Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who Wants to See Julie's Laundry?

OK, so I loved the movie Julie and Julia. It was a sweet movie with a few bad aesthetics, but all in all rather a fun romp. I was very interested in Julie Powell, a real woman who started a blog and was launched into fame and (supposedly) fortune. I decided to check out the blog that alerted the world to her existence, and see what it was like. I went back in the archives and looked at the first post, then a few in the middle, and a few at the end. Boy, was I in for a shock!

The movie makes a brief reference to Julie not having the greatest language, but I had no idea that she used "the F word" about three times in every other sentence! In between luscious portrayals of Puree de Marrons and Gateau a l’Orange was sprinkled an alarming amount of profanity. Can you guess where my admiration for Julie Powell went? That's right, out the window.

It's alarming how people can see you through the Internet. With social networking sites and blogs cropping up everywhere, suddenly the spy's the limit when it comes to baring your soul for the world to see. You've got an eager audience, everyone wants to hear what you have to say about the seedy underbelly of your existence! Apparently the book Julie later wrote was about as clean as the blog, so she appears to have no inhibitions when it comes to airing her dirty laundry.

But what about us? Do you have a Facebook, MySpace, or a blog of your own? Have you ever posted something with a little hesitation? Do you have to carefully monitor what content is seen by whom so that nothing embarrassing gets sent to the wrong people? That could more serious than you think. Employers are catching on to the capabilities of social networking sites and are interested in getting the scoop on potential employees. Do you really want your would-be-boss seeing those compromising photos or the discussion of some rather controversial views? "Oh, it couldn't happen to me," you say. I think you'd be surprised.

I've heard that "you should never say or write anything in private that you wouldn't be ashamed to shout out on the street corner." That may not seem very scary to you, after all those people don't know you, but what about shouting to your family? Or your grandmother? That's alarming.

This isn't just about getting a job, though, the Bible even talks about this when it says, "What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs" (Luke 12:3). Of course God is grieved when you think filthy thoughts, and that's between you and Him, but on the purely secular angle, should you publish those thoughts on the internet? Bad idea from every angle.

So, are you willing to commit to posting only that which you would want your grandmother to read? Maybe not, but it seems to me that the best policy would be to keep your dirty laundry to yourself.

More Random Thoughts to Come,

Abby Rogers

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