I lose track of what we are supposed to think about presentation of self on the internet. One minute it is liberating, the next minute it is dangerous. One minute it is our authentic self, the next it is a pack of lies. We tell young people to be careful about what they share on facebook, what they send to their friends via the latest social networking platform. What’s done in secret will never stay a secret – be careful even about your private communication!
Last December this blog turned 10 years old. And as the years have gone and the hype swells and retreats, I keep asking myself: Is my blog potentially dangerous? Have I written irresponsible things? Boring things? Have I misrepresented myself in public?
I think the answer to almost all of those things is yes! But I don’t regret this haphazard collection of writing at all. In the end, almost by accident, I’ve collected a strange public record that tells a narrative of my life, my development from exuberant teenager to settled young lady, to who knows how much further into the future.
Is it an irresponsible record? Definitely! I suppose it would be a neat resource for anyone who wanted to target me for identity theft. Is it a boring record? Yep. There are so many random memories, in-jokes with myself and references to people and events that readers don’t know. There are half-baked ideas and rants about music and television shows and music. There are memes and quizzes (back from the day when a meme was a quiz) filled with information that is no longer, and arguably never was, interesting or relevant.
And does it represent who I really am? Well, no. For every post here, there are 500 things I haven’t shared (actually, this is probably not true of what was written in 2004 – I think I was pretty free with sharing every thought back then). Am I the same person now as I was in 2004? Well, yes. And… no? How fascinating and slippery is our identity! It’s been me all along, and I know that full well, but these days I think and speak and process ideas so differently compared to ten years ago.
Ultimately I think a 10 year old blog can represent an individual very well! It is a powerful reminder that while some things don’t change about us, many other things do. We like to assess other people’s identities, values and opinions by the things they publish – from blogs, comments, and wall posts to poetry, works of literature and scholarly articles – but in these end these moments of published writing are just snapshots in time. To really grasp the person, you need to know how to place these moments on the story of their life.
As my life has shifted in and out of different seasons I’ve always resisted dumping this blog and starting afresh exactly for this reason. I am not the same person I was in 2004, but actually I am. In the end I don’t think I want to publish anything that is disconnected from my story. I have been faithful to this blog, and faithful to this blogging platform, for a long time! Sadly though, the culture of the internet has not been particularly faithful to this blogging platform. We use the internet a little differently now, and I am blogging a little differently now, and the time has come to move. I’m heading over to a new domain, and taking this whole 10 year project with me. Who knows where it will go next>
Despite taking every post and every comment over to newblog, I know this is a real rupture for Akrokorinth (the actual name of my blog for those playing at home on their friends page). The community here at LJ is a legitimately wonderful one. I’ll miss the freedom this platform gives to rant about things that highbrow blogs don’t care about (it’s also kind of liberating to not have access to any visitor stats!). But even more I’ll miss my LJ friends – you whom I’ve never met personally, and you whom I know face to face (the few of you who are left!). I’m sorry my posts won’t be turning up on your feeds anymore! I’ll still be stopping by to visit you.