Thursday, 7 May 2015

Why I Share My Life on the Internet

I have a huge need for self-expression. It’s why I have good handwriting, actually – because I write everything down. I’ve kept diaries intermittently throughout my life, and though I have trouble sticking to them because I always lose the notebook, I do always write things down somewhere. When I’m upset or worried about something, I’ll write all my thoughts down to get them out of my head. Basically using the principle “A problem shared is a problem halved”, except it works even when you have no one to talk to, or want to keep a secret.

But I don’t have the dedication to keep a diary that I’m just going to lose, because it seems pointless. So the Internet completes the picture by promising that someone somewhere is reading and maybe feels the same, and that my words will stay in the archives forever (hopefully). It’s a great motivation, and it’s what keeps me blogging.

I distinctly remember a time when I was younger where I was just so frustrated that I couldn't articulate everything I was thinking. I had some vivid, brilliant scene in my head and I was mentally listing ways I might be able to express that and get it out of me. But I couldn't find one, and I concluded that the best way of expressing this was in my imagination. That was because of the skills gap - the difference between what you can imagine and what you can articulate. As I was about 10, my skills were a lot less developed than they are now, so while I still can't express things perfectly I can get most things written down.

I have a sort of obsession with honesty and openness – I have to get things out – so this really helps me there.

I feel very free on the blog, just to say what I feel like and get things off my mind. I do have to do some checks and balances to make sure what I’m posting isn’t too private, but so far it seems to have worked out fairly well.

I also express myself with my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr profiles, but it’s in a different way.

Quite simply, everyone is doing it. Not only are there millions of blogs, but essentially everyone on the internet is sharing their lives somehow whether they know it or not (heads up: check your Facebook privacy settings, guys). I like being part of a network, being part pf something big.

It does feel quite intimate, when someone shares details about their life. It’s a way to develop relationships with people, and we should be responsible with that.

On a tangent, I like how the people who share most about their lives tend to be those who do it very badly. You know, those people who’ll post

Dat bitch fukn thinks shes great :Z

On Facebook. It’s embarrassing. Please, if you’re going to do something the whole world can theoretically see, do it with some style.

Writing is something I’m good at, probably what I’m best at. Pretty easy to explain, since I do it so much. It’s a cycle here: I choose to express myself via writing because it’s the best approximation for what’s going on, and I get better at writing because I do it every day on this blog.

In a way, this does feel like a form of adolescence. A coming-of-age sort of thing, as I make my entrance on the adult work chronologically, while on the internet I gradually become known in the online world. Those are coinciding pretty well at the moment.

This is a huge one. I can’t remember the majority of things that have happened in my life, but since I generally write these blog posts the day of an event in my life, I can see what was happening, what I was doing and thinking and feeling just by looking back through the archives. I feel like this will be really valuable to me when I’m older. Sure, it’s missing some of the negative parts of my life, but it’s still a pretty complete account as I write down everything I feel comfortable sharing, and that’s most things.

This archive of my life is already showing benefits.

December archives.

Give Back
Sharing my life and my experiences on this blog does feel like giving back. Not financially or charitably, but being an active participant of the wonderful network that is the Internet. I’ve gained so much from it, and I believe I should give my best back, and be a true member of the network. The internet is my second home, and it’s pretty silly to be an unhelpful houseguest. 

Now, I know the internet has an abundance of content, but still – why be a lurker when you can contribute to the weird and wonderful world of a technology that connects billions of people?


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  2. Hello Elle, I found your blog very recently and from reading many of the updates that you have posted on this blog I have come to the conclusion that you are a very talented writer. And this particular post got me thinking, "Am I a lurker in life?". Earlier this week in a conversation that we had you told me that I would regret it. I would regret not participating in something that you thought I was capable of doing, and I now see the truth in your words. I regret it. I honestly do. I resent the fact that I will never know how things would've turned out for me. I really wanted to win and I feel incredibly left out as I always had this desire to be part of a campaign, my campaign, at the time I didn't believe you but now, I've realised that you were right all along.

    1. I /think/ I know who you are. First of all, thank you for the compliment about my writing.

      I'm glad it got you thinking. It's not always easy to think about that sort of thing, but it's important. I really do think you could've made a fantastic Head Girl, but you can't dwell on it. I have /so/ many regrets, and they're almost over things I didn't do or try, but at least it's a valuable lesson.

      On the bright side, you still have the qualities that would make you such a great HG - kindness, brains and the support of our year. So although it means losing the status and the opportunity to do a campaign that would be so big personally, you can still fill that role if you really want to.

      (I hope I've pegged you right - feel free to message me on Facebook or email, and this was a great comment.)