Brave New Transparent World
Posted by Euroranger on December 4, 2013
So, a very brief post today (as I am actually gainfully employed and doing employment related tasks). I contribute to a tech site as the resident CF expert (to answer your question, no, they probably couldn’t find anyone else to do it) and that site has a common forum area where various folks post conversation topics and then other people comment on them and so on. Usual intarwebz forum. Anyway, talk to enough people over time and you do start to get to know something about them. People make references, drop tidbits of info that, individually don’t make up very much but taken as a whole can start to give you an idea of how those people might be in person. One of those people is a woman whose persona, in my mind, has taken several definition turns in my own mind. You know how you form an idea of someone you’ve never met and then you learn something about them so you update that mental picture you had? That’s the situation I’m talking about. I read what she writes on the tech forum. Some time back, we friended one another on Facebook so I thought I knew her well enough as a complete stranger anyway. To her, she’s who she’s always been. She knows her. I don’t. Anyway, I mention it because earlier today as I was bored and rolling through things to alleviate my boredom, I ran across a link to a blog she keeps. I thought, hey, I know this gal…let’s go see what she has to say.
Turns out, I didn’t know her at all.
I don’t want to be callous or uncaring or perhaps say something untoward that might come off as unfeeling but several months back she went through some personal relationship turbulence and used her blog as sort of a personal diary outlet. Oddly enough, I tend to do the same here from time to time…but not to the degree this lady did. I read several of her blog posts that, presumably, she didn’t mind everyone knowing the content of. After a time, I quit reading because it felt almost like I was reading someone’s diary. I discovered personal details about her that I didn’t know about and while I don’t mind knowing them (they don’t change my opinion of her as a person) I wonder how she’d feel knowing I’d read them. We’ve never met, never even exchanged words really but I feel like I’ve intruded someplace I ought not to have been.
What I come away with is a new appreciation of how technology is changing personal interactions people have (or may not have) with one another. I’ve read all sorts of personal things on the web before. I wander and surf and read all kinds of stuff. I’ve never read them though about someone I had a preconceived image about…and it was awkward. I’m in the last leg of finishing a web application that has a strong social media element to it and, in fact, I’m working on how to allow people to incorporate their blog postings into an overall, one glance snapshot of their business. I’m now ruminating on how I might could build tools into my app to allow people to perhaps edit or sanitize social media entries. Maybe I’m overreacting. All the same, it’s been some time since I encountered something on the web that really makes me pull up short and pause and consider things for a moment.
My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.