Thursday, October 30, 2008

Listen Up, People of the Internets

Dear Bloggers Everywhere,

Okay, it has recently come to my attention that some of y’all are like, putting your whole sordid lives out into the blogosphere, and I really, I just, I um, I I I, it needs to stop. Just, just please, make it stop. It’s really not okay. Back in the day, us crazy kids who’ve been around since before the internets, we bought these little books, these little empty notebooks, sometimes they were very pretty on the outside, covered with lovely fabric, and on the inside, these notebooks, sometimes they had lines, I need lines, I can barely read my handwriting without lines, but some of you prefer a blank page, that’s fine too, some of them come with blank pages, maybe you have nice penmanship, maybe you like to draw, or paste in pictures or mementos or what have you, all fine, anyway, we bought these books, back in these pre-internet times we called diaries, nowadays they are sometimes called journals so as not to seem so fourteen-year-old girlish, although I would encourage those of you who prefer the term journal to refrain from using the term ‘journaling’, because as I have said before there is far too much turning of nouns into verbs these days, anyway, some of these blank books, these diaries, they even had locks! (flimsy, they were at best, agreed, but the point, if unclear, is that one was not to open something that had a lock on it, if you were not the keeper of the key) In fact, these books still exist, in greater numbers and greater varieties than ever before. Here are some pretty pictures, you can get most of these and many more just from Paper Source.

Here's one with a lock and a mermaid - what's not to love?

Who doesn't love an uglydoll? I know I do!

This one comes with it's own pencil!

Moleskine - very popular. I always carry one with me.

Simple With Cloud

Love Who You Are - a great suggestion - maybe you could start by using this book!

In these books we called diaries we wrote our private thoughts. Private. In these books we were free to ramble about how mad our moms made us, how that cute boy did not notice us, how drunk we got at the frat party, and whatever else. In my own, it would be repeated decades of: this boy this boy this boy this boy mom this boy this boy this boy this boy I’m depressed this boy this boy this boy what is wrong with me. Trust me when I tell you that that is all you need to know about that, that is all I will ever share with you about that, and if you want to know more about that you will have to pry those diaries out of my crypt.

I am both a writer and a blogger. It’s super great and fun to have a blog on which to throw out some random stuff that interests me, and I encourage anyone to do the same. There are plenty of blogs I follow on a regular basis, from personal ones to ones on various subjects that interest me. But for me, as much as some of my stuff, fiction and here, begins in autobiography, I choose to write fiction for any number of reasons ranging from I’m just better at it to I just like it better to what’s true and what isn’t is my own damn bidness. It’s not even that I wouldn’t consider writing a memoir someday, if I was moved to. I haven’t been, thus far. But maybe what I’m talking about here is a matter of boundaries. I feel very clear, for myself, about what I would and wouldn’t write about in my blog. Which brings me to another point I think is kind of interesting. It has been said about the writing on this blog, and of my writing in general, is that it’s honest. I really hope that’s true, and I take it as a great compliment. But to me, there’s a big difference between honesty and too much information.

Do I have to read what you write? Hell, no, and I generally don’t. But for your own good, and for the love of god, if you must write every last grisly detail online, take advantage of the privacy options, and keep your blogs private, or choose a program that allows you to be selective about your readers, say your two best friends, or whoever it is that you might actually talk to face to face about these private things. You understand that employers look at this stuff, right? Maybe you were born rich and don’t care about employers. Surely, then you understand that random creepy people look at this stuff, right?

I am now done with my rant/plea for the day. Thank you for your time.

Yours truly,

Elizabeth Crane


Katie Alender said...

Hear, hear! There are lines that, once crossed, are uncrossbackable (*totally a word*).

Joe said...

I blame our culture of competitive whining and Phil Donahue who started the ongoing emotathon in infotainment. No, I have no empirical evidence for this but this is the Internet so I can say whatever I want if I say it with enough authority.

Did you see Lewis Black's schtick on blogging?

John McNally said...

I agree on all accounts, especially the use of the word "journaling," and I agree above that Phil Donahue may have been the catalyst for all of this (though I suspect others, like early Oprah and Sally Jesse, were the real culprits...early Phil, of the 1970s on WGN, was like watching someone rub two sticks together; Sally Jesse was like watching someone work a flame-thrower). There are a few blogs I read when I want to torture myself, and I begin screaming, "Who cares! Who cares! Who cares!" (Why do I torture myself? I'm not sure.)

One more observation: I suspect all of this coincided round about the time people quit using their blinkers to indicate a lane change. I wish I was joking, but I suspect it's true.

Reagan said...

Sing it, sister! I feel mortified minutes after posting a Facebook status update; obviously I'm both a relic and conflicted, since if I really were Old School I wouldn't be on Facebook in the first place.
But, anyway, there's something (or everything) to be said for just Tamping it Down instead of Letting it Out.

Elizabeth Crane said...

[giggle] Thanks for all the comments folks. Katie, I can get down with uncrossbackable for sure! Joe, I'll check that out - meanwhile I think your Donahue theory is as good as any. John, you cracked me up with the blinkers comment... a bane of my own existence as well - and you also reminded me of a tangent I didn't get on, which was the why would I torture myself watching this bad-accident tangent - most of the time it's pretty easy to resist, but there are those times when it's hard to turn away. Reagan - thanks! I too am a relic, but I think it's possible to have it both ways - tamping it down is about right. Neither of us is out there talking about stuff that... well I can't even speak of it.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Okay, Lewis Black's rant is a must-see - hilarious!

teo said...

"you also reminded me of a tangent I didn't get on"

this is why i love dear betsy's writing. not only do i love the tangents, but i love the tangents not taken as well. all those invisible tangents.

and it is surely all phil donahue's fault.

Dr Idges said...

Um... Is this about my unhealthy preoccupation with Hilary Duff?

Because... I'll stop. Really. You don't have to tell me twice!

Abernathy said...

Please be advised that November is National Blog Posting Month (

"Post every day for a month."

Waffling over whether or not you should blog about the new shampoo you tried this morning? Waffle no more! NaBloPoMo is here!

Please vote tomorrow.

Elizabeth said...

Hee, thanks Teo. Dan, no, feel free to continue obsessing about Hillary Duff. I wish it were that. Abernathy - got it covered on the voting, and it all worked out!