I think I can say that last week I hit the big time. Or at least I hit the big time online. Maybe it's premature of me to say this, or vain, but I think I have. You can disagree ;)
While I didn't win the Best Australian Blogs competition (and being nominated as a finalist was in fact hitting the big time) - but a big congrats to those who did win - a couple of things have happened to validate my thoughts. It also got me thinking about my ability as a writer to critique performances, and also be critiqued myself.
It started when I received a response via Twitter from Megan Washington following my critical review of her concert at the Forum.
The other thing that has happened has been a series of questionable Google searches. I have had strange ones in the past - 'why does Carly Findlay wear vaseline?' was funny - if the googler knew me, why not ask me personally? But these recent ones take the cake.
'Carly Findlay nude'. 'Carly Findlay bra'.
Hayley alerted me to 'Carly Finlay (sic) I am a slut'. Hmmmm. Really?
My initial reaction after the first Google sighting was a lot of laughter and to share the news on Facebook:
It is a bit creepy. But on the upside... Hahah I've always wanted my body to be admired. Next time someone comments on my appearance for being red or ugly etc I can say 'there are people out there searching for what I look like naked'!
I was finding it quite amusing. Ok, equal parts creepy and amusing. And the searches may not even be me. (But I'd secretly like to think the searches were!)
And then I received this response from a contact on Facebook:
I pray, for your sake, that it's not someone with a fetish for people with skin conditions/disorders/diseaI was mightily pissed off. The person that wrote this was a contact I'd made through a mutual appreciation of a singer. I told her I was very annoyed. Hurt actually. While there was some slight concern there, I was hurt that she'd thought that people would want to see me nude to ridicule/fetishise over my skin, especially when I receive so much support from friends and strangers about my appearance. Brain. Fingers. Disengaged. I deleted and blocked her from all my social networking sites shortly after. She'd said a few questionable things so this event was good justification to delete and block.
ses. Or a stalker. Because that would be really creepy indeed. Maybe you have a secret admirer.
The search for 'Carly Finlay I am a slut' baffled me. Firstly, my surname is spelled wrong. And I haven't opened my legs for a man for quite some time. I could tell you the exact date, but I am not that kind of girl. Hell, I haven't even shown off some cleavage in the hope to draw peoples' eyes from my 'sunburn' to my boobs in recent months. Really. I am that content with my life right now.
Maybe this search wasn't about me. But it sure made me laugh and say 'what the fuck?' - indeed. What the fuck? about this search and about what fuck(s) I've been getting for someone to think I am a slut. Hold on... on re-reading the search term, maybe they're declaring to me they're a slut and want me to come running?? Again, WTF???, and maybe this search wasn't about me.
I get it. Weird things happen because of the internet. And there are weird people on the internet. I get recognised from my blog and TV work. Someone on the train interrupted a conversation to tell me he recognised me from a picture on the internet. My friend and I laughed and laughed, and thought it was a real novelty. I am not freaked out by these Google searches. They are a little weird but I don't feel threatened or unsafe. I put myself out there on the internet and accept I am going to encounter a few questionable reactions and responses. Fortunately I have only only received one yucky comment about my appearance and that's a feat considering how many posts I've written, and also how many people I encounter in real life and online.
These events that made me think that I've hit the big time show me a few things:
That other people are just as curious about me as I am about celebrities.
That celebrities value critical opinion.
Not to take the internet too seriously.
And that by me putting my opinion and life out there for all to read means I am just as vulnerable to criticism, curiousity and weird online behaviour as the celebrities. (I am not thinking or saying I am one, it's just made me think realise I am more identifiable now.)
I think it's really interesting that the opportunities I've created for myself online allows a dialogue with so many people - celebrities, and people who may or may not be thinking about what I look like naked.