So...my friends all over have written and got me thinking of somethings....and I decided to put my four cents in (yes four cents, because of inflation you know)....The question is: Why do people believe that because something is written in a public forum (such as an online journal) that is means that it is open for debate?
Yes, if you make something public you should be willing to hear the reaction. However, an online journal/diary is just that a journal/diary. Do I go to people's houses and dig around until I find their journal, read it, and then leave scathing comments in red ink written in the margins? NO! Do I follow people around who are talking to themselves and interrupt them with how they are wrong? NO! Do I expect anything less of the behavior from others on my own journal? Absolutely not. A journal is about a person, their beliefs, thoughts, wants, hates, loves, etc. Why would someone expect to find anything other than a vast range of belief in an individual's journal? And why do some people feel the need to comment? My point is this, a person has to right to feel as they feel, and not only do they have a right, it's natural. This can be said of the journal writer as well as journal reader. To comment on someone's belief is a strange loftly privilege that should be treated with respect. If you don't like what you are reading, then don't read it, go away, defriend them, whatever. And if you feel you absolutely MUST comment to show someone "the err of their ways", then at least do it respectfully and never anonymously. It really makes me long for the old days of manners and proper speech. I swear it takes a real man/woman to stand up and say "This is who I am". To rip someone apart in a journal takes no less, and to do this anonymously is so cowardly and abhorrent that it really sickens me.
Now, question two: Why do online journal writers (such as myself) believe that because it's a "diary" that it is private?
Well to be honest, because it is. I have never put a calling card out there that said, "Come to my blog, I want you to read it, and I don't even know you!" So without invitation, I assume you're there because you're interested in what I have to say, and that if you don't, you won't read it. Others would argue that because someone is making an extremely private thing on a public forum like the internet, certain things must be expected and that perhaps all my whinings about privacy are really a cover for some real other issues that I have. I agree with that in part. Yes it is possible that SOME people make journals to get attention, or that they really want everyone to read it. Personally, for myself, it is a record for myself, by myself. I simply enjoying typing rather than writing on paper. In addition, I do this online to actually hide some of my thoughts from others who may read it on paper. But most importantly, I am not all that comfortable with spoken word , and much more comfortable with written. It is entirely possible that I may not be able to share with family and friends things unless they read it in my journal. I am comfortable with that. I am NOT comfortable with scandle, or malicious attacks by unknown assailants, random readers, etc. (see question 1) And so what if it's on a public forum? This does not make it "public" information. There are several times that I have written an entry and been bit on the ass by it. And there are times that I have received more support than I could imagine. For these unknown times, there are two tools at easy availability to me: Friends locked and private entry. I now turn all attention to these very useful tools. I have often began writing an entry that appeared might start biting me ass, and friends locked it. In addition, there are entries that no one but me will ever read. And before all y'all get paranoid, those are only entirely personally entries or things that I don't want to hear what anyone else has to say about it....There are options, always there are options.
Which brings me to my last point, and I shall try to keep this short as many other people have spoken more eloquently than I on the subject. Today's communication is drastically more open than any other time in history. This change has brought many good things (more information, openness of cultures, ability to reaffirm one's self that you are not alone) and many bad things (unification to the point of globalization, more ability to hate, making public information that was once specialized). It is our goal to take this all in with grace, maturity, and the realization that we are all still individuals. Within our world are our communities of selves. We are lovers, haters, followers, and leaders. We are the same; we are unique. We do not all have to agree, nor disagree. There is too much gray for you to paint us all black and white. There is a quote that hangs in my house. I use it to smooth my own ruffled feathers, perhaps it applies here as well:
" I do my things and you do your things.
I'm not in this world to live up to your expectation
and you are not in this world to live up to mine
You are you . I am I.
And if by chance we find each other,
and damn, sometimes, it really is beautiful.