Blogging: Entertainment? Or Destroyer of Futures?

I have been thinking of this for some time now, and CALL ME CRAZY, I just decided to post about it today.
I have always tried to be aware of what I put on the internet. I don’t think that I would ever have been in danger of being dooced even if I were in the work force before this happened and inspired journalists for years to come when they needed to be hip and tech-savvy, only there hadn’t been enough MySpace rapings lately.
Not to make this blog about all the terrible things I’ve done to Melissa over the years, but it only took one post about how I was kind of tired of people staying at my house, when she…happened to be staying at my house, that made me learn that, yes, some people actually do read this website and could get affected by it.
A few years later, I insulted a prominent Pittsburgh DJ, forgot about it, became kind of friend-of-a-friend to him a few years later, THEN had some listener google him and rat me out on his show. That was mildly awkward, but I had been inspired to bash him on my blog when I heard someone quote a Jack Black Tenacious D-ism and attribute it to him, as he used it as one of his bumpers before a commercial.
So I’ve always tried to write things that wouldn’t get me in trouble. I barely talk about my job. I didn’t even post when my online boyfriend moved in with me. I’ve even cut down a little on swearing, but that’s because I don’t really do it much in my everyday speech anymore. I’ve had this website for 5 years, from ages 21 to 26, and, yeah, a lot has happened, and when I read back, I see that I’ve changed a lot.
Every once in a while I get the urge to go back and delete all my archives and pictures. They’re not really so bad, but they’re not me anymore. They’ve helped make me who I’ve become, but they are no longer what I am. I think this will start to be something that a lot of early-adapter bloggers will be coming across now. God, think if I had a MySpace when I was 16! It makes me want to crawl under a rock when I think about what may have been public knowledge had I had the ability to post my emo ramblings before emo was even a social classification.
One summer during college, I actually set one of my journals on fire after reading through a documentation of my relationship with Min, my freshman-year boyfriend. Yeah. Not exaggerating. Flames. Scorched sink. Angry Mother.
I frequent a forum right now where I try to maintain an academic air, unlike certain other sites where my anger and sarcasm cannot be contained with the use of lower-case letters. Anyway, I linked my blog in my forum profile, but really only with the narcissistic hope that they would come to read my blog and realize I’m a little more interesting than my dry posts make me out to be.
So I checked my webstats today, and saw that a few IPs came to my site from that forum and immediately went to my Pictures section. I never thought I had reason to delete my picture archive, as that’s really the part I like about most people’s other blogs. I just like seeing what other people look like and how they take pictures of themselves. It’s a type of art form to me.
But the fact that that someone came to my site knowing the person I am on the forums and saw the person pictured in that section, the majority of which are 5 years old, just made me wonder what kind of person they had pieced me together to be.
They start out with the average college cams — tired from exams, fun exploits with friends — then it moves to inside-joke theme cams from various websites, then moves into my awkward and regrettable…Eminem phase we’ll call it, to finally some stand-up stuff. I haven’t even updated the archives with my rare but more recent cam pictures in probably a year or more.
So where do I cut it off?
If I’m still blogging when I’m 40, do I keep my 21-year-old pictures up as “pictures of me”? Do I leave 19 years of blog archives up for the world to read, on the off-chance that someone (REALLY) bored could read some of the older stuff, and think that the things I said in the past are still how I feel at the present?
And I’m not even touching on perhaps one day wanting a career that looked down on people who, say, posted pictures of their Japanese figurine collection. Or maybe one day where I have a child who doesn’t want to hear how I swore at some guy in the crowd of my stand-up show because he talked on his cellphone.
And the stuff I’m writing about now that I think is fine and an accurate portrayal of me — maybe I’ll be embarrassed that I used to make clay figurines of various “Star Trek” characters. Maybe I’ll have wished I never made fun of Rachael Ray, because in the future we might be best friends, and then won’t my face be red?
I just don’t know. It’s enough to scare someone away from blogging altogether, but…I just really enjoy doing it. Maybe people who want to be teachers and politicians and the pope just never get the inclination to join MySpace or the blogosphere, and that’s just another reason they’re perfect for what they want to do.
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how much my current self will embarrass my future self. And then when time machines are invented, I can travel back, fight myself to the death, and create a rip in the space/time continuum!
It’s that last sentence that’s gonna do all the future embarrassing, huh? Yeah.

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