Lately I have been thinking about how much we put of ourselves on the internet. It’s a topic that has come about in recent months as my co-workers and I discovered that a former co-worker had a blog where she spent quite a bit of time writing about her work with us, how she felt about us, what morons we were, and how much better she was than all of us. Most of what she put up on her blog were either lies, or gross misinterpretations of certain situations. It caused quite a bit of hurt feelings and anger with a bunch of people in my department.
Oddly, I was one of the few people who got a not totally negative review (although she referred to me as “quite a few years older than her” which was unsettling. Eight years is not “quite a few”!). It goes to show you just what a youngin she is. A baby. A girl who has never known a world without internet. A girl who might not be old enough to understand the consequences of what she wrote, or understand that even when you leave a company, your reputation still means something. Even though she thinks that we are a company fully of dummies, we are also a company of people who now refuse to meet her for lunch. Ouch.
It seems that this is a growing issue though, not just relegated to “kids” who grew up with the internet but extending to people my age and beyond (which is a youthful 32 for those keeping track). I have read a variety of blogs where girls dish about their sex lives, talk about intimate personal feelings and give details to their life that I wouldn’t tell anyone outside of maybe my closest friends! Sometimes this is under the guise of anonymity and sometimes not (also – the internet is never fully anonymous!). I can’t help but wonder if this will ever lead to regret? Does my former co-worker regret the nasty things she said about us? Will she if she has a difficult time finding a job in the future? Who can say.
Famously, I am not a very open person. I can be difficult to get to know, and only really open up to a few select people. It should be no surprise that my blog is pretty low on personal information. In my case, this is something I am trying to change. See, as much as I think you can over expose yourself, I do think that the great thing about blogs is the way it connects people. It allows us to unite with people in similar circumstances that we would not otherwise have the chance to get to know. As an avid blog reader, this is something I really enjoy, and strive to create in this space. I rarely talk about boyfriends (although there have been a few that have existed since I started this blog), I never talk about my co-workers or my job in any negative way, I never share pictures or personal stories about others unless I have asked permission to do so.
My rules are simple; anyone that reads this blog – boss, mum, boyfriend, stranger should be able to read this blog without causing me to blush. I am on the internet and willing to share my experience, but not at the cost of self-respect. I want to create a space where we can talk openly, but there are always things that are just for me and far too personal for the entire world. And that my friends, is why I have a diary.