I have just spent the best part of an hour writing a blog post I was at first excited to share with the Internet. And then as I was half way through I was overwhelmed with the sudden notion that I perhaps shouldn't share these particular thoughts with strangers and acquaintances in a manner that wasn't, for me, intimate enough. There was nothing especially private about the thoughts I was writing about, they were probably just another case of teenage angst, but it was my teenage angst and actually I don't want everybody to know about it. There was something about how I was spewing this often inward and private contemplation that made me want to keep it to myself, for now.
I'm often in awe of people who have the ability to keep things to themselves and not share every waking thought and idea with anyone you meet like I have a tendency to do. I love intense, passionate conversation and so to generate that I must subconsciously open myself up to people so that we can talk and talk until the sun don't shine. For someone who can contently spend hours and hours by herself and be in her own, secluded world I have the biggest desire to let people know me, and for me to know other people. And so when I get the feeling that I just don't want to share some of my thoughts, it's an interestingly powerful sensation. It's almost as if my instinct is letting me know that keeping that particular idea private is what is best for now. To keep your thoughts to yourself is sometimes much more exciting than keeping someone else's secrets.
Writing about this is reminding me of the common criticism of the nature of the Internet being that too much is shared. "I don't want to know if someone just ate a sandwich" or "I don't want people to know if I've just had a colonoscopy" are frequent comments worthy of banging one's head against a wall several times. There is no rule to say that you must read someone's tweet about the sandwich they've just eaten, nor that you must make a Facebook post about personal medical treatments and visits. The whole idea is that now this free flowing stream of information exists and that this information can be both good and bad. It is up to whoever participates to filter what they want to know and not know, what is good and what is bad and by distinguishing this for themselves they can then understand what they wish to contribute to this growing pool of ideas and feelings and facts and figures.
I, for some reason, felt it was not the time to express a particular private thought I was having and I feel good about not sharing it, but it doesn't stop the thrill of pressing 'publish' and sending my other thoughts out into this virtual world of free judgement and understanding. I'm just aware that I am in control of what I am choosing for everyone to know about me, which is healthy and good.