Recently I found out a personal blog that I’d been following has been deleted after the blogger found himself in a thorny situation with gossips revolving around blog posts that he’d posted online a long time ago. Obviously I could really relate to such an incident and being sucked into any kind of drama is never my kind of fun.
But let’s face it: in an online world, your privacy is never guaranteed (even if you used a pseudonym/nickname) and you’ve to expect that your online conduct will always go onto public record, with or without your consent. While it’s still possible to create pseudo online identities without having your cover blown, carrying out detective work to trace identities are also not as hard as one seems.
Making matters worse is that even if you delete those public stuff that you’ve posted, the rate of its decay (i.e. the time needed for it to be completely wiped out of online existence) is far slower than you think: one can always attempt to access Google’s cache and see whether those deleted contents still accessible there. And you better hope nobody mirrors your darned site.
And as we know from our offline world, there’s always gossiping bitches (and also butches?) and the dreaded rumour mill. The Internet is the perfect place for nosy people to find stuff to talk about.
I don’t think everyone is now fully aware that the Internet is no longer the wild west back in the 90’s but has pretty much integrated into the fabric of our present, offline life. If one understands the implications, that pretty much left with the fact that one always have to keep his/her behaviour in check in all interactions with the world: whether is it in our daily lives or our online activities.
Personally as much as I do believe that one has the freedom to choose how to express him/herself, it’s important to remember the fact all actions may lead to unintended consequences. If you don’t think you couldn’t stomach the drama and emotional assaults, you might as well just play it safe and keep the firebrand and skeletons in your own closet… or a diary in a locked drawer.
* P/S: As I’m writing this, it really reminded me of an article posted on the Wall Street Journal, How Facebook can Ruin Your Friendship - here’s a quote in the article that I liked best:
Facebook prolongs the period it takes to get over someone, because you have an open window into their life, whether you want to or not