My son repeatedly advises against putting my pictures on the Internet. He promises experiences that will result in my regretting that I did not listen. I am already starting to have some of those experiences. I have been finding my pictures being used on other websites and I don’t necessarily like it. I have been in this business since 1998; but I have kept myself relatively anonymous. It was easy to do that because I worked behind the scenes as a web programmer. I gave up programming when stress from coding began to reach a dangerous level. I decided to become a blogger/content website producer instead. Most of the blogs/content websites I have developed over the years have allowed me to maintain my anonymity. I’ve run celebrity gossip blogs, forex trading blogs, investing blogs, interior decorating blogs–I’ve tried my hand at just about every type of blog and a handful of content websites, trying to make it as a blogger/content website producer. So far I haven’t had any luck. I won’t tell you what I make a month blogging for a living.
This blog is the first time I have gotten as openly personal as this blog gets. While I have used my own life as inspiration for writing on other blogs, such as my marriage blog, those blogs have not been about me and my life. This blog is about me and my life.
Against my son’s advise I am exposing myself in a way that I could indeed come to regret; because once you put your stuff out there on the Internet it becomes accessible to the entire world and anyone can take it and do anything they want with it and very often there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It can be hard to remove your stuff off the internet when it gets into other people’s hands, onto other websites over which you have no control.
So I am at a point of questioning why I’m really doing this and whether or not it’s worth the risks that come with it. It is a personal blog but it is also part of my collection of blogs that I maintain for the purpose of trying to make a living. I think that is pretty much the standard these days. Most bloggers are trying to make a living from their blogging and I am not an exception; but I certainly didn’t have to start a blog like this.
I started this blog because I thought it could be helpful to me while at the same time being useful to others. I don’t know if anyone actually finds it in any way useful; but it has certainly been helpful to me, particularly since I started this new phase of documenting my efforts to change my life. It kind of forces me to make a more concerted effort to stay on top of things. It gives me a reason to do things. It puts me back in touch with my self. It helps me to see myself — to see my truth in a way that I can’t see it when I’m just sitting and thinking about myself in terms of how I have been perceived throughout my life and how I am still perceived by others.
This blog is like that journal that you make an effort to write in because you are committed to the purpose of finding yourself, seeking clarity, helping yourself stay focused and motivated, seeking truth, creating a better you. It serves as a reminder to allow myself to “be”. And I need that reminder. I need a reason to keep trying to create a better me and a better life for myself.
But even so, is all of that worth the risk of putting myself out there and opening myself to ridicule, and criticism, and judgement, and antipathy because something I write or the way I look in a picture rubs someone the wrong way? More importantly is it worth the risk of losing my anonymity? Like today for example I had to contact Google about removing my pictures off of a website and I had to give my full name and only after I had done so did I notice Google’s note about sharing my information with the website chillingeffects.org and also with some other website. So my communication with them will not remain my personal business. And that’s my concern right now. Do I keep moving forward understanding that this is a different kind of world and staying anonymous is next to impossible; especially if you’re going to be blogging about your life and putting pictures of yourself on the Internet? Do I keep going because I only have one life to live and time is short, and and I can’t afford to keep on living in fear of everything and everyone? Or do I quit now out of fear that my son is right and all I have waiting down the road are experiences that will make me regret the day I decided to expose myself in this way?