However, with modern technology, anyone can keep a diary, or journal as is a more updated term, online and public. A diary...public? Doesn't anyone want to keep their private thoughts, well...private?
Apparently not, at least it wouldn't seem so. Just google the term 'diary' and you will see pages and pages of both new and old personal writings available for public consumption. My favorite published diary, of course, is the Diary of Anne Frank. I'm sure she never figured her writings would be made public, but I for one am glad I had the chance to read her musings (several times, actually). Which leads me to a suggestion...
Perhaps public journaling (blogging) fulfills a need that we all share; a need to connect, a need to affirm that we are not alone in our struggles. When I read the thoughts of another soul experiencing similar heartbreak (or even joy), I believe I can learn from them and somehow share the experience or burden with them. I suspect that by sharing my circumstances, feelings and pondering, it may helpful to someone...someone who may be going through the same thing. Is it less than desirable to share what little wisdom I have gained, to share hard-learned lessons with others? Is it possible that I may be used of the LORD in that way?
I suppose it is no different than published magazine articles or a story shared on the news. Many times I have sat in a waiting room somewhere totally engrossed in the personal, often difficult, story featured in a magazine. And what is the purpose of publishing those types of articles? Oh sure, it may be entertaining on some level, but I believe it's more to help others and to expand our compassion and understanding.
I agree that there are some things that should remain unpublished. Naming specific individuals, publicly criticizing, mocking or causing strife purposefully is definitely harmful and completely unnecessary. However, I still believe that situations can be discussed in general terms with the purpose of seeking knowledge, learning, considering and growing from the experience. I have gained much from the supportive and helpful friends, and even strangers, that have been so kind to leave comments on my writings. Who is to say that their contribution to the discussion is not useful and worthy of consideration? I have benefited from reading the writings of others describing hard life journeys in more ways than I can count.
There is another aspect of public journaling, as well - I'll just call it soapboxing. This is the type of blogging that I consider therapeutic. Just getting your thoughts collected on a specific issue, usually relational in nature, is healthy and good. Often we can feel stifled from saying what we really feel, or are unable to verbalize what is easier to bang out on a keyboard. There is much to learn and contemplate from this type of blogging for both the writer and the reader, in my view. And, as long as it is not intended to hurt, why not? Don't we all have a right to our opinion? Please say yes. Healthy, respectful debate is good and right.
"No person is your friend who demands your silence,
or denies your right to grow."~Alice Walker
Anyone who publishes online (or otherwise) knows full well that they are leaving themselves open to ridicule. There will always be those who seek to destroy that which is helpful to others or seek to manipulate according to their agenda, much to my chagrin. Their attitudes and actions cannot be helped and are best left to the One who judges the hearts of all.
I know that despite the vulnerability that comes with publishing online, bloggers will continue to blog, sharing their experiences and life with those of us that are interested in what they have to say. And I am glad of it.
“I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.”