Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Disclosure problem.

I've a lot to talk about, but first I'd like to touch on the nature of disclosure on the internet. I have clearly identifying details on my blog, and it's commonplace for one to be translucent about details on facebook. When I point someone to my blog, I'm showing some serious inner thoughts, but the fact is that anyone can see them.

I have a feeling it's part of this thing writers have been doing for ages, putting their minds out on their sleeves for all to see. I don't know how true this is, but with we bipolar folk it seems to be even more common. I only have anecdotal evidence for this. My favourite example though, is the fact that Lord Byron seems to have published everything he wrote.

That lack of editing eye, or at least general dismissal of the possibility that some things should stay hidden well describes the blogger. However much I harp on about how much information about myself I'm giving away, I'm still likely to publish all of it. My life is available to everyone.

I'm not sure why I take this view. I've mostly noticed that secrets don't tend to fit well with having a generally worry free life. That's of course not true for everything, the stigma about mental illness for instance. Sometimes it's useful to not have people knowing little details about yourself, be it your mental state, your sexual orientation, or your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

But that's the point. What do we get from putting all of this out into the world. What have we ever gotten for putting our thoughts on our sleeves, and getting rid of the useful convention of minor secrecy.

That's not to say I can't pass as sane, or arrow-straight when I walk down the street, it's just to say if anyone cared to find out they could.

So there are details I won't put here. I'll talk about things that are deeply important to me, but in a way that is more akin to some writer's essay (far less composed mind you). I won't talk about certain details that might hurt my causes. I won't mention when I'm infatuated with someone, or where I went for dinner. Those things are unnecessary and have the potential to make other parts of my life difficult.

It's a blurry line that we straddle when putting our lives on the internet, but it's easier to figure out the longer you've been doing it. I guess that's true of most things.

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