The "Personal"

I've been thinking for a while about this blog, about how to write about "personal" topics. I mean, I know I want to write about political things, literary things, but the personal piece seems a whole lot harder...like who checks this thing? What do I want whom to know? And it all becomes complicated. After all, do I (or we) really control what other people know anymore? Have we ever?

Rumors have always taken the secrets of people and transmitted them. People have always had images of other people, ideas about how they are that get transmitted from one person to another. But now, Google has worked wonders to tear down any shred of personal or private life left. A quick search of anyone's name gives a whole panorama of who that person is, a window on what they have done and how they have registered him or herself in the world. Especially if you have a particularly unique first or last name.

Intellectually, I can take apart the entire concept of something personal and private, removed from the communal. I also reject privacy as an end. As a means it might be productive, but as an end, it seems to only lead to bourgeois comfort and seclusion from the rowdy, unwashing masses. But emotionally, it is a lot more difficult. What does privacy protect? What can we keep private? What is it worth keeping private?

Maybe it's like the kid who comes out of the closet to his friends and family and everyone says, "Yeah, we knew the whole time, we were just waiting for you. Wondering why you hadn't talked about it yet." Everyone probably already knows or can find out just about everything about you anyway. No use hiding then.

I have been looking at some other blogs too, to see how other people are negotiating these questions. See
Gwendolyn Zepeda's blog. Or Liliana Blum's blog. Or Heriberto Yépez' blog. Or Moorishgirl. There are a lot of ways to talk about yourself or not talk about yourself.

Clearly, I won't resolve this in this post, but anyhow, just putting it out there as a question seems important. How do you, if you blog, deal with this?

4 comentarios:

Liliana V. Blum dijo...

Juanito:
Maybe it's all about egotripping. We write, we think somebody will read us, we'll like to think we have something so say.
I know a lot of my friends and family read me, justo so they can get a glimpse of my life. Of my kids. A kind of old fashioned newsletter.
Personally, it works for me as a therapy. Not everyone around is willing to listen to me all the times. Sometimes I just need to get things out, and boom, there it goes on the blog, still moving, like a fish out of the water.
I don't know why we do it. We just do it. And you just wrote a personal entry on your blog.
Greetings from blue-crabland, me.

una de dos dijo...

Para el blog tengo muy claras mis fronteras; sé hasta dónde quiero decir algo de mí. Claro que el lector hace lo suyo y puede sacar más conclusiones... that's ok with me! Buenísimo tu blog! Amira

Vivek dijo...

I've been grappling with this too since I recently got my blog up and running. For me, its an inherently individualized (maybe even selfish) enterprise to put a blog up - but with google and yahoo and the patriot act, I'm wary to put up a lot of my personal stuff, the stuff that really churns through my brain. So in other words, I'm not sure how I'm dealing with the 'personal' just yet.

Anónimo dijo...

Interesting site. Useful information. Bookmarked.
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