Miles From Fenway

The Ups and Downs of the Internet Age
December 5, 2006, 12:13 am
Filed under: blogging

Most of you reading this blog right now are children of the internet age. We apply for jobs on the internet, talk to friends on the internet, we pay our bills, buy gifts, in some cases even do our grocery shopping on the internet (yay Fresh Direct!). We marvel at how long it must have taken to do the most mundane things before the advent of the electronic age. It’s a beautiful thing.

But it has its ups and downs as do most technological breakthroughs I guess. Personal communication is less, personal. Emails have replaced phone calls to friends. Letters, actual written letters, barely even exist anymore. But at the same time the amount of knowledge at our fingertips these days is incredible. And the internet can connect people from all over the world, expose them to things they never would have been exposed to before. I interviewed a woman in Baghdad back in the early part of 2006, and it was an incredible experience. And something that never would have happened had email not existed.

And then there are blogs. I’ve mentioned before that they have their pitfalls, and I’ve known that all along. Anyone who blogs knows that it is opening themselves up to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nine times out of ten, the good out-weighs the bad. I love my readers, some of whom I know in real life and some of whom I’ve never met. It’s a fun hobby to have, it keeps me writing, and I love it. There have been times it’s caused me problems, before I really knew the kinds of repercussions that came with blogging. MM and I went through one of the rockiest parts of our friendship because of this space. Other friends have mocked me for it. Coworkers read it and pretended they didn’t just to discuss it behind my back.

What not everyone realizes is that I can track who reads here. That’s freaky and big brother-ish I know, but sitemeter doesn’t actually give you all that many details. All you really get is an IP address. But from that I can usually tell who the people I know are. Company names usually appear in the report if it is attached to that company’s IP address. So I know when The Twin stops by, when certain friends stop in, when former coworkers appear. And I honestly don’t care. I mean who of us hasn’t looked at an ex’s myspace page after a break-up. Or googled the name of someone they’re interested in? It is, again, a part of the internet age we live in. Like it or not, what I put out there can be read by anyone.

What I don’t understand, what I’ll never understand, is people who read what I write here, and then lie about it. And expect it not to get back to me. As if it’s not all there. In black and white. I learned my lesson a long time ago, not to use people’s names, not to talk about anything too personal unless I know someone won’t mind, or unless it’s about me. And with the level of anonymity I employ here, you’d have to know the details of my day-to-day life in order to figure out who people are. And even then very few people would be able to figure out, say, which of my married friend couples are going through some problems right now as I mentioned a few posts back. I would never put anyone else’s secrets out there. I’m not that kind of person.

So today, when I received and email from a friend, explaining to me that there had been talk of something that hadn’t actually appeared here, never would have appeared here, that I got pissed. I got really, honest to God angry. One of the thoughts that ran through my head was Why are these people, who are no longer a part of my life because they chose not to be, even still reading here. And why are they talking about it. It’s not like I’m some public figure to gossip about, some celebrity to rag on in the tabloids or something of course I was going off the deep end with that analogy, but I was angry and my emotions were getting the most of my head.

Because the thing is even while I am not a celebrity, while I’m not even a very popular blogger, hell this place only gets about a hundred readers a day, to those hundred people, I am sort of a public figure. People who read here can say whatever they want about the decisions I make, the way I live my life, the things I say.

But to those people who started shit today? And you know who you are, remember this: You can have your opinions, you can continue your voyeuristic readership, you can laugh at me, you can judge me, that’s fine, I willingly leave myself open to that. What you CAN’T do is blame me for shit I didn’t do because you can’t own up to what you did. This site is cached and backed up, and I’ve got written proof of everything that goes down here and so do about a hundred other people who read me. So try as you might to use me as a scapegoat, you can’t do it, and you just wind up looking petty and small for trying.


15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Isn’t it funny how when we left middle school we assumed that we left it for good? The immaturity of some people is just pathetic.

Comment by Meegan

The lying thing drives me crazy. Even knowing that I know their IPs, a few people still lie to me about reading.
I’ll never understand it.

Comment by Lushy

I’m sorry. i’ll never lie about being a fireman again. Heh.

The internet age hasn’t made any of this worse. It has just made it easier. Your right, instead of driving by the ex’s place to see who’s car is in the driveway, we go by their myspace page to see who’s commented on their page (I completely admit to having done the same more times than I’d care to admit). And because all of this is easier, it comes out quicker and is harder to hide.

So what to do? Fuck ’em. Those people would lie to you, blgo or no blog. But at least you were able to understand that they would a lot easier, and those aren’t the kind of people you can trust any part of yourself to. Don’t waste any time/energy/emotion on assholes, just not worth it.

Comment by TomO

The older we get the more it goes back to kindergarten. It’s really scary at the end of the day. The wifey had a similar issue and thought about stopping her blogging but eventually went back. I agree with TomO who essentially says to fuckem.

Comment by Ari

Petty people are going to be petty people even if they sneaking peeks at your smoke signals. Technology doesn’t change it. It only makes the venue different.

So to be repetitive, Fuck’em

Comment by edmund dantes

Thanks everyone. “fuck ’em” is basically the idea I am going with. And I wasn’t trying to say I was pissed that certain people still read here, that’s fine. Though I think it’s amusing that certain people trash the blogging world, or trash me in particular, and yet are still reading here all the time. Makes me smile a little. What pissed me off was that I was being used as a scapegoat. And not by friends, but by people I used to have a professional relationship with. A year after leaving someplace and I’m still being blamed for shit. That’s just not right.

Comment by FINY

Not a celebrity? C’mon babe – you know you’re a rock star!

I know this wasn’t exactly the main point of your post but I don’t see myself as a child of the internet – even though it is such a huge part of my life. I never had an email address before I went to college. The world wide web was in its infancy – I went to my first web page (it was the Dilbert homepage – I can’t believe I remember that) in the spring of my Freshman year.

As for the jackasses who are giving you trouble – I’m with everyone else who’s saying fuck ’em. They aren’t worth your energy.

Comment by BlackJack

I really can’t believe that people have the gall to sneak around about reading your site and then lying about what’s posted. The blog cache doesn’t lie! Sorry you’re going through this – you need this right now like a hole in the head.

Comment by Esther

In reality, she probably could use a whole in the head to drain away some of the excess alcohol.

(runs away)

Comment by edmund dantes

HA. Like you could out run me.

Comment by FINY

Oh and Tom? I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that first line. Wiseass.

Comment by FINY

In Digital Scribblings, one cannot be truly-personal:

People do appreciate a hug & a kiss, but in this format, it is not-practical;

Ahhh, such are the pitfalls of the Digital Age.

Comment by Anonymous


I don’t know you in real life, but you seem pretty cool to me. Screw the people who don’t agree. Be warm! 🙂


Comment by Anonymous

Well I guess it’s time to reveal the real reason behind my weight loss program. It’s so I can outrun you and your abusive friendship. So don’t be so quick to judge me being able to run away from you.

I’ve been putting in a lot of time on the bike, and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at your inability to keep up with me. So HA!!! Free at last!!! lol


Comment by edmund dantes

You go girl!!!

Comment by Anonymous

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