Tuesday, May 05, 2009

obligatory post number two: privacy and stuff

So, step one for Blogging is deciding (a) that you're going to write, (b) what you're going to write and (c) where you're going to write.

Step two, I guess, is deciding what you're not going to write - or, more specifically, what you're trying to hide.

I think it's fair to say that I'm not great at being honest and keeping secrets at the same time, and it's no wonder, when I frame it like that. Other people might frame it as being genuine while keeping private things private. I, on the other hand, felt guilty when I was keeping my college roommate's birthday surprise a secret, and that was only for about two days. This all is not to say that I don't tell my fair share of lies, or that I don't conceal things. Sometimes I feel as though I conceal a lot, precisely because of the tension between wanting privacy and feeling dishonest if I'm not telling my entire account of the truth. That's what lead me to starting this blog, after all, and it's what leads me to hemming and hawing when I'm certain, or almost so, and also what leads me to seeming certain when I'm really hemming and hawing (and hoping) for a different outcome.

There are some things that are more important to conceal - maybe my location, maybe my employer; maybe my friends, constant fodder that they are. It's all self-protection, I guess, but of different kinds. One cannot - at least, from my own Internet ethic - put something out to the whole wide Internet, and then get upset when friends or acquaintances, or someone who is not part of the original intended audience reads it. That, by necessity, leads to some self-censorship. Since what this is supposed to be is writing practice, I'd rather that be identifying details than the details of my life.

That said, I want to be clear that I'm writing this with the awareness that details might slip out. That in the telling of a story, which is the whole point, someone else might be able to tell what city I'm in, or what my job is, or what field I'm in. Maybe, though more doubtfully, they'll be able to link me to a name, or to other pseudonyms I have on the Internet.

First, though, I'll probably need readers.

I sometimes wonder what this says about me - my inability to integrate certain parts of my identity, aspects that I sometimes find key, into the persona that I show everyone, day to day. These are people whom I consider very important to me, so it's challenging and telling that I keep so much of it a secret. Maybe those big secrets make the little ones more unbearable?

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