December 18th 2018
Today I’ve been pondering what purpose this blog serves if I’m going to self-censor. The reason I’ve been thinking about that is that I discovered another person who does this exact thing. I saw a comment on a Reddit thread from a guy who said that for the last five years he’s written about each day as it happens. And that’s what I’ve done.
The first key difference between our “diaries” is that he writes his piece the following morning, and I do mine late at night. The other difference is what prompted this reflection: he just writes his on a private Google Docs document. He too has the goal of building a reconstruction of his life by archiving writings about each day, except his is done in private.
For contextual purposes, he showed an example of one of his posts, and it made me consider my own. One big thing I noticed was the level of detail that he went into about the day. He’d talk about place-names, and people-names, and physical descriptions. That’s something I’ve always consciously avoided doing because, although garnering a readership has never been the intention of this daily blog, I’m acutely aware of the fact that a non-insignificant number of people read it every day, or every month.
And so I don’t think it’s fair to include too many details about people who are not me. Unless it’s somewhere huge like London, I try to avoid naming the places I visit, or the place that I live, just because this is the internet and I’d like to retain at least some semblance of anonymity (not for myself, I should point out — we’re way past that).
And I don’t really use names much. Again, just because I don’t think it’s fair to put someone else’s name out on the internet as part of my thing. And so, I stay generic with “My friend” or “My colleague” or “My sister’s boyfriend” without naming people. And for the person reading these posts, that doesn’t make too big a difference because names are mostly irrelevant to the context, but skipping the names and skipping the details means that when I look back on these posts in five, ten, twenty years, I won’t have a clue who I meant when I said “My friend”.
And that’s a shame. I just don’t know what to do about it. I also know that sometimes I am guilty of avoiding writing about certain things because I know certain people will read what I’ve written. And that’s counter-intuitive to the entire purpose of this thing in the first place. It’s supposed to be honest and unfiltered and I don’t know if it always is anymore.
Until tomorrow, I just don’t know what to do about it.