The Dangers of Participating in a Digital Democracy

09.17.07 | Filed Under Me

Blogging can be a more dangerous proposition than it first appears to be … the problem is, that sometimes people actually read blogs. What’s worse, some people care about what’s written in them.As you’ve clearly noticed, I’ve recently re-joined the rank and file of the blogging world, and I’m excited and pleased to be doing so. My own reasons for re-emergence are scattered … but some of it has to do with memory and other things alluded to ina previous post. Consequently, I’m using this as a public journal of sorts.  A blog, if you will.

I bull-dozed through my youth (like everyone else), but I have enough document from that period to remember what it’s like to be young. There are so many benchmarks that you clearly reach (or don’t reach), that it can be relatively easy to call up memories from 14, 18, 22, etc.

But what about 26? Let alone 29 …To combat this problem, a few years ago I began making playlists of songs that were in heavy rotation on my iPod (or what have you) for each season of a year, beginning with Summer 2003. This was vaguely inspired by the film, High Fidelity (there’s a scene where John Cusack is so upset that he starts re-organizing his vast record collection in order of musical discovery – brilliant). These are the equivalent my photo albums, as photos didn’t really interest me much until recently.

But I’d like to use this blog to get more specific about logging the experiences, emotions, perspectives and perceptions of my days. That way I could get a clear sense whether 29 year old Matt might get a kick out of 39 year old Matt. (The jury is still out on whether that actually matters.)

But there are dangers. How specific can I be? Will people be offended by what I say? Will observations/thoughts that I have come back to bite me when packaged for public consumption? What if I’ve neglected to tell someone something and they read about it on my blog? Should I change the time-stamp to be outside of work hours? This site isn’t important enough to me to negatively affect my “real” world. Obviously, you shouldn’t say things like “my boss is a d-bag” on your blog. But you’d have to be pretty thick not to realize that. Especially because I assume most potential employers Google people’s names now.

The lovely lady I’ve been spending time with lately asked me what I write about on my blog. I didn’t really have an answer for her. I mean, I do write about my life (I guess I’m doing that right now), but I don’t really … confess dark secrets here. I try not to name names in most scenarios. It can be limiting at times … part of the reason I write (publicly or otherwise) is to better articulate the thoughts in my head … and plenty of those thoughts are about the people who are close to me. The only way I’ll blog about that though is if I’ve extrapolated some greater observation from the situation. And even then, if it’s at all a sensitive situation in my real life, it probably won’t end up here (explicitly anyway).

I try to have an open-door policy in my life as it is. I may not offer certain information up without being asked, but in most cases, I’ve found that being dodgy about something does more damage than what you were being dodgy about. If I can show someone that I’m on the level with something, then generally they are going to be pretty accepting and on-the-level with me too. Of course, it’s not always that easy. There are things that you must do in your life, that you can’t explain to other people, things that seem unacceptable out of context … that doesn’t make them less important, genuine or necessary.

So … to answer the lovely lady’s question … time will tell what I write about. Good guesses include: music, culture, city-life … observations on advertising (the industry I work in) … and once in a while I’ll probably sneak in a sermon or two. I hope to make use of the tag cloud in the left hand sidebar so we can all see what I’m writing about.You know.

For posterity. Ahem.