THE OPEN BOOK

I just changed my facebook status to: Nessa is hyper, inspired, loving and happy.Yes, I’m guilty, I am a facebook whore. But that’s not the point.

This is a rare thing. I am currently euthymic leading towards slight exaltation without crossing the pathological line. Wish I could say I have no depression anymore, but I’ve learned not to put my hopes up and just enjoy the moment. And the pills I take every night also remind me of it all and keep me grounded. I’m not really complaining, I’m alright with it.

In the last few days I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, some of the most interesting inspired by discussions with one of my fellow bloggers Satoruvash (S). Contrarily to what would usually happen, I didn’t drive myself so insane this time. I stated somewhere that sometimes my mind frustrates me as much as trying to hold 2 million M&Ms with my hands. I just can’t manage, the candy keeps on spilling. This still happens. But I’m learning to juggle them. Or trying to.

One of the things that stuck from the discussions with S is that of the privilege of information. S believes that personal information is to be treated as a valuable asset that you only should share when others prove to be deserving of it. And most people don’t. While I think this makes sense, and the principle of sharing your most valuable assets with the most valuable people in your life is the logical thing to do, I find myself not caring much about my own information. Look at this blog: I have been blabbing about self-obsessed-nonsense for over a year. I might not paste posters of my blog url in the walls, but you can search for my screename in Google and you’ll get here; you can tell what my screename is because it’s my public email address that everyone I know has. And I have this WP application in my facebook too.

Besides, anyone can ask me any personal question and I’ll most likely answer. “It’s not of your business” it’s a sentence I don’t think I’ve used.

For some reason, it doesn’t really scare me. I feel safe that what I write here will never play against me. I don’t know how much of that can turn out to be true, but I feel it nonetheless. Naiveté? Maybe.

HOWEVER, I don’t believe I’m disregarding my info as being worthless because I put it out there to the world to see. I really don’t, and I’ve yet to figure out why. I believe that despite everyone having access to the inside of my brain, I still have a lot that only people I love will ever get, and it’s not information. I don’t know what it is, I’ll think about it and maybe make another entry later.

But, am I really that open? Yesterday I had doubts.

I discovered I have some secrets!

I noticed some of the things that I do that I have probably not told people.

A barrier?

Not really. I realized that more than trying to hide something, the things I omit are usually those things about myself that I haven’t truly figured out yet. Can’t communicate what I don’t know exists.

I TRY though. That’s when you get the abstract yada yada that make you go “wtf”.

But my intentions are never about hiding. I think this is “my thing”, and probably the reason I have this blog after all, I write about lots of abstract, personal, confusing and boring bullshit in here. 50% is about taking it out of my head and into words for myself to figure out and have a better perspective of the insanity that floats inside. But 50% is about letting it out there.

I have no secrets, I have no mistery. Anything you want to know, you can.

I’m opening this to discussion because I want to hear other ideas.

How reserved are you? How open are you? Why do you think this happens? Do you think it is really possible to be an “open book”?

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11 thoughts on “THE OPEN BOOK

  1. i agree to an extent about satoruvash that we should give personal information to those who deserve it. i have some private things that i don’t share on my blog and only very few people know of. that said, i try to be as open as possible on my blog, especially thoughts and stuff that i can’t seem to share with others (or rather they don’t appreciate them) because i think when you give a part of you, people are attracted. and i do want to make friends; if we want friends, we have to open up and reach out. if we keep to ourselves, nobody will know anything about us and can’t find a common interest.

    i don’t think people know me that well despite being very open, but perhaps that’s because they may not have a skills to analyse me. i mean, a psychologist might be better equipped to read me than a friend who’s simply happy to be my friend.

  2. For some reason, it doesn’t really scare me. I feel safe that what I write here will never play against me.

    The majority of people would not use what you have shared in this blog against you on a conscious level. Yet, seeing how you have already shared much of yourself as is, it is no longer an issue of whether or not to do so. It comes down to consequences. The question is: can you stand by every word you have said and take what comes your way?

    There are times when revelations are not about one’s ability to handle consequences. The follow up questions are: should you have to and do you want to? What do you stand to benefit?

    I believe that despite everyone having access to the inside of my brain, I still have a lot that only people I love will ever get, and it’s not information.

    Everything is information. But, not everything is the same type of information.

    I am an amalgam of information. I observe and produce new information all the time and somewhere in all that data sentience emerges. Bits and pieces arranged just so and the individual named satoruvash exists, thinks, types, and communicates more information in your comment windows.

    I have no secrets, I have no mistery. Anything you want to know, you can.

    I could never operate in this way. If a drug were introduced into my system that would force me to fully answer each question proposed to me . . . it would be the ultimate form of mental rape. I would feel wholly violated. It is unforgivable.

    How reserved are you?

    Extremely.

    When you can share and withhold in the extreme, others tend to reciprocate. My mind is a library of secrets, most of which are not my own.

    How open are you?

    Extremely.

    Curiously, people erroneously use the words ‘sharing’ and ‘confessing’ interchangeably. To share is to reveal, whilst confessions are massages for the conscience. The latter carries a negative connotation. Religion may play a role in this. It implies reservations are a result of guilt and wrongdoing. Yet my reasons rarely involve guilt.

