Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogs Are Not Meant to Be Read

Today something terrible happened.

My class finished early. Now see, usually this would constitute as a happy occasion-- you're free to have lunch earlier, to sit outside and actually enjoy a cigarette without worrying you'll be late for your next class, you can take those extra 15 minutes and do an impromptu irresponsible shopping extravaganza. The works. But today, our teacher didn't let us out early-- the lecture was over, yes, but instead, she decided to take those extra minutes to look up...our personal blogs. In front of the entire class. Being communication majors, it would only make sense that we'd all have blogs, or tumblrs, or published articles in webzines. It's what we do, however sad or pathetic it may sound. What kind of communication major doesn't have a blog? she must have thought. I'll embarrass them to no end, she must have thought, as well.

We all got squirmy and tense, and you could notice the shift of mood and energy-- from, yay! no more boring lecture!... to oh, shit, did I rant about this teacher on my blog last night?
She pulled out some girl's blog first, and right away we could see it: the self-portrait. Taken from her cellphone most probably, hip out, pursed lips, tight dress, and a blog title like.... well, I'm not gonna give it away. Then the next blog was put up, and next was a tumblr, and then a flickr (that's not so embarrassing) and I could just feel everybody start to really hate this teacher. Needless to say, my blog was not put up. But my articles on Red River Noise were- phew. Definitely not embarrassed of those.

The truth is this teacher didn't really mean to humiliate us. She didn't mean to make us sweat with fear and make us cover our eyes and shake our heads. She was proud of us, for being pseudo-published authors and mediocre quasi-reporters. But we took it personally, fuck yeah, we did.

We choose to upload these posts, to put up pictures of ourselves looking what we think is sexy or intellectual, or posting a pretentious black and white picture, wearing a fedora tipped to the side (ahem). But we never actually think someone we know might come across it. Most of us don't advertise our blogs, most of us use them as little personal venting spaces, or start them to make us feel like some random stranger, far, far away, might give a crap what we think or say. But we do not want our classmates to read our poetry, or the word vomit that comes from half a tequila bottle and a bad break-up. We want that private--but public enough to reach hundreds or thousands or even millions of people. It's the fucking web. We know the risks, but we think, come on-- there are millions of blogs out there, who could possibly bump into mine?

Hey, I'm proud of Me Inside Your Head, I am. It's what got me my job. But we live and we learn. Best we keep our Sexton-esque personalities in a journal...under our a safety box...with a huge-ass lock that's impossible to break into. If it ever gets published, well at least you can say, if it got published at all, at least I know my editor and publisher read it and didn't think it was complete crap. That's gotta be something, right? And now I know my teachers could be looking at this right now. God, that's terrifying.