Mapping out a theory of web habits: A Paranoid Prelude

There is probably something to be said about writing out nascent ideas on a blog. The very act of doing it, in some ways leaves one, if such a person is inclined to even moderate paranoia, of a number of fears. For me the list is pretty obvious:

  1. My ideas, which are still in the process of being formed, will be taken and used by others to their own ends.
  2. The ideas, also not fully formed, will be subject to critique in their nascent stage and will thus derail my whole project.
  3. The ideas will somehow remain in said nascent state and will not develop further because they are being prepared for a blog rather than something else.
  4. On that note, there is a fear that even writing said ideas, mostly notes and errant thoughts, is actually merely a waste of time, not warranting the expenditure of energy to produce them. In fact, as someone who does enjoy his own writing, this endeavor may be for self-satisfaction over something actually substantive. I should be spending the time developing the ideas in more detail and preparing them for papers, chapters of books, etc.

Then there are a few worries that distinctly temporal in element, mostly surrounding the future:

  1. On the one hand I worry that I will look back on these posts and be embarrassed… what might be considered the “How could I think of that” moment. Such a moment would pertain to both substance and the style of writing.
  2. And of course, a related concern is that others will be looking at the blog in the distant future and that some statement that I make here will cost me some important future position, publication, job, etc.

These are just a few of the general worries anxieties that surround changing the style of what I post here and attempting to move it from more formal posts to a place where I work out my ideas. So, aside from providing a disclaimer of sorts for what I hope to be moderate changes to this blog, why would I even publicize such concerns?

The answer is that as I continue thinking about habits formed by web and Internet communication, I can’t help but conclude that my concerns are somewhat more universal. These are just the sort of anxieties that surround much of what we publicize on the web. Be it a post or photo on a social media platform, a spurious email sent to a friend or some other form of communication, I think unease follows much of what we do. In fact, as I continue to explore the habits that form our everyday communicative habits, I can use my own anxieties as one starting point of many.

So consider this disclaimer a prelude to the issues I will start to untangle in future posts.

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