lately, i’m feeling that blogging is becoming more and more acceptable behaviour, like allowing thong underwear to peek out over your jeans. i have very old and dear friends, one who i never would have imagined would open her private life to anonymous scrutiny, turning to blogs to communicate with distant friends and family. important corporate guys i know are also interested in blogging as a way of raising their corporate visibility and broadening their communications network. and of course, there are the activists and the inspired who persistently try and contribute meaningfulness to the cacophonous avalanche of information that is the internet. all of this has happened contrary to my belief that (social) blogging was only suitable for single men, or boys who lived at home in their parents’ basements – in other words people with nothing to lose and no connections to exploit. as a blogger for some time, i’m happy to see that it’s overcoming the stigma that it has suffered in the past.
however, recent blog experiences have caused me to rethink my own perspective on sharing every detail of my life on the internet. last year i joined facebook, and i was fairly dubious about it. the odd thing about that in hindsight is that i was/am far more exposed by my blog than by anything that i could put on facebook and realizing that has started to cloud my whole point of view of what i put on my blog.
here’s an excellent example. recently i was poked by a stranger on facebook. there were a couple of possible vectors from which i could have known this person, and since she was a gorgeous, young woman, i didn’t see the harm in trying to find out what the poke was all about . the story went that she had done a google search on “top gun centrifuge” to randomly research a whimsical topic that popped into her head – i think to compare these two rides at Canada’s Wonderland. as fate would have it, i wrote about both rides last year from my trip to that amusement park, which according to google, makes me the world's fourth leading authority on "top gun centrifuge" (an honour of which i am most proud). rather unbelievably and contrary to any good sense at all, she kept browsing the site, found my post on facebook, then found me and poked me there.
so on the one hand, it was a pleasant surprise to have my blog result in meeting new and interesting people who are interested in things that are interesting to us both. ok great when it’s charming young ladies. but what if instead of charming young ladies, some pathological neo-fascist war criminal had found my blog doing a search for “top gun centrifuge”, read through to something like … let’s say… the pride parade post, and decided that i was guilty of crimes against humanity and marked me for death? that’s kind of the worst case scenario… but let’s say… what if i decide to run for public office in 10 years or so, and some muck-raking scumbag reporter finds a cached copy of my post regarding something compromising? i can’t possibly see all the myriad possible ways that this information could be used against me in the future, although i do see a few ways that it benefits me in the present.
it’s ironic that making a nice new friend on facebook would cause me to rethink the decision to import some of the more personal blog entries from the last year to the new blog. it’s ironic to me also that this would become such a difficult topic for me to work through in my head and that i would then decide to write about it on my blog anyway. i dunno. other bloggers out there? any thoughts? don’t you feel at risk by putting it all out there? i mean, at very least i’m reading your blogs and i might snap one day and hunt you all down myself? ok – disregard that last line – i might want to run for public office one day.
song of the day for enhancing self-containment: no more i love yous, by my darling, lovely, enchanting, mesmerizing annie lennox
 as an extended aside, i’m not sure i get the whole notion of “poking” in the first place. it is such an unpredictable gesture that seems designed to confound explanation. i have been poked by close friends who i’ve not yet befriended on facebook; i’ve been poked by their sisters; i’ve been poked by friends i have already befriended on facebook; and now, i’ve been poked by complete strangers. people randomly poke members of the opposite sex on facebook to see if they are interested in dating; awkward friends poke old friends to see if they think it’s worthwhile resparking communication; i can see using poking as a means of discouraging someone from ever going on facebook again… there’s too many uses for poking.