So i set my alarm for 2.30 am to wake up and log on to view my university results. I was quite apprehensive about the results of my thesis, given it was an autoethnography written VERY informally – and covered the topic of blogging, but then this happened.
A High Distinction!! Wow! Perhaps its time to become a consultant.
So proud! Going to Buckingham Palace to celebrate. Going to use my still valid student card for a discount.
Here is an excerpt from my thesis:
“The promise of the web was that everyone could publish, that a thousand voices could flourish, communicate and connect” (Blood, R 2002, p 14).
A blog gives people a voice. People with disabilities and chronic illnesses often don’t have a voice, or feel as though they belong to a community, but blogging affords them both. I read a wide range of blogs including ones focusing on chronic illness and disability. Many bloggers write that they feel isolated because of their illness or disability and some say their blog is means of social interaction, or a way to create awareness about illness and disability. Through documenting my story of living with ichthyosis on my blog, I have given much thought to what it feels like to live with a chronic illness and have a confrontingly different appearance.
Writing my blog has made the journey of living with a chronic illness a little less lonely. I have experienced incredible personal growth and confidence because of my blog. Cadle (2005 in Bell, B, 2007, p 102) states a blogger “consciously uses visual rhetoric to both persuade others and to define self”. My blog has given me an online identity, and I have taken the skills and confidence developed through writing it into my “real life”. This is both due to writing about my own issues, and thus being introspective, and also the community I have found through blogging. “Reflections upon the self are an entry ticket to a potential new community, while the feedback from the community may afford a better grip on leading one’s own personal life” (De Laat, P 2008, p 60).
Through writing my blog, hundreds of people have contacted me. These have been friends who have told me they are surprised to know the challenges of my illness, because they don’t see this side of me offline (outside of my blog). Most contacts are strangers, Some have a similar illness to mine. Others have shared their experiences of having other physical disabilities or mental illnesses. But the majority of these strangers have not divulged whether they have a chronic illness or disability, yet they are empathetic and interested in not only my illness but my wider life.