Someone on Facebook shared yesterday’s post without my knowledge or permission, or even an explanation as to their reasons. Did my post strike a chord with them somehow? Was I able to put into words something that they felt, perhaps often? Or were they using me as an example of a guy that doesn’t have his brain together, much less his life? I’ll never know, and neither will anyone else that I didn’t want to initially see that post – my Facebook posts are locked down to friends only, and the only people that saw the share would have already seen it from me first.
Here on WordPress I don’t mind that my blog is public; I know that it can easily be seen by people I don’t know. I also know that I receive a notification should someone wish to link to one of my blog posts, so if someone should do the same thing through WordPress, I can easily monitor whether or not it’s something I wish to share. But if someone should copy a post’s URL and paste it into their own social media, I can’t do a thing about that. So why did this instance of sharing my words affect me so, especially when in the end it was shared with absolutely no one that I didn’t want to see it?
Part of it was the intimacy of yesterday’s post. I shared a part of my life that usually very few people know much about, and I did so in what was then real time, an opportunity that I don’t get very often, so I capitalized on it and let it fly. The fact that someone would want to share that moment of my life struck me as weird at best and questionable at worst.
Part of it was the lack of communication or explanation. Perhaps I’m trained by my experiences in MMOs to ignore blind friend or guild invites, and to report repeated attempts as harassment, and this felt like a blind excerpt into my life, something that I wouldn’t want to share to those that have no context.
And I admit that part of it is that I saw it happen. If my words are shared beyond my circle of influence, I really can’t do much about it or how my words are presented – and I usually won’t know anything about it, ever. But seeing it happen through my Facebook notifications felt invasive to me, and even after I reminded myself that this person effectively shared it with zero new people it still felt invasive. For that matter, it still feels invasive even as I write this almost a day later.
So does this mean that I’m going to change my privacy settings on WordPress so that I can tightly control who sees my words? Probably not. While I’ll never go back to the person that shared my post and ask why they felt moved to share it, I still choose to believe that what I said yesterday struck a chord with them and in their rush to share their feelings put to words, they dispensed with the formality of an introductory passage so that I, and their followers, would know why my post appeared on their wall.
But all the same, the incident shook me pretty hard. I’ll have to make sure that I don’t subconsciously edit what I write from here on out.