Dear diary, I prefer to vent my private angst in cyberspace

March 6, 2007 at 12:20 pm (Bullying)

Confession, it’s good for the soul.

According to the Times, a survey of 1,019 teenagers suggests that almost half write blogs while fewer than one in ten keeps a traditional pen-and-paper diary. That’s no surprise really. Blogs aren’t anonymous, it’s a way of venting your spleen where the target of such may accidently stumble across it (sound familiar Jodie Marsh?)

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s blog is tomorrow’s gossip

January 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm (Bullying, Stalking)

Things were looking good, sun was shining (not so unusual in a tropical country I suppose) and it was coming up to my blogs first birthday.

Then disaster struck.

I had just written the post below and I was pondering some of the questions I had raised about blogging and exposure and how much of a secret diary an open access weblog is and how I exposed I would feel if my nearest and dearest could see my most intimate thoughts.

From what I understand, a friend on a forum I used to frequent, had upset someone. I sadly wasn’t there at the time and in fact haven’t been there in months but I heard there was a little hair pulling, possibly some pinching. I had even heard that one of the parties (for ease here, I’ll call him a name plucked out of the air completely, ooh, how about Ian?) had picked up his jumper from where it was representing a goal post and had stormed off. 

Temporarily.

Ian decided that this spat was symbolic of all that was wrong with today’s society and he plotted revenge, in a true *That’ll learn them* fashion.  He started a blog, in the name of his nemesis and monitored his movements and that of his friends, he hunted down and raided their flickr accounts  posted their photographs on his tribute blog, he posted family photographs, he posted details about his targets place of work, his friends and his friends workplaces.

All in all he spent a whole lot of time on this. Around two years in fact and counting.

Finally he discovered my blog and linked it in. He chose to share my life with people, who I may not have wanted to. I am not sure why my blog was hit. I suspect it was collateral damage seeing as I wasn’t there at the time of the original spat. As far as I am aware I have never interacted with Ian at all. I don’t think we were even posting at the same time and the forum in question is one I haven’t visited since around May last year. I suspect it has more to do with Ian’s state of mind. I’m not sure he’s well.

A two year vendetta against someone you have never met in real life and in which you aim to not only take down them but their friends and family too, seems excessive. Even to me and I can be really OCD when I put my mind to it. I hope Ian recognises the problems he’s facing and seeks help soon.

I don’t mind too much. In a way, it’s given me a chance to make a fresh start. I can use this as my trial for things I would be happy to pod cast. It’s my acid test. If I am coy at the though of Ian sharing it with people I know, then it’s too private to be blogged.

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Chosen one.

January 26, 2007 at 4:06 pm (Bullying, Stalking)

Exposure, Of a sort. Bradley Dalton who monitors blogs regarding relocation and forigners abroad has left a comment. A very flattering comment. To say she’s loving my work. This is a vast exaggeration but it’s one that makes me warm and fuzzy inside, so I am going to keep telling myself that is what her comment said until I have finally convinced myself those were her actual words. This may make future rejection harder to deal with but meh! It’s all about the now.

Bradleys actual comment, was more along the lines of putting some feelers out. She’s read at least one article, looked at the topic titles to see if they’re eclectic and interesting (me! Lil ol me, eclectic and interesting!) and is looking for contributors to podcast by people who had emigrated to other countries. I am glad this was specified as during my first scan of her comment I was under the impression they wanted foreigners and I appear to be the only non foreigner here.

I’m relatively keen. I have the equipment (snigger) but . . . .

What worries me a little is that my blog is my diary. It talks about moving abroad of course but it also talks about the minutia of my everyday life. A large potion of which is the same minutia that filled my life back in the UK. Yes I do exciting things here, even my theory test for my driving licence was an adventure of sorts but I’m not so sure my whining about  compulsory repurchase order on the flat I have left behind makes riveting reading. Reading back had been quite educational though I had virtually blocked it out of my mind that I am living in South East Asia yet paying a mortgage and council tax on a two bed roomed flat in Central London, I possibly didn’t need to be reminded of that.

I am also a little concerned that something I have pretty much convinced myself is private and never read by anyone, might suddenly be accessible by people – people I might actually know. People who I might share intimate thoughts *about* but don’t want to necessarily share my intimate thoughts *with*.

I know there is a touch of the melodrama about this. It’s nothing of the proportions of Girl with a one track mind, Girl was outed (and according to her description, inned and potentially swung about on a fairly regular basis.) Girl wrote a blog under a pseudonym, got a publishing deal, wrote a book then The Times,  with complete disregard for her privacy, hunted her down) and outed her. I’m not sure why. It didn’t make the book any better or worse. It didn’t shed any light or insight into women and their sexuality, it was more of a nah nah nah, look what we at the times know, that you other tabloid hacks don’t.

It was also done with a certain amount of threat and malice, according to the E-mail sent by Nicholas Hellen Acting News Editor (although I dispute that title, this wasn’t news) at The Sunday Times. He not only wanted to out her he wanted her to look pretty and smile while he did it. Or her mum got it. In his words,

“We propose to publish the fact that you are 33 and live in [my address] in London, and that your mother [her name] is a [her address]-based [her profession].”

“The article includes extracts from your book and blog, relevant to your career in the film industry. We also have a picture of you, taken outside your flat.Unfortunately, the picture is not particularly flattering and might undermine the image that has been built up around your persona as Abby Lee.”

“think it would be helpful to both sides if you agreed to a photo shoot today so that we can publish a more attractive image.To avoid any doubt we will, of course, publish the story as it is if we do not hear from you.”

Now obviously, I’m not going to have a problem like that – although there is more that one person that would like me to get gussyied up a little more often and is sometimes reduced to threats to make me do it. Thank you mother .

What I do is in no way interesting enough to get me emotionally blackmailed by a threatening creep like Nicholas Hellen but it did make me think, like girl said

“It was one thing to expose me in a newspaper; it was another thing altogether to violate my mother’s privacy too – I was worried about the effect it would have on her job and her private life.”

If I did any kind of promotion for my blog or did participate in a pod cast, then would I feel exposed? More importantly, if my mother or my friends read what I’d written, would I be proud or would I curl up and die.

I suspect it might be a mixture of both.

There are things I have done which I am not proud of. There are things I haven’t shared with friends and family about times when I have struggled that looking back maybe I should have done. It would have lightened the load but that was what I used my blog for, to lighen the load for me without weighing down anyone else. There are also things that happen here as a single woman abroad that I don’t share. If I’m terribly homesick (which sometimes I am) I can have a little whine here without my friends feeling they need to offer a solution. In this case there isn’t one, it, like everything else, passes.

I think on the whole, my friends and family would understand that, so if I did pod cast and was so proud to have been noticed (I am such a sucker for flattery) that I can’t keep it quiet and I have to share my excitement I would have to brace myself to share thing which have been mine to dwell on until I feel ready. I suppose though it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

I am proud of the fact I have moved to another country. I wasn’t happy or settled in my life, my career or my flat in the UK so I did something about it and I love the fact that the trials and tribulations of my exciting new life are documented and stored for me to piour over at will. Sometimes I need reminding that even an ordinary person can do extraordinary things.

Permalink Leave a Comment