January 21, 2005

What to read, what not to read?

I have a Livejournal as well as this blog. (It's in the obvious place, but I no longer post public entries). It was started because my boyfriend has one, which I read, and I felt I wanted to give something back in the same way. It's not the same as this blog, rather it's an intimate diary where I record my feelings of the moment, and often some very personal details.

I told some of my friends where it was, and they read it too, although some more personal entries were hidden away for BF only. These friends all had journals of their own, and I was allowed to read theirs in exchange. Recently, however, some other people from that group of friends have been reading mine also. I hadn't hidden it away, but had mentioned I wasn't too keen on the idea of them looking. Some found it directly, others followed links from friend’s pages. And I'm not happy about it. I enjoyed the chance to rant and rave without consequence. I most liked the chance to say what I wanted for everyone to hear, but to have nobody around to hear it.

So the question is, just because something is posted on the web, should it be considered public property, with anyone having the right to read it? It's very hard to come up with a good argument to suggest why not. So perhaps the answer is yes, everybody has the right to read something in front of them and easily accessible. But that doesn't mean they should. Shouldn't these people, these alleged friends have thought first about my feelings? I feel they should have asked me first at the very least? If they had, I would have gone back over, and made a lot more of the posts private. In fact, I most likely would have said no, even after doing this.

I feel censored now. I can't bitch and grumble about people I know in there, unless I do it in a hidden post. But I don't want to hide my posts, I want to shout at the world that I'm unhappy. That's what my Journal was for. But so often, I say things that I don't mean later, and in fact didn’t even mean then. And now I can't, as the people who are reading it are not the people it was first intended for.

I also feel bad about the things I have written in there in the past. There is more than one post about people known by the new readers which is none too flattering. Had I known that these people were going to read the journal, I would have made these posts private, partly out of respect for the people I was ranting about (after all, I do still like them) but also out of embarrassment for myself. I get upset about stupid things at times, and I don't necessarily want people seeing that somewhat unpleasant side of me.

I still post in there, but only things that would have been hidden anyway, as I often write about things I feel are too personal even for strangers to hear. Sometimes I write a post specifically for my BF to read, as sometimes it’s easier to write these things down than to say them, and realise you’re not saying what you mean. But I don’t write my daily essays anymore, my general comments about how I’ve been today, what I’ve done and how I’m feeling. They lost their bite a while back, and now I’ve lost all pleasure in them.

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