The Internet: Trusting a secret with thousands of friends
Originally posted February 7, 2012 as part of a blogging assignment for my post-graduate program. I’ve decided to redirect all posts to here to keep things consistent.
For the next few weeks I will be blogging as part of an assignment for my Corporate Communications and Public Relations program. We’re required to post about social media, PR, items of general interest and about ourselves. Of the requirements, I find it the most difficult to blog about myself, which inspired this, my first post, a comment on the impact that negative responses to a blog can have on your output. In my case, it changed my creative direction to this day.
You can call me an old-timer of the internet. In 1998, at 13 I launched my first blog on a website I used to have and moved to diaryland a year later. Blogging became a part of my daily life, I felt guilty going a day without logging my thoughts. Diaryland allowed you to password protect your diary so only an exclusive group of friends were allowed to know my intimate thoughts. As a teen I was a prolific writer, I wrote short stories, poems, often thinly veiled but related to my own life. Blogging allowed me to expand my group of friends and share my work with them, pieces I never would have allowed them to view face-to-face.
The blogging revolution also came at a very sensitive time in my life, when I was 14 my parents divorced, I was separated from my brother and felt my world collapse. I blogged furiously about my anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, and every teenage hormonal response I had to my changing emotions and my changing world was logged. Then that trust was abused. A friend gossiped about something I’d written, something that was less than flattering and I experienced my first instance of virtual uncloaking. While a physical journal may have been kept safe in a physical hiding spot, a journal with a password, or with ‘allowed access’ only needs a friend with malicious intent to betray you. The fallout from this incident caused me to delete almost all my personal writings and to this day, I haven’t posted even as much as a poem to the internet under my name.
As you can tell, I no longer blog about my personal life anymore, I haven’t in awhile. Instead I turned to online journalism, writing commentary and reviews for the now defunct AnimeFringe website and designed and collected content for fan-pages instead. I ran a popular website about a television show that hit one million unique visitors before I archived it and lost the domain (sad), a website for my high school that they kept for four years and a website for my student union in University. Post-University I joined blogTO as a writer in 2008 and have run househippo.org for at least six years (I can’t remember my own anniversary!) as a repository for my cinematic endeavors. I’m essentially all over the web but a little more guarded because I learned my lesson early. As much as I love the internet, I wouldn’t share my innermost thoughts with my thousands of “friends.”