A new acquaintance was cut short today (the budding relationship, not the person), when I mentioned having started this blog recently. He said, with his voice rising in disgust, "You have a blog? You're a blogger?"
"Uh, yeah," I replied, nonplussed.
I'm still a bit bemused by this contemptuous reaction. As far as I'm concerned, a blogger is simply someone who keeps a web log, posting about whatever topics interest him or her. There are a lot of different types of blogs about a wide variety of subjects; some are fascinating or fun, some are dull or foolish, and some are just horrible. Apparently, to this guy, they're all bad.
His earlier cell-phone bragging meant he wasn't simply a technophobe. So it must have been the activity of blogging, not the medium, that offended him.
I know that a fair number of monolithic mainstream media organizations still look upon bloggers as a mob of pajama-clad ranters. But this guy wasn't a journalist, so I don't think he was irritated about encroachment on his turf.
However, the first definition of "blogger" on Urban Dictionary starts out this way: "Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives." And that's one of the polite definitions. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who have encountered enough trivial navel-gazing on the web that they just despise all bloggers.
Such generalizations don't make much sense to me, and I'm certainly not going to let that attitude discourage my own blogging. But it does serve as a reminder that even when people may agree on a technical definition for a word, they can differ strongly, even emotionally, about its connotations.