There are some things you don’t need immortalised on the internet. The itching downstairs, the rash on your arm, the lump you found that turned out to be an ingrown hair… a blog is not your google search history.
I’m not very good at privacy. Or at keeping my mouth shut (ask anyone you like). But I’m having trouble with online boundaries. I find it odd to think that once information is out there, there’s no getting it back. But then, that’s kind of like words, isn’t it? Once you’ve said something out loud, you can’t retrieve it. You have to be careful what you say and to whom because words can’t be unspoken and they can’t be unheard.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not confessing to any crimes – I’m far too boring to commit any – or telling anyone’s dirty secrets, but there are some emotions, some stories that I find it difficult to keep bottled up.
A couple of weeks ago, I found out that a friend had read my blog. And most of my posts were about him. They were embellished, for dramatic license, for my own poetic allowance and as history repeated them to me. But he knew they were about him. Anyone who knew me, would know they were about him.
I kept everything anonymous, there were no names or places that would tie anything to him. Except our mutual memories.
To his credit, he handled it very well. I think if I’d found out someone was writing about me online without my permission, I’d lose my rag a little. Fortunately he seemed to realise that I was using my blog as an outlet, a therapy session, not in the sense of malicious gossip.
There are some topics I know I can’t post. My boyfriend performs stand-up comedy, and we have a mutual “non disclosure” rule. If he’s going to use me in a joke, that’s fine, a lot of comedians do. But I want to know about it, and I’d rather he didn’t do it when I’m there. In the same way, I’ll never say anything negative (or even just taking the piss a little) on here.
Far too often I see people using social media as their own bitching ground. Passive aggressive statuses that are desperately aimed at people on “friends” lists litter my timeline. Come on, guys. We’re not 12 anymore.
Privacy is important. In an age where we care so dearly about what is happening to our data, maybe we should care a little more about what happens to our words. And who’s listening to them.