I’ve had my very own online journal since diaryland opened in 1998 (that’s 8 years ago!) and in that time I have made many mistakes with the posting of private information about myself, my friends and other people. I would write freely, naively thinking that the only people reading were one or two close friends.
I got popular and moved on to my own self-made website blog. I no longer referred to friends as single initials. My blogs then included pictures and more detailed information. All of my online friends and all of my offline friends would read. Knowing this, whenever I’d have a fight with a friend, I would post about it cryptically on my journal, leaving all of my friends wondering if it was them that I was slurring and bitching about. I kinda liked causing a bit of drama, it kept things interesting.
Then something happened. I felt momentarily upset about a stupid incident with my very best friend. So, what did I do? I wrote her a letter. I posted it on my journal. It was clear to all of my readers who I was talking about. I left out names of course, but it wasn’t rocket science. I listed all of her faults, and listing my only fault was thinking that she cared about me. This was letter was single-handedly responsible for ending a 5 year long inseparable friendship with one of the closest friends I’d ever had.
It was all because of an irrational, and only temporary feeling. If I had slept on it before posting it and still felt the same way in the morning then things would have been different. But because of all the words that I acted as if had bled out of me after just a little grazing, I hurt my friend irreparably.
Months later, apologies were made amicably, though things had just been too far damaged to actually just move on and grow as friends. And I didn’t blame her at all.
So since then I have learned a very precious and valuable lesson.
I will never ever write a letter to one of my friends online. Write cryptically about an argument I’ve had with one of my friends hoping that she/he reads what I’ve written about them and feels hurt, I will never try to stir any drama through my blog or write in too much detail about my friends or family’s lives. I will never write their names unless I know that it’s completely okay with them.
And 4 years since I wrote that silly letter on my website, said best-friend and I have only just completely reconciled and are in constant and completely comfortable contact again. For that, I am so supremely grateful.