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Whatever you’re thinking of posting, don’t

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Skley / Flickr

Here’s a rule of thumb not enough internet users adhere to: If you have to think that hard about whether something is worth posting, it probably isn’t, so don’t.

Look, there’s a lot of crap on the internet, all right? The last thing it needs is your crap, too.

I won’t act like everything I throw out there is digital Shakespeare, but I frequently sit on stuff, mull stuff over and delete it entirely, all the while thinking it’s pretty damn brilliant. Here are some reasons I do that:

  • It’s not always possible to accurately express what I mean, you know what I mean? And the thing about the written word is that once it’s published, everyone else gets to decide what it means.
  • What “sounds” funny or clever to me may not actually be funny or clever. Once you have to explain a joke, it’s definitely not funny.
  • It’s entirely possible for something to be smart and devoid of value at the same time.
  • I don’t need to let everyone see my crappy batting practice swings.

We live in a society that takes a picture of goddamn everything, applies a vintage filter to it and posts it for everyone to see. I promise you’ll be better off if you take a bunch of different pictures of one thing, throw away all but the best one and post that instead.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/westseattleblog West Seattle Blog

    For me, this particularly goes for comments. So many hours lost to comments I wrote, then considered, and thought “who the hell cares?” or “why do they need me to dump my grumpy retort on them?” Generally this applies to somebody else’s site, but sometimes when participating in story conversation on our site, I’ll scrap what I was going to say there too! – TR (who WILL hit “post” on this one, here goes …)

  • http://www.paulbalcerak.com/ paulbalcerak

    For that exact reason — “who the hell cares?” — I have avoided commenting on sites for a very long time. I do drop comments when someone asks a question and I know I can answer it.

    In this case, for the record, I the-hell care, so thanks for commenting :)

  • Zooms63

    The “Library of Congress” cares.  They have contracted with Twitter to archive all tweets, even ones that are deleted from feeds into their eternal Twitter feed archive.  Personally, comments are a fun and often necessary fortune as alternative views may need to be expressed or otherwise, readers may seem complicit.  I rarely delete a tweet, and usually if so, it’s only for a second to correct a spelling error and then reposted.  Even though some blogs and websites go a bit overboard (e.g. The Onion with their profanity laced headlines) the old feeling of the Wild West lingers on the internet.  Do and say what you want with little or no chance of repercussion except in violent or suicidal instances.  I enjoy the unabashed remarks and opinions of many web posters.  Things I might find worth of mentioning today may be unworthy tomorrow, but it’s like photos.  They all bring back memories.  Go ahead, make my day.  POST  IT!  :)

  • http://www.paulbalcerak.com/ paulbalcerak

    There’s nothing wrong with what you mentioned, but if you’re trying to build an online identity for professional purposes, you’re better off playing the long game and being thoughtful about what gets published.

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  • Zooms63

     One of  the things to remember is regardless of how wrong it is….Perception is often more important than reality. 

    Happily, my professional aspirations have been exceeded, and it’s all about having fun now. 

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