All of us who write online debate this question. When is sharing good for the soul and when does it destroy the lives of people you love? Here’s a helpful guideline.
Imagine you live in a small town.
Like me. My town has 10,000 people (which is larger than some of yours), but it functions as if there were only 10 families. Everyone you meet is related to someone or works for someone or used to be married to someone. Not one person you meet—whether it’s the guy at the oil change place or the woman behind the counter at the fitness club—is unbiased.
This is helpful, actually. It’s useful. It means you must always, always be nice.
If you have a situation that people want to know about, you must say exactly the same thing to everyone because everyone will repeat it. Decide on your story and do not veer.
What does this have to do with the internet? Everything. Because the internet is basically one big small town. Everybody can know everything instantly. Everyone is biased. Everyone can and will share.
As I said, this is beneficial information to have before you write, before you speak. It forces you to behave.
We all need people and places where we can be absolutely honest. Of course we do. But not here.
This is a place where I play with words. These posts are not journals. My poems are not always autobiographical. This is a place where I point a camera, as it were, at one thing. Maybe the room is a mess, with a pile of dirty clothes four feet high. Maybe all the furniture has been moved out. Maybe there are holes in the wall. I will show you, say, this:
This is absolutely true. It is in the same room as the other stuff that I am not pointing out. It is what I can say and show and what you can repeat endlessly. This can be passed from phone to phone, from Facebook to Twitter to blog to Instagram to Pinterest. This has been approved by me, personally. Share away.
The rest? Take me out for a mojito in a big city. Maybe then I’ll tell.