man.

Try to keep it light and funny (if possible).

If light and funny isn't appropriate for the post you're commenting on, make it short and supportive.
That's basically what I've done so far. I'm interested in what the rest of you think. Can an old guy read/comment on a college girl's blog without being creepy?

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