Somewhere along the line, someone coined the phrase "being naked" in regards to the way we interact online. There certainly is something about posting personal essays, tidbits, photos and the like that gives a sense of transparency. Many of you know what I look like, where I live. Better, you know that I've considered buying jock itch cream, I have a dance for every song, and that I am particular about interactions at Starbucks. There are details here that you certainly wouldn't get from me if you bumped into me on the street. You might not even get some of them, ever, unless you got me inebriated.
Nonetheless, I take issue with the idea of being nude on the internet (and not in that way -- you folks can do as you please, but I'm not visiting). I like to trust that most people are honest, good folks -- that no one would use the information here against me or my family. The truth is, most are. However, it is hard to know who to trust and with what information. Once you hit publish, it's out there. Even if you don't make it obviously available, someone can find it, even if it takes a subpoena to do so. And, as a friend rightly pointed out, what you say (or blog) can and will be used against you.
I consider pretty carefully what I write here, with the best intentions of keeping my family and my life safe from the weirdos. The community I've found online is a part of my life. I have friends here, and I don't want to hide myself so much that I come across lacking authenticity. There is a person behind this blog, and she's pretty cool, but she's not naked. There are stories that will never find their way to the page, out of respect for my family, my career, and myself. For every post someone reads here, there are hundreds of others that exist only in my head. That's just the way it has to be.
For me, this is the compromise: I'm going barefoot. This space hosts me, in jeans and a T-shirt, with my shoes kicked off relaxing at the end of the day. I'm still vulnerable -- to callouses, thorns and prickers, chigger bites. But while a misstep may leave me wounded temporarily, it will not affect the rest of what I hold dear.
That's it. Barefoot. If you want naked, you're going to have to come here and seduce me yourself.