Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Personal

So I am a huge fan of True Blood on HBO. I am probably a horrible fan too, because I like to read the spoilers! Yes, it's true I like to read what's going to happen. Some people get really upset and hate spoilers but not I. Well, anyway, I am also a huge fan of Alexander Skarsgård who plays vampire Eric. I enjoy reading his interviews et al. Well, I've read in more than one place, he is fiercely protective of his private life. I was impressed. I think it means something to keep my private life and family out of the media. Yet here is what just threw me. He wrote and posted Men Don't Eat Chocolate Mousse (super cute title by the way and would make a great book title ... Hey, Alex your bio?), which describes how he lost his virginity. Maybe he wrote this pre-fame and didn't give a second thought to the fact that one of his most personal moments would be available for his millions of fans to read. And I admit my voyeuristic self read it all right; but it truly begs the question of a true desire for privacy. I'm sort of guilty myself, as my own story is floating around out there, but I will never tell which book it's in (and no it's NOT a 3L Publishing book; it's actually a big brand-name publisher ... hey wait, is that worse?) -- and my name was artfully changed to protect the innocent.

I guess it begs the question about privacy in general. When did it become public fodder to post such intimate details of our lives? I suppose if you never expected to become a celebrity, and you didn't think your story would be read by everyone and their cousins, you could just call it art. I do find it difficult to believe that if you were going into profession such as acting that you wouldn't realize your intimate storytelling might wind up being read by so many people. And hey, maybe he doesn't care in the least.  I'm just begging the question that if you truly want some things to be kept private, you shouldn't write about them at all. I also wonder when I read anyone's memoir or tell-all that if the other people's names used in the story might not want their participation in the intimate acts revealed. My first boyfriend is actually a pretty well-known guy in some circles, and I would hesitate to ever use his real name. Not because I would fear being sued, but because it might be disrespectful to his feelings about ... privacy.

With the Internet being like nuclear waste and never going away, you should always seriously think twice before you blog or publish anything private. Again, Skarsgård probably doesn't care that we can all easily find his story about innocence lost; but that is not always the case. You might not care at age 20 that you posted something so deeply personal, but 20 years from now, maybe your wife or husband would care. Or maybe even your boss. Or maybe just you.

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