When I first became a Christian, my youthleader asked me to imagine standing before God and having my whole life played out on film in front of an audience of friends and family: including every petty thought I’d ever had and every secret action I’d taken. It was all there for the people I loved to goggle at.
(Incidentally, I can confirm that while this hellish idea scared the bejeesus out of me, it totally failed to moderate my thoughts or behaviour).
And now we have the modern-day equivalent: the leaking of private pictures from the cloud; phone hacking; snapchatting and having it ‘saved’. Your innermost thoughts have never been so likely to become public.
And, sadly, I can add my own personal hell-screening to that list: don’t think that the bile and bias of private messages will stay private. One day you will forget to sign out of your account. And one day, the very person you’ve been ranting about will open your laptop and see the heart of an immense and personal darkness written about them.
Usually, this kind of idiocy only happens on Eastenders (why on earth wouldn’t you log out of your emails when your ex is babysitting, Sharon?!), but unfortunately I’ve been navigating this stormy and oil-slicked sea for the last few weeks.
Like my teenage self, standing before Fellini-God… I’m finding it hard to know how to apologise for the contents of my head and heart. In the ongoing cover-up of emotion that defines single-parenthood, I allow myself the airlock of this blog, but also the free breathing space of email and facebook messaging – where I can grump away without repercussion. And it’s a wrench to discover that that freedom is an illusion.
We are all ultimately hemmed in by the things we want to keep private. And in a world of hyperconnectivity, it seems clear that the only way to ensure that privacy, is to keep those thoughts entirely unspoken.
On a lighter note, this post is dedicated to the colleague who decided to drunkenly hurdle the chenille ropes in a 4-star hotel this week. Your secret is safe with me. The video will never be released (-;