Writing in any form is always and essentially an act of trust. The writer trusts that he has something to say, something that he is able to say, something worth saying. He trusts that an audience, even an audience consisting solely of his future self, will find it so. He trusts the words to communicate what he intends to communicate – a dubious proposition to anyone who has reflected on the nature of language. Even a writer who writes, intentionally, to deceive trusts, with the uneasy trust of the co-conspirator who can never be sure if his trust is well-placed. And he trusts those being deceived to be as gullible as he needs them to be – a dubious proposition for anyone who has ever studied history.
In this time of information overload, with some arguing for complete disclosure of one’s personal life and others who wish everybody would keep some things to themselves, a new wrinkle has emerged. One has to trust that what he is sharing will not damn him in the eyes of some real or imagined future employer. The professional is supposed to be walled off from the personal – Facebook on the left hand and LinkedIn on the right, and never the twain should meet.
I think this is the most dubious proposition of all.
I’m not about to launch into a polemic in defense of full internet disclosure. There are others who can do that better than I can, mostly because I don’t necessarily believe in it. But I write all of this as a maybe long-winded way of saying that its about to get personal.
But before I go further, please accept this comic that I did not draw: