mardi, avril 10, 2007


I want to raise an uncomfortable topic. It is one to which I have far fewer answers than questions.

Do writers like me, who share a fair amount of personal (however edited and carefully chosen) material in print, have the right to feel like their privacy is being invaded?

Recently some concerned bloggers have proposed codes of conduct for comments left on blogs. Some have suggested that no anonymous comments be posted on blogs. I'd be happy to sign up for something like that. But beyond the self-regulation, one quickly gets into a very foggy area in which one fast moves beyond any kind of consensus.

Don't read Case I if you are considering trolling for online love.

Case I-Having posted my profile on an Internet dating site, I had an unfortunate encounter about a month ago with a person I discovered, by his own admission, was a sex addict. It wasn't the fact that he told me this electronically-many of us have addictions and while I didn't think he was a bad person, I did suggest he get help.

As it happens I was one of his targets. But thanks to my strong intituition that there was something wrong with our interactions, I had been fortunate enough to not be harmed by his behavior (in fact, I've not met him). But in the course of our email correspondence he voiced his anger at me in a way that gave me the unfortunate sense that he had somehow managed to get into my personal space.

Case II-Because I have software that allows me to monitor where my readers come from, although not their personal email addresses, I am also aware that I have a few readers who call up my blog every day, if not sometimes several times a day. I have to admit that I find this a little disturbing. What is it about me that could be so interesting to somebody who does not know me personally?

Who knew that I was this charismatic?

In both cases, I feel a sense that my privacy is being violated. But I suspect that I have more 'right' to feel that way in case one-although I had freely chosen to correspond with this man, he was clearly out of bounds, even the unclear bounds of the Internet.

Case two is even less clear-after all, I make my ideas and personal experiences available for public consumption. How can I complain, then, if someone chooses to consume more often that I think is healthy? In addition, if I didn't have the monitoring software, I would have no clue that my posts were so popular with a few readers.

If the reader was a friend or a colleague, would I feel the same way? Would it make a difference if they were male or female?

So why do I feel so queasy? Why should I even give a hoot?

Feel free to comment-but only ones with names will be posted.

1 commentaire:

HOLY a dit…

lurkers freak me out too so I'll post my dns for posterity.

Stumbled here by way of your BlogHer link...but then you know that already. :)

I like this train of thoughts of yours....clean, comfy and heading in a questioning direction. Those are always the most interesting journeys.