Not much to say about Emily Gould’s column in the NY Times last week, except to emphasize that she opts not to blame the internet for her attention-seeking self-revelatory habits. What I thought I read there — which apparently I didn’t, evidently confusing Gould with another online columnist — was a reminder that the internet isn’t evil or benign in itself, but offers an array of unfamiliar opportunities for goodness or malignity. Our lack of orientation to these dimensions amplifies the likelihood that we commit some foolish, hurtful gesture, injuring ourselves or others; it also increases the chance that our better inclinations may carry through unimpeded by stultifying conventions and inhibitions.
The catch is that (again, because we don’t already know the terrain we traverse here) we can’t know well enough in advance whether we’re participating in a great liberation or a dreadful blunder.

2 thoughts on “Exposure

  1. the internet isn’t evil or benign in itself…

    perhaps. i’m not so sure. i think that one must grapple with the arguments of Jacques Ellul before signing on to the “technology isn’t the problem; it’s what we do with it that is” routine.

  2. I liked this line especially: “I think most people who maintain blogs are doing it for some of the same reasons I do: they like the idea that there’s a place where a record of their existence is kept — a house with an always-open door where people who are looking for you can check on you, compare notes with you and tell you what they think of you. Sometimes that house is messy, sometimes horrifyingly so.”

    But I’ve told four people in my life where my blogs are. I’ve made two good friends from my blogs. Emily’s story is one that I have always feared a bit.

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