It is not a secret to anyone with whom I have conversed in the past few months that I am scheduled to have bariatric surgery on February 27.
It is a coincidence that I created a new website that includes a blogging component, just before going under the knife.
I have not decided yet whether I am going to create posts about my experiences before, during and after the surgery. If I decide to do so, should they be public, or private? If public, how much detail to include? If private, how much detail to include? As a computer person, and an archivist, I often say:
When you post something on the Internet, it will be up there forever
… unless you want it to persist.
This is a wry application of Murphy’s Law to two opposing phenomena of online content. Once something is posted online without access controls, it may be mirrored, indexed, stored, imaged, or otherwise preserved in some way. If you post something that you may later regret, you have no way to retract it with certainty. On the other hand, sites that contain useful information and tools are disappearing every day. The Internet Archive, archive.is, WebCite and other services are saving pieces of the Internet, automatically or on-demand, but they are not exhaustive or infallible. But I digress. That is a topic for another post, on another day. The question is whether to share this aspect of my life in public, or restrict access to family and friends.
A path to answering the questions posed above has to begin with a broader question … why write anything in a public forum, such as a blog, at all? I have been involved with technology since the mid-1980’s. From those early days until now, the capability to share intellectual content (words, pictures, movies, music, etc.) with anyone in the world has moved from extremely limited to ridiculously easy. Before the Internet, you would have to be published in a book, or have an opportunity to be included in a radio or television broadcast. Today, anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer, can splatter their memes all over the world. Society has become more narcissistic and voyeuristic in the past three decades. People are not making wise choices about what to put online. People are also associating the conversations and relationships that they develop in online media with real relationships. $deity forbid if someone unfriends you on SpaceyFace.
Who really cares about my personal medical issues, other than close friends and family? Perhaps other people who are considering bariatric surgery might benefit from a firsthand account. Every bariatric patient is different, and every surgery is different. The other question is whether I’ll have the time to write about the surgery.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what I decide to do.