I speak the truth not so much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little more as I grow older.
— Michel de Montaigne
I’ve been watching with interest the number of people who’ve taken to friends-locking most, if not all, of their Live Journal posts. I’m curious…does this reflect a shift in your personal preferences, or am I witnessing an evolution in the blogosphere overall? Whatever the case, I’m wondering about the ramifications. I can only speak for myself, so I hope you’ll tell me what you think.
I’ve tripped over my tongue countless times in my life, and I know already that I’ll stumble again. More than once, I’ve cut my own throat with a careless stroke of my pen. Fortunately, these painful experiences offered important life lessons. (Do you see me wincing?) For example, lies have a way of catching up with you – so does gossip. I’m circumspect about sharing secrets, yours and mine; also, I’m keenly aware of the benefits and drawbacks to being politically correct. I’ve learned that if I’m not fiercely protective of my personal boundaries, no one else will be, either. These realizations impact my writing, including what I choose to post to my blog.
That said, I believe joy and empowerment comes from a willingness to speak out and speak up. Silence isn’t always golden, and I don’t believe anyone should be “seen and not heard.” There’s room in the world for all our opinions, and my own life is richer for hearing yours. Over the years, I’ve discovered that putting voice to my thoughts helps me unlock the handcuffs and tear down the fortresses that might otherwise hold me back or pin me down. I am woman, hear me roar; yakkity yak, it feels good to talk back!
I love Live Journal for that very reason: it’s an impromptu podium for self-expression. Also, it’s a platform from which we can reach out to potential employers, agents, editors, family members and friends. Our blogs invite backstage-pass access to all the interesting and expansive events in our little corners of the world – breadcrumbs left behind by real people, on authentic and important journeys.
I think long and hard before locking down an entry; when I limit access, it’s typically because the topic’s irrelevant or uninteresting to blog readers at large. Unless I’ve forgotten to log in, I never leave anonymous comments. Make no mistake: I’ve built a barrier of protection around my personal life. I also know I must cloak certain aspects of my professional life in a veil of secrecy. On the whole, however, I’m fairly open. I’m an imperfect human being; there’s no hiding that fact, and it feels disingenous to even try.