THIS IS MY LETTER TO THE INTERNET

Dear Internet,

Sometimes someone is your absolute favorite in the WORLD and you really love them and want to spend time with them BUT you just don’t have the words. So you let them do all the talking.

This year, and for a few years now, I let you do all the talking. Because I was sick, or sad, or scared, or any number of things that don’t begin with S. I had a lot to think about, and I thought while reading all the things you had to say, and I thought to myself on buses and planes, in cars and rooms, alone and with other people. And I checked in, and I listened.

Sometimes, I managed a few words here and there. But mostly I couldn’t write about the things that were really happening, so I wrote about things I was making up as I went. This was different, Internet, from previous years, when I was good at writing about things that did happen, while the fictions went unrecorded. I have a habit, bad or otherwise, of letting the stories float. But this year, I got more of them down.

[I did a lot of thinking too, about what it means to live publicly on the internet. I took my pictures and personal details off Facebook, although I didn’t ask anyone else to take down pictures they’d posted of me, nor do I intend to in future. I have a weird bargain with myself (I have a *lot* of weird bargains with myself) that if I pass someone else evidence of goings on by showing up to something and allowing my picture to be taken, they have the right to post that picture on the internet. I also have feelings about how we control our own documentation – the pictures we want not posted because they’re unflattering, the stories we want not told. We’re perpetually editing ourselves, across a variety of forums – I really wanted to say fora, so across a variety of fora, then. But the facts, as they happen, happen in a million different shades of someone else’s reality. It’s not just that you don’t get to tell someone else’s story, you don’t even really get to tell your own, because while you’re busy being the hero, or the hard-done-by, or the brave avenger, in someone else’s version you’re the passerby, the background noise, the sidekick, the supporting act, the good friend lost on the way, the villain, the unintentionally clumsy person who ruins everything…

I don’t think for a minute that’s a reason to stop telling stories, or to live an un-narrated life, mind you.]

This year, Internet, I am ambitious. This year, I intend to write down both the everyday things AND the things I make up. And where there’s overlap, forgive me, because sometimes we need to invent and embellish as we go, and sometimes we need to simplify.

You may get sick of me, Internet, in the coming days. Or I may slouch out of this resolution, in which case I assume you’ll shrug and go about your business (your business being news, amusingly captured pictures of animals, pithy editorials on well-respected blogs, and of course, porn).

In the meantime…

yours ever,

Edit: sometimes i dictate the story to myself, then sometimes to the world.
sometimes i take dictation. sometimes i get it wrong.
– amanda palmer, in the wedding blog

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