There are certain unfinished blog entries that I stare at for days. Truth be told, I'm sure I have more entries in the cue than I've submitted. There's an apprehension around posting them - a sense of unease around the content or merely the (un)polished nature of the piece. And so, entries sit in the cue as a draft, oozing with potential but lacking follow-through.
You see, the Internet is scary. We hear this from the lips of many, mostly aimed toward children and the college-aged crowd (which, admittedly, can often be one in the same): "Don't tell anyone where you live, Marvin - it's not safe." "You don't know who's looking at your pictures, Jethro - be careful." "Don't write about your wild party, Gertie - you never know if it'll get around."
[And before you ask: Yes, Marvin, Jethro, and Gertie could very well be children's names - no judging.]
The Internet is all potential - potential for good, bad, and in-between. It's a giant web of points of connectivity and, as such, it allows for infinite interaction: education, laughter, release, pain, distraction, conversation, agony, joy. In one word: sharing.
Ah, sharing. Now we're getting to the scary part, folks.
What to share? Share a new job? Share a new recipe? Share your divorce? What about your traffic accident? Or that mysterious lump under your left arm? One way or another, it's all up for debate because what you share on the Internet defines you in a single click. There are no take-backs - this one's for life, kiddo.
I've been told this over and over again, as I'm sure most of us have. I know the power of Google to ruin...well, everything. Or rather to direct others to one's ruin. Either way, ruin lays ahead if you post the wrong thing.
Yes, the "wrong thing." In that mindset, is it foolish to ask, "What's the right thing?"
So, back to my cued entries. Some are rotting; some hidden gems. Some personal; some occupational. Some one sentence; some a manifesto. And yet, all wait for my courage, my willingness to say, "Forget what others think - full steam ahead!"
But for now, I remember that the Internet is a scary place and retreat back to the comfort of my unplugged life. A place where a mob of dismissed blog copy can't find me.
At least, for now.