    Why do you think this happens?

    Because I will it so.

    Do you think it is really possible to be an “open book”?

    To an extent, and given the right observer, we are all ‘open books.’

    because i think when you give a part of you, people are attracted.

    You bring up a good point. Fundamentally, it is all about attraction. Informative blogs draw people to topics whilst with personal blogs, the author is the topic.

    By the way sulz, you should comment more.

  3. satoruvash: do you mean in general here or on this post? as for the author being the topic, i guess that’s true. but it doesn’t necessarily have to be just about the author; the author has views and opinions about issues that his or her readers may in agreement too.

    that said, i do feel as if my blog is like a reality tv series of my life, except it’s a blog.

    and i also need to spellcheck more! i’m so horrified at some of the typos i made here. 😦

  4. sulz,

    I meant post more in this thread and in this blog overall. As I was telling Nessa a while back, I stopped posting for a bit to give others the opportunity.

    My blog is a hybrid of the Informative Blog and the Personal Blog. Therefore, even when in Informative mode, the reader gets a sense of who I am as a person based on choice of topic and presentation.

    However, I can make it less personal and post links to articles or ‘how to’ entries without a personal spin on it. I can make it generic and remove personal insights. There is no room to bond with the author then. Responses are based solely on the topic at hand. The author has no face, no personality, and the reader can just easily get the information somewhere else. It is like trying to make friends with a search engine or library—you cannot and there is no point in doing so.

    Reconciling visitor dry spells is a common issue for many authors of Personal Blogs. The reader is exposed to rants about how the author does not care and how they can post whatever they want no matter how ‘boring’ because “no one reads it anyway!”

    That is not to imply that your blog fits this description. Personal blogs are about self-exposure and as you say, the whole point is to reach out with words and bond with others. If no one visits a Personal Blog, its very nature is brought into question and with good reason. The blog has become an unbalanced equation of giving whilst receiving no external rewards—an unemotional and disappointing relationship with one’s browser.

    At its root, exposure is an investment that demands something in return—mainly to be seen, validated, and most of all, to be liked.

    Your target audience sulz, is different from Nessa’s and in a way closer to mine, for our blogs are generally inaccessible to those in our offline lives.

    Note: Cheer up. Firefox should fix your spelling issues. 🙂

  5. okay, i’ll try for your sake. 😉 i’ve been following some of your comments for a while and i enjoy reading what you have to say. often, your comments are more like blog posts, so nessa is very lucky to have a commenter like you. 🙂

  6. Great commenting! Yay.

    WARNING: THIS COMMENT WILL BE LONG. BRING A CUP OF COFFEE… OR FALL ASLEEP ANYWAY.

    The question is: can you stand by every word you have said and take what comes your way?

    Yes. It’s also my choice to change my mind. I’m not tied to what I’ve said. I’m willing to take up the consequences.

    I think on a different time, I would have been all confused and killing myself after reading all your comments on the subject, believing that maybe I did it all wrong by sharing it all, and that I should probably have been more discrete. Right now I just believe it is a matter of styles and personality. (duh, I know, slow me.)

    If a drug were introduced into my system that would force me to fully answer each question proposed to me . . . it would be the ultimate form of mental rape. I would feel wholly violated. It is unforgivable.

    Have you seen “True Lies”? When the chemical is injected into Arnold to make him say everything he is asked? The ultimate nightmare for you I believe… hehe.

    I assume Sulz would think the same from what I’ve read in her blog. You guys choose to keep your thoughts to yourself and share only what you believe should be shared. I believe that after all I’m not doing that much different, except that don’t mind sharing a little or a lot more, but ultimately it is my decision. It has always been. I have not ingested any truth substance, and I believe the moment I consider something should be kept to myself, I will. I for instance am very good at keeping secrets for other people. Especially if they are the reserved type. It’s not too hard either.

    I don’t own “copyrights” on their information, but I do about my own. I think it would be too distressing to carry around an actual secret about myself. That said, it’s not like I keep a detailed mental file of myself in this blog or elsewhere. I have every day struggles that I deal with by myself without feeling the need or the desire to report them. Especially when depressed, I tend to withdraw, and not discuss it. I don’t talk about how many times I go toilet, or about other bodily functions, I don’t make public lists of people I know that I find attractive…

    I share my information passively for the most part. It’s here if you want to know. I will not spill it all over you. I find that annoying.

    In real life I am a pretty quiet person who gets lost into her own thoughts, and when talkative it’s usually about yada yada and not about deep analysis of anything. The rest of the time I listen. If I get into a conversation that has a great potential and I believe the other person would have a true interest on my insights and experiences, THEN I will talk about them. This is only choosing to say the right thing in the right situation, but if in any case I’m confronted and asked something, I don’t have much trouble answering, even if they do ask me about bathroom habits (although I can’t imagine anyone possibly interested in knowing that).

    i don’t think people know me that well despite being very open, but perhaps that’s because they may not have a skills to analyse me.

