Whenever I prepare to write a post, a pint-sized, shadowy, but very vocal, bogey man appears over my right shoulder. A bogey man; well, more a creature of unspecified gender who repeats ad nauseam and ‘whiningly’,”Remember, remember, whatever you put out on the internet stays there forever; be careful, you may live to regret what you let loose in public….blah, blah, blah…out ‘there’ lives evil….”. And I cower and hesitate and write ever so cautiously, and recheck and rewrite, and waste a great deal of precious time pandering to this scaremongering spectre of certain doom and ruin.
Where this creature comes from, I am not sure, but, yesterday, I determined to give it a little tap on the shoulder; tip it off-balance a bit, and maybe, if I am lucky, see it tumble to my feet with profuse apologies for being such a wretched nuisance.
So, here I go with my attempt to dislodge the harbinger of the awful doom awaiting me (and you) on the big world-wide web.
NEWSFLASH! bogey creature……. on the day we are born, our lives enter the public sphere, and there is no going back. We become a matter of public record from our first breath. And, as any genealogist, archaeologist, historian, or little Rumpelstiltskin, will tell you, we are, from that beginning moment, out ‘there’ forever, our lives always trackable and traceable and scrutinisible. Perhaps, not in every fine detail, but certainly enough detail to be able to leave our mark on history somewhere, somehow. Thus it has ever been, and ever will be, internet or no internet.
Case in point. Here is a photo which I found the other day. I hesitated, thanks to bogey creature, about showing it to you. Then, in an epiphanous moment, I realised, that it is an official photo which has probably been readily available in public archives for about 36 years.
What am I doing? Well, I am not sleeping! I am listening intently to a debate. I will leave you to ponder, until my next post, where and why, and the story behind this photo. In the meantime, I am travelling back in time to listen to the ancient prophets/creatures of doom as they watch our cave dwelling forbear raise his/her hand to paint that very first stroke on the cave wall. I hear the critters say, in tones of eerie menace, “Be Ware, Be Very Ware…..once you mark that wall, your life will be out ‘there’ forever, for all to know where you have been and what you have been doing; you are open season; prey to all….muahahahaha” And the cave person turns to face the menace, and paints the wall anyway. Thank goodness he/she did.
Note to self: the creature hasn’t tumbled yet but it is looking disconcerted 🙂