So, let's say your co-worker writes something on her blog along the lines of: "Today was a bad day. My husband beat me again, and my tests came back positive." You see her at work the next day. You say, "Gee, Mary, I was sorry to hear about the bad news. Is there anything I can do to help?" and Mary says, "Fuck off! Mind your own business."
An hypothetical, to be sure, but similar things have happened to me. How are you supposed to react when people post things on their blog that are intimate, unflattering, or seem like cries for help?
This is clearly an instance of lack of any meaningful distinction between public and private. But what is it? The Blogic Sphere? A space in which, in effect, people can gossip about themselves, in which private (intimate) self becomes public (textual) persona - though not necessarily the same persona as in the blogger's other texts. A space in which one is invited to sympathy with a virtual subject who may or may not exist "in the flesh." In which desire for publicity (or attention), or even a distancing irony, may coexist with painful but apparently sincere (or at least sententious) self-representation?
I'm getting dizzy and have to stop now.
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