Hello again, with obligatory West Wing and Harry Potter references

23 Feb
This is how I feel about the Internet sometimes.

This is how I feel about the Internet sometimes.

I have been ever so hesitant to start blogging again. I have a million other things I could/should be doing right now. But that’s not really what’s been holding me back.

You see, I have a love/hate relationship with the openness of the Internet. Part of me loves that it’s so easy to have my own lil’ corner of the interwebs to cultivate and brighten. And frankly, when it comes to the task of chronicling my thoughts and daily life (which I think is important), I need the motivation of an audience. I’ve found when I write in a private journal, my writing becomes lazy and boring. When I write for a blog post or other public forum, I’m much more thoughtful. As a writer friend of mine once told me, we “write to be read.”

But part of me is paranoid about all the unknown lurkers out there–as harrowing reports like this show, it’s hard out there for a girl online, and now that I have a little one I am all the more skittish about what I share with the big, big world.

I’ve always been fairly cautious about what I post online. It may sound extreme, but before I ever post anything, I consider what it would be like if I were the wife of a either a politician or a General Authority of the LDS Church. I do not aspire or expect to be either (fear not, Dave), but I feel like those are pretty solid standards by which to judge the appropriateness of tone and content. When I queried some wise blogging friends for advice, they both mentioned a similar standard–not posting anything that would upset or embarrass their kids in later years.

I recall a comment at a program at the museum I used to work for–the program was about what the Founding Fathers would think of social media–where one panelist pointed out how fascinating it will be in, say, 30 years when all our Supreme Court nominees will inevitably have a lifetime of posts, pictures, and tweets to reflect and define their identity. If The West Wing is any reflection of the real nomination process, even the most obscure, unpublished position paper is vetted, so I can only imagine what future Josh Lymans would make of a treasure trove of tweets from a potential nominee.

And while I’m in the vein of citing fiction: When I think about the risks of sharing the trivial and potentially deeply personal details of my life and my family, I think of Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He’s so enamored with his monstrous animals, he’s just a little too eager to share with a mysterious stranger that fun fact about how to get Fluffy the three-headed dog to fall asleep. (And then there’s that whole “I should not have said that…” scene…) And he turns out helping Professor Quirrell/Voldemort. I guess I just worry that I’ll be tempted to gush so much about my beloved little fam and somehow assist some unseen force in its nefarious purposes.

But then I think that I’m worrying a bit too much about You-Know-Who. I think about how many times the LDS Church and its leaders have praised the value of the Internet, and specifically blogging, for sharing the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think about one of my favorite scriptures: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). And I think about one of my favorite talks by that beloved optimist, the late President Gordon B. Hinckley, who expounded on that scripture beautifully and pointed out that “fear is the antithesis of faith.”

So for now, I am choosing faith. Faith in the abyss of the Internet to not use my blog for Voldemort-supporting purposes. But most importantly, faith in myself to have the power, love, and sound mind to make this blogging thing work for good.

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3 Responses to “Hello again, with obligatory West Wing and Harry Potter references”

  1. Karen February 23, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    You have courage – and something to share. I’m sure it will be done with respect for your world and your readers worlds.

  2. Katie February 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    I will be here every step of the way. Love you!

  3. Heidi Van Woerkom March 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Ah, The West Wing and Harry Potter in one blog! You are my niece 100%. And like Katie, “I’ll be here every step of the way” too. Love you!

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