Dear Diary: Are Blogs Hubs And Social Networking Sites The New Age Diary?
When I was a little girl I bought myself from my first pocket money, a bright pink diary with a brass lock and key. This was my first adventure into the world of words. Oh how I wish I still had that diary and the other ones I managed to fill over the years. There would be so many fears, wishes and dreams and stories I have long since forgotten, that I am certain would now spark beautiful memories. Alas that is not to be. But it got me to wondering if girls still keep diaries, or do we all now write our thoughts for our friends to read on facebook, blogs and HubPages? I don't keep a diary or journal anymore. Not since my privacy was invaded in the worst possible way.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
My marriage had disintegrated and I was in deep contemplation and depression. How had I ended up in this situation? I felt I had wasted a lot of years in a loveless marriage. Now I was left to bring up a teenager on my own, lonely, without a job, in debt....you get the picture. My friends, I believe were tired of seeing my sad face and hearing my tales of woe, so I took pen to paper and vented my hurts, fears hate and loneliness. Some things that I wrote about in my diary, I had never told a sole. It made me feel much better and in some ways help me put things in perspective and gave me direction.
My jaw hit the floor
I now decided I needed to re enter the workforce but because I was lacking in skills I enrolled in a counselling course with the idea of forming my own business that I could run from home by turning the rooms downstairs into an office. I put the journal away in the back of a cupboard and got busy with my course. A few months went by and during an argument with my daughter about a boy she was seeing she hurled a piece of information at me that knocked me for six, my jaw hit the floor. It was something I had only ever written in my journal. My daughter had read it. I was mortified, embarrassed, humiliated, hurt and very, very angry. She immediately regretted what she had said and apologised for reading my private thoughts. But it was all too late. I ran into my room retrieved the journal and began ripping up the pages in tears of anger. She was crying too and begging me to stop, pleading that she had only read one page. None of it mattered, I knew I would never write down anything I didn't want another person to read again. My private thoughts would stay locked in my head and in my heart.
Be careful what you reveal
I had not thought too much about these diaries until the release of excerpts of some pages of Oprah Winfrey's diaries. She has selected the ones she feels are okay for her beloved fans to read. Some are quite revealing, talking about boys, her hopes and fears and it is clear that from an early age she was always concerned about others feelings.
But the question still remains have we ditched our diaries and journals for facebook and HubPages? I disclose quite a bit of my personal experiences on HubPages but there is a certain amount of anonymity here whereas on social networking sites I feel quite naked and really don't air my laundry so to speak. I don't mind at all posting on my wall my belief in the rights of animals, that I listen to a certain radio station and follow a particular football team but I don't need my friends knowing I argued with my husband this morning and just spent a hundred dollars on naughty bedroom items. But a lot of my friends do. They are all to happy to share their plans, how good their boyfriends are in bed, how much they drank on the week-end. Too much information!! and it generally can't be taken back. So think carefully about what you write and who your audience is. Please.
TURN YOUR TRUTH INTO FICTION
I have a compelling urge to tell the world about some of my life experiences but telling the truth would no doubt hurt quite a few people I love. The burning need to tell them none the less remains, not only to purge myself but to inform, educate perhaps even inspire a reader or two. I have decided to write my story as a novel using the third person and changing names and places so as not to upset anyone. I feel it is safer and it also gives me license to add or subtract information as I please. I would recommend this method to anyone feeling the need to disclose personal history, whether it be a short story, a novella or full blown epic.
I sincerely hope the art of diary keeping or journal writing is never lost. It is good for the soul and I am sure my experience with privacy invasion is uncommon. Just ensure you keep your diary or journal in a safe place and only take it out to write in when you are alone. Don't keep it in a place that is an obvious hidey hole or somewhere easily snooped. Perhaps consider writing an online journal that only you can access with a password, whatever you decide pleased do it, you won't regret it.