Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

They're watching

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about Mark Steyn's book America Alone. It was like a lot of posts about books or movies I've made before, just my unedited thoughts jotted down mostly so I could get more clarity on what I actually thought about it. The difference is, somehow this post got linked to on Mark Steyn's website, http://marksteyn.com, listed as a review. The link is down now, but for at least a couple hours I, unwittingly, was a book reviewer considered worthy of note by a bestselling author's personal site. A commenter on my journal mentioned that this was the first time he'd seen an external link to LJ, and while it wasn't a first to me it is unusual. LJ, unlike a lot of blogging sites, seems to exist mostly in a bubble, rarely referenced by the web outside.

In truth while many would have found the link flattering, I was personally a little disturbed by it. I felt like I'd been singing a Beach Boys song in the shower only to have Brian Wilson pop his head in and say hi. Livejournal is where I unload my half-formed thoughts in front of a very small audience of people I kind of know (in some way.) In addition to media review and sometimes poorly thought out political rants my journal includes really lame peans to some girl I had a class with in college, and teenaged rants about depression. It's not the forum I would choose to have a serious discussion, and the style I use here is very informal. I guess I'd thought of it as separate from the world at large, including the rest of the Internet. But, of course, it's not. Anything said here in a public post is readable by anyone with an internet connection. And since I put my face in my user icons I can be identified with those statements. That's okay. I make the conscious choice to keep my journal public and to associate my face with it.

But choices have consequences. And while this time it was fairly minor and somewhat amusing, in the future it might not be. An employer might see sexually explicit language, or a potential date my peer at my self doubt. Certainly if I ever became a public figure there's lots of stuff on here that I wouldn't necessarily want scrutinized. This was an interesting little reminder that things are never quite as private as they seem. I'll keep that in mind.
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