Monday, January 17, 2005

Privacy vs. Honesty

This privacy issue has been on my mind a lot lately. There are many stories I long to tell here. Some of them do not belong entirely to me. They involve others who may be impacted negatively if I choose to write about the events. I would like my blog to be a complete and honest record of my life, observations, joy, pain, feelings, and ideas. I would love it if it were interesting or useful in any way to someone else. But most of all I do not wish to cause harm to others out of some misguided attempt at self-expression.

Where to draw the line? I am afraid to write on the death of my brother. I do not wish to hurt my family. I miss him desperately but is the story mine to tell? Not entirely, I am afraid. How much can one talk about work or personal relationships without crossing that line that gets one fired or divorced? Is my blog less valid if I do not? I suspect it does lose something and that troubles me.

If there is any doubt that pain can be caused by too much disclosure, consider Justin. I just found this vblog and I remember Justin from way back. Justin is a true pioneer of the net. I remember Justin's links ten years ago when the web was in it's infancy. I worked at SUNY Stony Brook and had high speed internet access at work along with NCSA Mosaic. Surfing was just getting started. Justin ran a list of interesting links. Justin was a blogger before anyone called it that. Now he has exposed his heart and soul in a vblog. He wrangles with the same issues (much more eloquently). Wanting to relate and yet somehow driving people away by doing so. He is paying a price for his honesty. His piece touched me as much as anything I have seen on the web in a long time. Perhaps I am gullible but I feel he is absolutely telling exactly how he is feeling. Is it worth the amount of pain he had to feel to make it? Will it help him to have expressed those feelings? Will it help someone else? Will someone close to him see it and be moved to give him an ear or a hug or a bunch of hugs or just hold his hand? I sure as hell hope so. I wish I could but I can't. What he needs is analog not digital.

I digress.

In my life - I just came back from a weekend in Indiana with my Mom. A very interesting experience to say the least. It was great to see her. I miss her very much. It was good to see that she is safe and well.

More to come...

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