As much as we reveal in our blogging, we conceal at least the same amount and maybe more. I’m sure it’s not just me. Why do we do it?
Despite electronic media, I like privacy. The rusty underbelly of my life is not for public viewing. What is wrong and right my life isn’t stable. It’s mobile. It flows. The world is up or down, forever in flux.
If I write about it, whatever it was becomes fixed. Suddenly, it’s a “thing.” Even when the moment has long since moved on, you are still fielding feedback from your original post. I have learned — the hard way — that you should really not say anything you don’t want to be dealing with three years from now. The Internet is forever, even if your troubles are not.
What is wrong or right depends on myriad minor details. It is rarely worth writing about the little problems unless the event holds some kind of universality. As an example, anything involving customer service and the perils of dealing with it, is global. No one gets out of life alive — or without getting disconnected by customer service. Most other stuff tends to be forgotten as soon as you get over that bump. If you write about it, it becomes permanent. You have etched it in virtual stone.
My other reason for not bothering to write about the little complaining stuff is because it’s not interesting. The tedious remembering of those icky, gritty details is boring to read and equally boring to write. Whining is dull. Mine and yours. Dull as dirt. Despite this, at least half the Internet is filled with people complaining about stupid stuff they won’t remember in 24 hours. For a fair number of people, complaining is the only thing they do.
There are people who show up on my timeline about whom I can’t remember ever reading anything which was not a complaint. They live tragic lives. Ask them. They will tell you in intimate detail — they are the most unlucky people on Earth. Because everything always happens to them.
A pipe breaks? “OMG we’re doomed!”
Flu strikes? “Why am I afflicted by the gods? Why is the universe punishing me?”
A lost cell phone? “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.”
Their cars never run. Their jobs never last. The go from one job to another and the same stuff happens at each one, yet they never wonder if maybe they might be doing something wrong. Their relationships are doomed from the start because that’s what they expect.
The other day, it struck me that all of us have a more or less equal number of bumps in our road of life as anyone else, but not all of us view each as a calamity. Unless it makes a good story.
Much of the pleasure of blogging is getting to present ourselves and our world in a positive way. Unless you blog for sympathy — and some people do — blogging lets you show off some of the nice stuff in your life. In my virtual world, I can be better than I really am. I can be more fun.
Who said “full disclosure” is what blogging is about? Not me. Writing about the grimy details of life is like posting ugly selfies. Why would anyone want to do that? I’d rather make you laugh.
I’d rather make me laugh.