“Why would you put that online?!”
When directed at me, those words fill me with an deep, roiling rage. Not the intention of the words, I know. It’s the concern of others for the person “being embarrassed” or the post having some sort of real world consequences.
I have never given a flying fack about what other people deem appropriate to put online. I’ve spent 23 years on the internet knowing how to post things other people deem “inappropriate” online. I know what anonymity is. And I know where to draw the line.
I don’t post nudes. I don’t post my personal information. The greatest crime I commit, apparently, is putting my illness online. Pouring my words into the void of the internet. I don’t understand the sheer terror at having something “compromising” online. I don’t post anything “compromising.” What their words really mean is this: “Don’t talk about your problems. Anywhere. We don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to see it. Don’t make it awkward for us, since we really just don’t care.”
That is where the rage comes from. Shut your mouth. Pretend to be fine. The mask is all that matters. But they still care about you, of course. /s
To give context to this post, back before I started this blog I would vent very occasionally on Facebook. Given that at that time I had maybe forty FB friends, people I was very close to or had known for a very long time, I felt comfortable posting about my state of mind. I could talk to friends in the most cogent way possible for me – writing. My speaking style is borderline word-salad when in the presence of other people, due to sheer nerves. But understanding that is also too difficult for others as well.
A few times back then my husband and the female half of The Couple, both very image-conscious people, asked that question. “Why did you post that online?” Years later, I still seethe about it. I tried to explain – only you and persons X, Y, Z and A, B, C saw that post. I understand what post security levels are. I don’t understand why you think I don’t. I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I simply wanted to vent to specifically the people who care about me. It was like speaking to a brick wall. They don’t get it, and they never will. They’ll assume incompetence, every time, when it comes to me.
Since then, I learned to simply exclude them from these posts despite my need for their words. It was for the best.
Eventually I moved on to WordPress when I realized I needed more room to speak than Facebook. No one knows about this blog. Not my husband, not my highschool friends, not anyone. And though it is painful to not have the input from others that I crave, it’s better to speak openly and loudly to an empty room than be surrounded by people and forced to be silent.