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moof's prattling

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August 25th, 2004

Why I don't write many friends-only posts. @ 02:01 am

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: They Might Be Giants, See the Constellation

I was going to write about what I write about, but that's not so interesting - or at least, it didn't to me. The notion of scope, on the other hand, seemed much more fruitful; there's a fairly elaborate system of friends levels you can have and people use on a regular basis. So why do I not use it much?
  • I'm not a cute girl.

    I'm perhaps half-kidding. I'm unlikely to attract many stalkers, and the ones I know about are friendly and nice. (If there are any extant lurking ones, feel free to say hi!) In any case, I don't feel like I need to fear for my safety (edit: or anyone else's safety) by virtue of posting.

  • I have few oversharing boundaries/I have no shame

    Despite being amazingly shy - or perhaps because of it - I'm willing and able to talk about pretty much anything and everything. I do try to lj-cut the more sensitive issues, but that's more so people don't have to read it if they don't want, rather than me not talking about it at all. That's one of the nice things about a broadcast medium: you don't have to tailor things that much, you can just yammer on about whatever's on top of your head that day.

  • I want those normally not-talked-about things to be more out in the open.

    Sure, I go on a lot about the frustrations of being unable to communicate, or to connect with people, not being able to figure out what I want to do with my life, etc. Those things aren't particularly new, but I think they still need to be mentioned. Depression is slowly coming out as one of those things that it's OK to talk about. (It's only taken sixty years or so.) And then there's the new and uncommon - ADD? Asperger's? Gender dysphoria and transgenderism? I know I still have a hell of a lot of shame about those three, and I'm still coming to grips with them. Even if I don't make myself that well understood about them, at least I can make them better known.

  • I'm an intellectual whore. Or attention whore. Or some kind of whore.

    I'll admit it, I like to hear what people have to say about the stuff I think about and the stuff I write about, and friends-onlying the juicier tidbits limits my audience. I've found people browsing through my webpages after googling some entry of mine, so I know that the randoms are out there. (There's that academic wanker inside of me that likes the conceit that I'm adding to the corpus of knowledge about the human experience, but I usually make it go back in the gimp box pretty quickly.)

That said, I do friends-only a couple of things - things like "here's my address and phone number" - because I don't want them found with no effort whatsoever.

 
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From:inoah
Date:August 25th, 2004 04:24 pm (UTC)
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mmm, whores.

My own reluctance to post anything and everything in the open is primarily because I can't think of any ways in which having current or future employers know certain things about me would be to my advantage, and dozens of ways in which it could be to my disadvantange. (And if I ever intended to go into politics I suppose I'd be concerned about that as well, but it's more likely that I would flap my arms and fly to the moon first.)

And they *do* do web searches and they do read people's journals. And why shouldn't they? Anything public is fair game. When you tell something to a friend, you might have some modicum of expectation that they'll keep it to themselves (though perhaps it's foolish to think that). But once it's public, it's not repudiable. There's crap out there on the web that I wrote as a teenager, and the web didn't even exist back then.

Note that this isn't about the potential for blackmail, since blackmail only works if you have a secret that you don't want to be made public. But your own words can still be used to hurt you later in ways you might not anticipate--e.g. insurance companies may deny coverage because they can assert that you admitted prior conditions, employers might decide you are a bad risk in one way or another, etc.

So all that's not to say that you should refrain from being an open book, but does suggest why this exercise might be considered either surprising or foolhardy to some. It's risky to come forward and admit being associated with stigmatized issues when you are in the minority doing so. I suppose what it must come down to is, do the benefits outweigh the risks for you?

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From:moof
Date:August 25th, 2004 05:35 pm (UTC)
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It comes down to two things for me: I'm already hosed, and the belief that anything I say online can and will be found, no matter the form. As to the former - I've written enough crap already that Pandora's box is already open (and I've done stupid things like admit I took antidepressants on insurance application forms); for the latter, hiding only delays the inevitable.

And if the stigma for any of this is ever to go away, somebody has to confront it; may as well be me.
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From:crotchgoblin
Date:August 26th, 2004 04:01 am (UTC)
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:o noah!@~!@#
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From:merovingian
Date:August 25th, 2004 06:47 pm (UTC)
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I have to say, I really appreciate it. A lot of times, it's a great way for me to find out what's happening.
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From:crotchgoblin
Date:August 26th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC)
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hm. as you know, mine is almost exclusively friends only. which is funny, because all that locked stuff isn't even all that personal. and sometimes i feel stupid for this. but the main reason is that x's father found it, and i don't want him reading anything. the side effect of that is that people think i'm a snobby whore, but i'm not really, swear!~!@

i like what you write. maybe you care who's reading, i don't know, but you don't read as though you're thinking about that when you're writing.
[User Picture Icon]
From:moof
Date:August 26th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)
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As to the former - I think that's a quite valid reason for friends-onlying. I don't friends-only simply cuz I don't have to.

When I'm writing an entry, I almost never have any specific people in mind; my main mode of thought is, "Would anybody other than me be able to understand this?"
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From:vvvexation
Date:August 26th, 2004 11:34 pm (UTC)
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Except for the cute girl part, almost all of this holds true for me as well.
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From:vvvexation
Date:August 26th, 2004 11:35 pm (UTC)
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...well, that and maybe the having no shame part. I still have some shame, but I'm working on it.
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From:moof
Date:August 27th, 2004 12:06 am (UTC)
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You'll prove to be an inspiration to us all.
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From:vvvexation
Date:August 27th, 2004 10:09 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I think you're ahead of me.

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