I thought about retreating from the internet today. I’ve done it before. I thought about tearing down this cardboard construction of blog posts, photos, status updates, and messaging accounts, and retreating back under a sturdy looking stone.
I haven’t done it yet.
I’m thinking about it though.
I need to remind myself why I built this bolt-hole on the internet – why I put such effort into it – connecting so many dots – rounding off so many rough edges. I often visit other people’s blogs and find unwritten about pages, or social links that lead to nowhere – in contrast I obsess over every last detail – not wanting anybody to think badly of me, should they discover a broken link, or a misspelled word.
I’ve driven a wedge between the “public” me – the smiling face in the LinkedIn profile, and “private” me – the author of thousands of forgettable blog posts telling stories about cycling to work, sitting on trains, shouting at the children, and endlessly re-filling the washing machine. It took time and effort. Throwing it all away now would seem like a waste.
Perhaps more importantly, if I were to burn my cardboard fort to the ground, I would also lose touch with the rag-tag community of kindred spirits I have happened upon during it’s construction. You know who you all are, and I think the world of you. Perhaps you are the reason I haven’t got the box of matches out yet.
Every few months over the last couple of years I have changed my mind about sharing my life in such a public manner. Rome has burned many times. This slightly odd book of my life (an almost literal translation of it’s title) is all that remains of a trail that sweeps through LiveJournal, Vox, Blogger, Ghost, Squarespace, Tumblr, and now WordPress. If you know what to look for, you can trace me through the “Wayback Machine” to the beginning of the web. I never really leave. I never will.