Back from pause

It's been quite a while since I last made a post here on my blog - more than a month to be more precise - but the lack of posts wasn't all due to forgetful negligence or busy schedules. Rather, it was mostly due to deliberate inaction while I contemplated some things regarding blogging.

Simply said, I came to the decision to halt blogging because I was quite intimidated by the effects that my blog was having on my personal life lately. Never had I thought, when I started blogging over two years ago, that the things I publish in the virtual world would lead to alarming consequences for myself in the real world.

One important such consequence is one that is (and should be) reasonably expected: exposure. This is especially relevant for bloggers like me who are upfront about who they are and choose not to hide behind pseudonyms and veils of secrecy. What I say on the blog then becomes directly attributable to me as a person and I am held accountable for what I say rather than all of it being chalked up to some anonymous pseudonym. Further, blog posts - explicitly or implicitly - reveal a lot more about the intellectual dispositions of the author including ideological stances and beliefs. It is important to note that these tend have direct detrimental effects on the blogger's individual privacy and anonymity. I find it startling when random people whom I've never met or heard of strike conversation with a seeming air of supposed familiarity with myself or when people talk of me with a sort of conviction that I'm this or that - all based on my blog posts. Exposure is good for aspiring politicians and performance artists neither of which I have the slightest inclination towards becoming. The balance between anonymity and exposure is a tricky one, especially for someone who wants to stay pretty much under the radar.

Another important consequence of blogging relates to the response it evokes in readers. Personal blogs like mine often contain the ideas, thoughts and ramblings of the author - all of which have the potential of being controversial and disagreeable to some. Sadly, this sometimes goes to the extent that some choose to take extreme offence and retaliate with the vilest of language and threats. The comment system on my blog has been very open and mostly goes unmoderated, yet I had to switch to active comment moderation in the latter part of last year due to growing use of vile language, mindless insults and threats to myself and family. While I appreciate all types of comments and welcome disagreement and discussion, I don't think death threats and chants wishing ill things to me are really warranted. Freedom of expression is a great thing but not all people seem to appreciate it with civility and restraint...

These aren't things that would normally bother me and it hadn't until I met a couple of eager fanatics whose unreserved and unashamed drive to show their disagreement through violence - something that I had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing in the months I was in Male' last year - gave me cause for serious concern. Anyway, I hope to resume blogging regularly again - in spite of the above mentioned consequences...


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