    True. For the general population, the information I present might not be overly revealing after all >> I’m not talking about who and when I sleep with, what people I hate, or other general gossip that would be excellent material for a girly magazine, and people just love knowing that kind of stuff. Instead, I talk about my thoughts. Boring for most, and I’m okay with that. Only a few people would find that valuable, and when I find someone who does and can handle it, it feels great.

    Everything is information. But, not everything is the same type of information.

    And what is that that I only give to people who do deserve it? They have to figure out as they go. But I don’t think it’s any concrete secret. It is probably a mix of behaviour from my part, interest, affection, and the X factor.

    should you have to and do you want to? What do you stand to benefit?

    I don’t do this for any other reason than amusing myself. Nothing is forcing me too. I don’t have mental diahreea. It is more controlled than it seems to be.

    Informative blogs draw people to topics whilst with personal blogs, the author is the topic.

    I’ve noticed that everyone in my blogroll share the characteristic personal involvement in everything they write. I don’t find interest in blogs that tend to be impersonal and only talk about the object itself. It is boring to read. I have text books, read the news and use google for that kind of stuff.

    Reconciling visitor dry spells is a common issue for many authors of Personal Blogs. The reader is exposed to rants about how the author does not care and how they can post whatever they want no matter how ‘boring’ because “no one reads it anyway!”

    I think I have changed my attitude about that. I realize people read my blog and it has an effect on them. I like having readers, and I do care about them although I seem to act like I don’t sometimes.

    i enjoy reading what you have to say. often, your comments are more like blog posts, so nessa is very lucky to have a commenter like you. 🙂

    You don’t get to steal my satoru! YOU.. you… SULZ!

    I am indeed lucky to have her commenting (okay, I’m using a gender now just for the hell of it). But it is even more enjoyable when other commenters like you also give their own insights. I enjoy most commenters and their own style.

  7. Have you seen “True Lies”?

    The only scene I recall from that movie takes place in a hotel room. Arnold’s character hides in the shadows and in a mock undercover operation, cons his wife into a striptease using a cassette player full of detailed instructions.

    But, yes, the scene you describe would be an ultimate nightmare—with regards to that one in particular.

    I think it would be too distressing to carry around an actual secret about myself.

    What would make it distressing?

    I don’t make public lists of people I know that I find attractive…

    If you mean sexually or romantically, one would think the list short.

    And what is that that I only give to people who do deserve it?

    I take it you are asking what type of information it is and not whether or not it is information? The type depends largely on what you value. In general terms, anything we say can be considered personal because it comes from the self. Once you designate it as personal, it is a matter of grade and not type since it all fits under the same category. In this instance, ‘grade’ refers to level of clearance. How you choose to label these levels is arbitrary. What matters is that the more confidential the information, the least you share it with.

    Most of this is intuitive. Most people do it without ever seeing it as a process much less having a name for it.

    (okay, I’m using a gender now just for the hell of it)

    Or possibly as a test to see whether or not it bothers me.

    You don’t get to steal my satoru! YOU.. you… SULZ!

    Yours? Did this unit get auctioned again??

    oh, and i thought it’s a he!

    My tagline reads ‘sagacious, artificial and anonymous.’ If you look at my blog, you will find I state I think of myself as androgynous in mind, and as my latest entry indicates, androgyny also extends to my sense of attraction toward others.

    Gender is of little importance to me. In fact, it tends to hinder understanding and is a major reason I do not and will not disclose my sex. However, I acknowledge that gender is important to others. Consequently, I told Nessa that if she finds it easier, she can randomly assign me a gender. Whichever she chooses makes no difference to me.

    Personally, I think it can only lead to chaos. If in one post she refers to me as a ‘she,’ readers will follow suit. In another, if she uses ‘he,’ readers will thereafter adopt that gender pronoun. In the end, they will sit back, observe me seemingly and randomly changing genders and believe it can only mean one thing: they are being mind-fucked.

    You can simply refer to me as ‘Satoru’ for short or ‘S’—as Nessa has taken to calling me in this post. Either is fine.

  8. I think the chaos you speak of would be amusing actually. I am refering to you as a woman lately, because it’s the image my mind has created of you. I don’t think it bothers you, because you said yourself you were okay with it.

    Most of the times I will use “S” though. I just don’t like thinking hard not to use a pronoun. If only it was easier to speak with genderless pronouns.

  9. i’ve been following some of your comments for a while and i enjoy reading what you have to say. often, your comments are more like blog posts, so nessa is very lucky to have a commenter like you. 🙂

    Ah, I missed this the first time.

    A general attitude on wordpress is to skip long comments unless you know the individual and are somehow invested in what they have to say. Since you do not know me and we have not spoken in length, I assumed this to be the case with you. It is always gratifying when a stranger reads your words and is affected by the thought and time you dedicate to a post.

    I too read your comments. Thank you for letting me know. It is an unfortunate reality, that others usually take the time to make us aware of their displeasure for us and fail to address our positive impacts—or whether we make one at all.

    What may be a given today, may not be so tomorrow. Time is a precious commodity. What we choose to spend that time doing and with whom we spend it with is character revealing. What we can say tomorrow is best said now. We are mortal. Life can escape us so easily.

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