Friday, March 15, 2013

Take It to the Grave

One thing about this blog that I constantly struggle with is how much of myself I should reveal, especially because there’s some anxiety – fear? – that my kids or parents will find the blog and suddenly know things they shouldn't. (And just typing that sentence might be enough to get both groups to wondering.)

I’ve always viewed personal blogs as online diaries. But I think a lot of people don’t know how the Internet works.

People pour out their souls and innermost thoughts with little thought on how it might impact their job prospects, dating chances, and so on. Do you really want a potential employer or that cutie responding to your OKCupid profile to have the option of running your name through Google and finding that blog post you wrote about how you like to lick parrots? Or that travelogue of semi-legal houses of prostitution in Nevada? That half-remembered trip to Amsterdam? What about that post where you described in vivid detail the horrible rash developing on your inner thigh? Your marital problems? Your confessional post where you list all the people you ever stole money from?
“This man Jenkins, we should hire him,” says HR. “Let’s just type his name into Google here… oh, DEAR LORD! He made a sculpture of Mickey Mouse out of his own snot!”

So, that’s kind of where this blog is. I don’t want to reveal too much of what’s actually going on in my head. That’s why so much of what I write about is neutral video game or action figure stuff or posts about writing. Or random thoughts with no particular point. Gazing outward or inward, rather than splitting open the Mind Vault and drowning everyone in unnecessary and private details of my life.

It reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer teaches a class on marriage and spills the beans of his married life with Marge. She understandably becomes enraged and boots him out of the house.

Some things should just stay private.

Whatever happened to the thought of taking something to the grave? Why did that go out of fashion? Now it’s about posting it to Facebook or Tweeting a picture of something that just maybe no one else needs to know about.

Imagine taking a handful of your last “drunk vacation” pics and approaching people on the street, asking them to look at the pictures and hear the stories behind them. You’d likely be ignored and/or actively avoided – a pan handler that doesn't want money. (That’s the worst kind of pan handler, by the way.)

Somehow, online is the avenue for laying your psyche bare and writing about things that less than 10 years ago would have been mentioned to close family and friends, and then maybe in an embarrassed whisper.

I understand that it works the other way as well. If you have a Cause or need to spread the word about something, jumping onto a social media and spreading information like so much jam, is quick, easy, and can reach hundreds, thousands of people within minutes.

“My dog was just kidnapped! Keep your eye out for this pooch!” <DOG PICTURE HERE>

I've done that very thing. Privacy be damned, I don’t care if people know I have a chocolate lab named Dupree, I need to find him!

But points of friction in my marriage? Conflict with family? Yeah, that’s not your business. It’s not my employers or co-workers business either.

Anyway, that’s why you won’t get the inside scoop on my private life here.

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