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Monday, March 28, 2011

Just checked in

Last week, Diana received serious news about her health. This was a kind of serious news that made her, along with her friends, family, and me, quite nervous. Did she immediately write a blog post or make a grand declaration about it on Facebook, mere minutes after the fact? Nope. She collected her thoughts and wrote lengthy posts on her new blog. All along, I thought she did (and continues to do) the right thing in sharing this news.

I'll let her speak for herself about her health (this post is a good starting point). If you want to follow her progress, by all means, read her blog. She's a talented writer, among many, many other things.

While she, along with her family and I, received the status about her condition, we decided to not make a public announcement on our various ways of online communicating. I'm not a fan of having an open invite to a pity party, especially via Facebook. And neither is she. Slowly, more and more people close to us got the news. You can't really post a basic summary of this stuff in a few sentences without explanation, you know?

In receiving this news, I didn't want to say anything until things were firm enough. Notice there was no mention of this stuff last week while I was with her in the hospital? Well, it's because we know a few people who make their lives very public online. And frankly, it's uncomfortable to read posting after posting about whatever drama is derailing somebody's life. From a bad boss to car trouble to clothes not fitting, somebody else's business can be on everyone else's radar. Life can get trivialized that way, especially when there is not a sense of humor about it.

I know I'm very guilty of writing very public things in the past (feel free and scan those archives to the right of the page). But I've always tried to be careful about things and really think matters through before posting stuff online. From my blog to my Twitter to my Facebook page, I choose to not make this an online version of a diary.

Think about it: a diary is supposed to be private, yes? And what usually happens when someone (say your brother or mother) reads a diary written by someone else? Pure embarrassment, yes?

Blogging may have blurred some walls together in telling the difference between what's your business and what you tell people, from your best friend in high school to somebody you just met (and to people you've never met). Twitter and Facebook have blurred more things together. But is it demanded of us to update everything that we're on in the online realm, from Foursquare to Blogger? I don't think so.

It's not like I shy away from writing what I'm feeling. But you can write too much about yourself. We all have daily drama, some days it's bigger than other days. But, even as technology expands, there are plenty of reasons to not broadcast every single detail on your life online.

We still want privacy in the world, right?

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