Last night, a friend asked me why I blog and if I really want people to read my thoughts and then comment — rather I think said friend meant why people, in general, make public that which seems so privy. I couldn’t answer the question with much thought as I was at a poetry slam, but I’ve been giving it some thought.

Last month, I attended a seminar on the French writer, philosopher, man of general awesomeness, Denis Diderot. The last segment of the conference broached and delved into the idea of the private/public and their intersection in the work of Diderot and really in philosophy at large. In one of the entries contributed by Diderot, there was a footnote that while addressing the asterik also had a separate intention which eluded the public, or most of his readers. This footnote had a hidden layer of address to Jean Jacques Rousseau, with whom Diderot supposedly had beef. In another entry, Diderot addressed the blindly faithful religieux of his epoque, but it was later discovered that the entry closely resembles a letter to Diderot’s own brother, an abbey. In this way, Diderot conflates the public and the private in a clever and crafted way. Even in putting such private matters in such a public medium, he retains this element of privacy as the second layer of meaning would only be interpreted by the person to whom it is addressed. Or you know, centuries later, by obsessed Diderot experts. 

Then minutes after she posed the question, I became privy to extremely personal and vulnerable details of complete strangers through their performances, the inflections of their voices, highs and lows of life resonating in the highs and lows of their voices, expressions, metaphors, words and poetry.

Why put that out there? Why share these anecdotes with a room full of strangers you’ve never known and may never see again?

With all of the means of communication that we have now, why and how do we make any choice of which way to communicate what? Why do I sometimes see Twitter or Facebook Statuses that are so obviously addressed to a specific person? Why do I choose to have extended conversations through a series of text messages rather than a phone call? Why are there so many privacy settings on Facebook? How do we keep information to ourselves and maintain privacy in a sphere of such public accessibility?

At the end of the night, after almost twenty stories of personal consequence in slam poetry form, I found myself wondering how much of that frustration, shared with so many tonight, has been addressed with the source. How much after so much is spoken, is still left unspoken. And then, in our daily exchanges, behind the facade of jest, snark, sarcastic banterings, and sideways remarks, how much is still left unspoken.  How do we choose what to share publicly and what to keep in “private”?

Obviously, blogs are very public; theoretically, this or any other existing blog can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world. But at the same time, with its anonymity, blogging can be private. I have no idea who reads my blog [except for the friends that message me about certain entries. Is this a circle of trust? or a circle of lovveeeee. lol], and save for my friends, people may read the blog, but they have no idea who I am, even if they come to learn about my life and thoughts.

In some of my entries, there is the same tactic of mixing the private and public. Even in this entry, in talking about generalities, I am projecting some of my own frustrations with communication. It’s all very passive aggressive, because in those instances of layered private messages, it is still left unresolved even as the person reads it. It doesn’t become a dialogue, it becomes some encrypted message that leaves everyone trying to decode it including the person you’re trying to reach. How many of these entries have you read or written? I read and wrote madddaaadem [mad of them]. But for the most part, my entries are more self-indulgent than anything else.

Obviously, many blogs are much less calculated. There is always an element of narcisissm and ego whenever someone starts a blog; you assume that people want to read it or that you contribute something that has yet been formulated by someone else or simply for the fact that your perspective is so legit [too legit to quittt] that it has to be heard. So then, what’s really the problem with a little ego and giving the little narcissist in you a wink of acknowledgment? Shit, my narcissist, being a reflection of me, is hot.

Cue: This is Why I’m hot.

I don’t know how it got obnox, I meant to be just a pinch positive, but then…whatever, you love it.

Or should I say, you know you love me. xoxo gossip girl [returns in a week!!]


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