This has been complicated by one of the conversations that started with Angie while I was staying with them, where she and I began to discuss online journaling, in the context of whether that would be something she might expand into. I was emphasizing the two advantages I see, the first being of regular journaling itself, with the option of public and private entries, and the second of being able to consolidate correspondence efforts through keeping up an on ongoing open letter to friends and family. The question of all our complicated privacy concerns was what tangled the subject, and it is a subject I've been thinking more of in recent months. I had to go back and alter or lock a few entries because a few friends of mine who I had mentioned in one story or another were dealing with people with inappropriate interests in them googling their names and finding their way to my journal, where these people proceeded to use my stories as a way of showing my friends that they had some sort of power to know something about them, or something creepy like that. I suppose that I've been a bit naive or optimistic in that I never supposed that anything I published in the journal could ever do any harm. I certainly have enough sense of my own privacy that I would never publish anything here that I didn't mind my worst enemy knowing about me, if I had such a thing as a worst enemy – a problem I hoped only pertained to presidents, superheroes and fifth graders. And I'm far too proud of my friends to write anything bad about them, even though some have been known to tell me to replace an A with a C#m, or such cheeky things. "So what's to fear?" I thought. And the only time that the power of the search engine crossed my mind was to think that maybe some friend of mine that had gotten misplaced by time might google themselves and find my journal and give us a chance to catch up, which has happened at times, and has been more than worth it.
But, as I discovered, some friends of mine deal with less kind individuals, and while recognizing no ill intent on my part, find that they have professional privacy concerns that even outweigh mine as a teacher. There is that simple solution, of course, of just locking my journal, of making it "Friends Only," and of making everyone who wants access to it have to register with LiveJournal and get a password. It isn't the most odious of requirements, but my family who read the journal and a number of friends who do have no interest in journaling themselves, and so keeping it public seemed a way to not give them any hassles. It also made me mindful of writing for public consumptions, and still having that benefit of being "find-able" online by anyone who found themselves searching for me. But maybe the benefits are outweighed by the costs. My conversation with Angie on the subject has continued over the last few days through some interesting letters on the matter, and I'm toying with making that move to locking the journal. But that has taken most of what time I wanted to give to writing, and has, of course, made me all the more likely to overthink how to write up the last week, not that anything over dramatic happened at all, other than old friends getting to talk with one another at length. (I know, I know: as if there's any other option with me around....) And, like I said, there was nevertheless lots of emotions from such a strong contact with figures from earlier chapters in my life, and I found myself just wanting to emotionally rest today, and to avoid contact with folks. I found myself taking lots of comfort from Erik's masterpiece Learning To Live, which just grows and grows over the years in my estimation as a fabulously rich piece of art. That seemed to just pick up from Tom Petty's "Learning To Fly," which somehow quietly turned itself into part of the soundtrack of my life over the weekend. So maybe I'll sort out the real things to say tomorrow, while I think some more about how to best take advantage of the medium of the LiveJournal, which has been a richer part of my life than I ever imagined it would be.