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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Yeah. I got nothin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Spilling the Beans

Do we really know how much we want people to know about us? Everybody has their limits, their dirty little secrets, all those things that are for the select few, or never to be repeated again. We pick and choose who we will tell these things to, our horror stories, but how much do we really want people to know? Do you ever think that, deep down, we want people to know everything, to be able to spill our guts, lay it out on the line, and just tell the world to take it, eat it, love it, or fuck off?
Blogs and anonymity. How anonymous are we, really? You can post under a fake name, make your blog private, never comment on the blogs of people who know you, and who's readers may know you.
There are ways to begin a blog in a means that is entirely private, and are unlikely to ever be stumbled upon by those you know.
But then you have to ask, why? What is the point of a blog if you do not want anyone to read it?
So the question is (or the first question, anyway), how private do we want to be? What is it about faceless strangers that we are willing to let them in on our thoughts, lives, daily ups and downs, and yes, occational dirty little secrets? Things that we post anonymously, so that those we know, and care about, cannot see?
There are so many different levels of anonymity. Blog under a pseudonym, tell all your closest friends and family, and you are anonymous to that most feared mass, the casual aquaintance. Of course, if you then comment on the page of someone you know, you open yourself up to an unknown number of casual aquaitances, and those you know by name, but little else.
So how much are you willing to share? And why do you feel the need to share? And why in an environment where you can imagine your audience to be what you wish for that day?
Or maybe I've just answered all my questions. In a blog you can choose to share with whom ever you choose to be listening that day. As long as the viewing audience is unknown to you, you can create them at will.
Well, there's still one question left. When we write a blog, we can choose the level of anonymity we have, but there is always the fact that the reason we write a blog to others is that others affect our every move. And thought. So in writing, we allow that faceless mass in on the lives of those around us. Even if we use nicknames, or no names, someone may be out there who may be able to put two and two together, and, in spilling your beans, you have accidentaly spilled the beans of those who have impacted on you.
I guess what I'm getting at here, is that, although this page is anonymous, I have no intentions of hiding it. It was created anonymously to prevent people who have no need to know that I am still alive, let alone peice together where I may be and what I may be doing, from reading it. Those I know, I have no intentions of hiding from. I'm not good at being secretive. I am, however, good at hiding what I feel behind a rant about the news, or a good laugh. A blog gives me the opportunity to seriously be me, and take myself seriously. And in that, it gives me a means of explaining myself to others. When I speak, I have a lot to say, but learning to say what's important has been a difficult lesson for me, and one I've been very slow at learning.
But in losing anonymity, before it even began, I put others on the line. I suppose I'm mourning the loss of ability to say whatever I feel, despite the fact that I never really gave myself that option. It's open space until the end of the universe outside of that window, but I built the window myself, so now here I am. Holding a window up, bloody thing isn't even attached to walls, yet it's my obligation to be stuck behind it. And I did it to myself.

One elaboration; I have no intentions of saying anything behind anyones back that I would not say to their face. I highly doubt I will use this blog to bitch about others, unless it is a political rant, and, if I know you, I will respectfully state your opinion before (hopefully) tearing it to shreds. But I have had the need for those around me to be discrete before, and I would hate to be the one who ruins that needed discretion for others.


Blogger Brando said...

Levels of anonymity are particular to everyone's need, want, and mood for the day. I think McLaughy put it best in choosing to be mysterioius rather than anonymous. And there's a certain whimsical mystery behind every blog out there. Unless it really is meant to be an online diary, it's entirely up to you on how much you divulge. Words really should be able to stand on their own two feet; putting that into practice, though, is an ongoing practice, especially when they're kept for posterity in the annals of blogdom. But, anyone who would hold your thoughs du jour against you is probably walking down the path of a self-fulfilling prophecy: yes, everyone hates you. Aha! Or else they're hoping to become sensational journalists. Or maybe politicians. I think that the very best thing about blogs (and opinions) is that if you don't like what you're reading, you can turn it off.
But unless the opiner spits in your face or kicks your dog, there's never any reason to be personally affronted.

7/27/2005 9:24 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I have been struggling with this since I first started my blog. Just how much info is too much? And it's been a fight for me not to just spew all the dark secrets and truths and details. Not only because it would just be cleansing and somewhat relieving but also because it would definitely make my story more interesting. I even toyed with starting an anonymous blog where I could post the really scandalous stuff but I immediately felt guilty and scared that it could somehow backfire on me so I scrapped it.
When I first started my blog, I didn't really care whether or not it was read. Then I tried to get an audience for some reason I can't really explain. Now that I have one, I am afraid all the time that someone I know will read it and it will bite me in the ass. But my blog has served it's purpose. It's an outlet, it's a place for me to put all my emotional vomit and things I don't feel like I can say out loud in my real life and sometimes I can look back at it and recognize that I had some kind of breakthrough or epiphany.

7/27/2005 9:39 AM  
Blogger Impulsivecompulsive said...

Sara, so true, resistance is hard! There's something to be said for shock value, and if it's cleansing at the same time, well, ya just doubled your money's worth.

7/28/2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger Impulsivecompulsive said...

Brando: Yup.

7/29/2005 11:16 AM  
Blogger bnlv said...

And why in an environment where you can imagine your audience to be what you wish for that day?

Maybe it's because we as humans aren't always comfortable with who we are. In a sense the anonymity can be for ourselves rather than others.

10/10/2005 2:48 AM  

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