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"Backing Off"

Okay, so it's finally come to this. The Soapbox no longer is a place for me to freely express whatever's on my mind. Not like how it was supposed to be when I started it. Now it has all these dumb limitations and points of tenderness and so on.

Why? Because this Soapbox isn't anonymous for me anymore. Everyone I know reads it now. Friends, family, coworkers, people I know through MUDs or IRC. All that. They read what I have to say here. They read about the goings-on in my life, the ups, the downs, whatever I choose to display.

And it's become a liability. I have to watch what I say and be sure not to offend anyone because they'll bring it up the next time I talk to them. I have people asking me questions about my personal life that I really don't know them well enough to answer comfortably. I have people assuming they know who I am, or assuming they're closer to me than they are. I have people complaining or complimenting what I write, etc. etc.

In the past, it wasn't a problem. No one cared to visit my site except random strangers who would just read a few things here and there and then move on. But now everyone I talk to on a semi-regular basis has things to say about me and to me regarding personal shit. And as a side effect of being described on this site, people I know are being approached by other people who claim to know THEM just because of association by my site. And THEY have problems with the site because they're getting this unnecessary attention from the readers.

So I'm stuck between people who want me to say less and people who want me to say more. Of course, people never want you to say more about themselves, only OTHER people. I shouldn't be stuck between ANYBODY. This is my site. I should not have to feel responsible to anyone.

My situation became most evident in the last Soapbox regarding my thoughts about Anna and e-mails I get. That was a FORCED move. A move I did not want to make. I regret saying things that some people will take offense to and shy away from me, but it seems as though the older I get, the less talkative I get, when it should be the other way. I just do not care to have lots of people around me.

This personal site is a ONE-WAY CHANNEL. It does not flow both ways. Some people want readers to come to their sites, write them e-mails, become best friends, and then there's a huge feedback loop going. I for one do not CARE for that. I do not WANT e-mails. I fucking hate e-mail. Don't write me about my personal stuff. You don't even need to write me to say you like what I'm doing. I don't derive much strength from that kind of support, even though others thrive off it. All I want is for people to stop expecting things from me, stop hassling me, stop asking me, stop interrogating me.

Please do not think I am singling YOU out. This is the summation of many different events and people and questions and shit. This is what happens when someone who makes a choice to let his guard down and contribute a bit more of himself than he should becomes trampled on by people who don't know how to respect spatial boundaries. Ask yourself how much I demand from you, what favors I've ever asked from you, what extra pressure I place on you, how much I know about you, and see if you're asking for more than you've put in.

Contrary to all the talk, I remain someone who is content to converse very little, who prefers not to socialize, who wants to be anonymous. (So why "The Real World", Ben? Because, damnit, you get to travel and experience new things, and new people... The fact that you're on camera is bearable because at least the viewers are strangers, not the people you meet every day.) So respect my boundaries. I do not trust the reader and I never have. They will twist and contort anything you say, and use it upon you and people associated with you, all to feed their perverse little habits as shadow-keeping lowlife leeches with no lives of their own to contribute. I want to be around people who do things on their own initiative, who have their own things going for them, who have better things to do than need me.

It must be great to be a friend or coworker to a visionary, someone who you know you can trust to create something magical, something that will change the world. You don't have to support them, you don't have to nurture them or make sure they don't feel bad. You don't have to take care of them. They just excel because that's who they are, and they don't need anyone to help them create history.

A final note: do not apologize, do not ruminate, do not write about this. I do not want to hear anything more about my site. It is for me, by me, for myself, and for posterity. It is not for you. It is available to you, but it is not intended for you. Let's get back to what this place was meant to be, okay?

Next 'Box, I will bore you with highly technical computer hardware banter. And maybe after that, some boring political opinionating or technical stocktalk. Take that!

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