On privacy (or the lack thereof)

Being a blogger who chooses to throw their full name on their site has a couple of disadvantages – namely, people I don’t know are privy to my personal information, or at least the information that I’m willing to give.

I don’t have a problem with this at all. I think I’m a pretty interesting person (though many people may disagree) and so, in an odd voyeuristic way, I enjoy getting my name out there – to have the opportunity to be “googled” and have the search come up with something of interest.

Still, it can be incredibly odd. A handful of people have found this blog through my name alone, not knowing that I actually had some sort of personal web-space until they tripped upon it. Others have received the website address from a reader, or I have informed them of it, and because of this I have a base of readers who ultimately know more about me than I know about them.

For this reason I sometimes need to remember the difference between what should be brought up in this private-yet-public forum – something that Kerrie rightly reminds me of from time to time – and what should be kept inside my own circle of friends, or my own house, or even in my own head.

I’ve made myself a semi-public figure. I sometimes wonder if very famous people would ever post their own name on something as mundane as an Internet message board, or if they would blog as openly if they were posting under their real name as opposed to an Internet handle. Would Dave Eggers criticize other authors under his name? Or would he use Degg0932 instead?

I’ve done this to myself, so even if I were to be annoyed by it I’d have only myself to blame. As I said before, I like it, but it’s really weird, sometimes. It’s like a miniscule version of real celebrity status: as your name becomes more and more recognized, your privacy becomes less and less viable.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling myself a celebrity. I’m hardly even in the top half of South Dakota bloggers (of which there isn’t a high number of quality blogs to begin with, truthfully), though I’d like to think I am. I just understand there’s a direct correlation between exposure and a lack of privacy. I tend to like the exposure, and for that reason, I don’t mind if you know about mundane things like my lawn, my job, my life, or my thoughts.

In fact, I embrace the attention. I like attention. It’s true – I can’t deny it.

If you don’t mind being allowed into my sometimes-cluttered mind and being told about the minutiae of my life, keep reading. Because as long as there’s someone to give me the attention, I’ll gladly bask in it and continue spilling my no-longer private thoughts all over this site.

And I’ll love every minute of it.

This was lovingly handwritten on September 21st, 2005