Vulnerable

One of the blessings and curses of moving to the WordPress blogging platform is that it is a blogging platform.  It is designed to expedite and promote blogging, and it seems to do a good job of that.  My old host could host the blog, but the platform wasn’t developed to help expose my blog to other people.  Now my blog is being exposed regularly, based on the sorts of organizational tags I assign to any given blog entry.  Others who are interested in the same sorts of things are able to see my blog.

It sounds all good and wonderful.  Exposure is what we’re all about in this day and age, right?  All of us are just waiting to go viral and enjoy our 15 minutes of fame, or maybe leverage that 15 minutes into a career, a brand, an identity.  The problem with introverts blogging is that we don’t really want any of that.  Not the mess that comes with it, at least.  I’m not doing this for fame and fortune, which ought to be obvious now after eight years of obscure labor.

More people are seeing this blog, and that’s ultimately a good thing but it’s also very, very disconcerting.  I don’t control who sees it.  That may seem a bit obvious if I’m putting this out on the Internet.  But now it’s far more likely that people will see it.  People I don’t know.  People who don’t know me or weren’t referred to my blog by friends or family members or deranged door-to-door salespersons.  There’s a thrill in maybe being able to reach and touch more lives with genuinely good news.  But there is also the growing realization that not everyone who finds this blog will like it, or agree with it.

And that means dealing with criticism.  Sarcasm.  Not just intellectual discourse but the far more common Internet maligning in ways possibly large and small.  I could go viral in a bad way, not just a good way.  I could easily become the poster child for stupidity or vapidity or any number of other –idities.  It makes me aware of how much more time and effort I ought to put into what I write, how much more editing I should do, how much more precise I should be.

On the other hand, those are not my strong suites.

So my thoughts here are exposed for what they are – unfinished, unpolished.  That might mean they will be taken out of context.  Used and abused against me or against the things that I hold most dear and true.  That’s the risk of opening your mouth, whether you’re speaking with a friend or a group of acquaintances or broadcasting your half-formed cogencies across the wired world.  I’m just a little more aware of that vulnerability this week, and grateful for the civility thus far shown by those who run across my naked thinklings.

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