Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Your Life Was Never Your Own

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce to you all that I am a faker.

A fraud. A prevaricator. Someone who projects a face across an impersonal medium. A charlatan, a poseur; One Who Is Not Truly Himself.

My admission of guilt, and horrible guilt it is, comes from the realization that I have never been true to myself on this blog. I have never been true to myself, and will never be true to myself; not here.

You want to know the shocking thing? I never meant it to be in the first place.

Oh, you look at poor Minishorts, and her wondering where her private space went. Or to mrbrown, who posted something about how potential employers now use blogs as an assessment tools. Oh, woe! Where hath the blog, the private space where we pour our hearts, gone?

It was never there, children. You just pretended that it existed, when in truth all the world did was pretend that your little place didn't, and ignored you.

But that's not true any more, is it?

You ever wonder why Jeff never talks about his life? Or why all Mack does is talk about the actions of others, only representing himself as a detached observer, even in the most poignant of moments?

That's because they know, kiddies. Tie yourself to your blog and you tie yourself to a potential anchor.

I had to learn the lesson kinda the hard way, but I learnt it, as all bloggers eventually do. But instead of mourning the loss of a private den to kvetch away, I made my own.

It lives in a little place called LiveJournal — a placed scorned by many of the cognoscetti of the Digital Realm. It's a place of losers, they cry. Emo boys and goth girls writing shit poetry and whining about how dire their jobs in Hot Topic are! No self-respecting entity goes there! Even Google avoids it!

Exactly. And LJ provides the technological tools to limit participation and viewership. Notice how I never, ever talk about my opinions about my workplace and my colleagues. Where do you think it goes? Go ahead and take a look, you won't find anything incriminating apart from extremely fanboyish stuff.

Unless I trusted you.

Bloggers, do not mourn. You want a private space? Find one. Make one. Make an effort at it. Get your friends, people you trust to join the service if you want to spill your heart to them occasionally. Whatever.

Don't come whining to us about how hard it is to keep your private life, well, private.

Of course it isn't private. You fucking blog it.

Blogger BP said...

I was wondering when you'd blog about that. Still, it doesn't concern me too much.

But putting you LJ link up here does up the risk factor a tad, no?

12:16 AM  
Blogger Jordan F. MacVay said...

Rubbish! My blog may not be all of me, but it's all me. I've never considered it a private space; if I wanted that, I'd blog anonymously. The day I start writing like Mack and Jeff is the day I quit blogging, not the day I finally 'get it'. Is my blog an 'anchor'? Perhaps? Do I give a shit? No. Tee hee.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

jordan - methinks he's talking about those who DO paradoxically imagine their pinged-to-PPS-blogs as private spaces.

people are multi-dimensional. no medium can ever capture the full picture. what comes through a blog is but a selection, if not single, aspects of the whole. doesn't make it any less you.

people do tend to get bees in their blogging bonnets. amusing, but bizarre nonetheless.

11:32 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

BP: You'd be surprised at the entries you don't see.

Jordan: I wasn't talking to you. Feel free to talk about your life, it's very interesting :D

12:48 PM  
Blogger Jordan F. MacVay said...

Heh...that's what I get for reading the post and commenting on it a mere few seconds before dashing off to class. In the middle of my class I slapped my head and thought "DOH! I see...." I agree, people who think their blogs are private are just silly.
I think, as I claw through the fog that has fallen over me today (must..sleep), that what I really wanted to say ..was....shit, what did I want to say? Something about...never mind. I'm fogged up.

12:59 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Of course, now I find out that Minishorts does have a private space (diaryX), and all I'm wondering is “What the fark is she talking about den?”

Haiyoh these femes people…. Emo habis, siut.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Spot said...

and because i don't mind being invisible, i'll continue...

i don't think minishorts was lamenting the loss of her private space. sounds like she's realised that her writing is becoming restricted by the writing-for-the-audience syndrome.

2:39 PM  
Blogger minishorts said...

actually i was going ... omg omg my boss thinks blogging is damn cool now how now how now how.

like that only.

but i dunno why you people like to think other funny things.

5:18 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

minishorts: Asimov and Tolkien used to complain of the same things as well.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Shryh said...

Actually, loss of personal space isn't an issue in the article mentioned by mrbrown. Rather, jobseeking academics have listed their weblogs in their applications, only to find that it works against them especially when their blog is a personal or a hobby blog, which causes the search committee to (erroneously?) assume that these applicants are not sufficiently dedicated to academia. I thought the article was more about discrimination against those who possess weblogs, a pre-emptive strike lest the employers become the subject of a tirade on the blog later.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Delevia said...

Haha. I have an LJ too, and the Friends Only option comes in kinda handy. Not that I post about anything private, really, but, yes, I've never considered my blog a private space as well.

6:19 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Shryh: That's how I saw it, actually. And I interpreted that article as a form of useful advice, actually, since it pointed out the pitfalls of being too ‘public’ in public weblogs.

No offense, but discrimination against bloggers? I don't really think so, since what happened was the committee found the material in the blog to blame, not the fact that the blogs themselves disqualified them.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Shryh said...

More specifically, T-Boy, discrimination against blogging as a pastime, not bloggers. I'm not disputing the fact that if you choose to make parts of your life public on a weblog, you shouldn't moan about the loss of anonymity and freedom. But rather, the article from the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that the college search committee were ill-disposed towards candidates with weblogs period.

It is one thing to reject an applicant whose weblog is nothing but a litany of comlaints about his previous employers and co-workers, it is another to turn down a qualified candidate for a medieval history position because he blogs about science fiction. The committee did not seem to make this distinction.

Hence, viewed in this light, I thought your juxtaposition of that particular post of minishorts's with this article a little odd. Same theme, different issues. >)

12:02 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Shryh: ‘Thematically similar’ works for me. xD

And I look at the Medieval History academic blogging about sf as a borderline issue.

I suspect that if he was rejected for a corporate position because of a similar issue there'd be a bigger stink; it's a weak argument, but an academic applying for a medieval specialist should demonstrate a degree of interest, nay, obsession with medievalism, shouldn't they?

12:11 PM  
Blogger Shryh said...

Spending 6 - 10 years getting a PhD in medieval history isn't enough proof of his commitment? >)

1:29 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Apparently not.

2:16 PM  

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