I just completed a lecture to my undergraduates about blogging. Only three of them know much of blogs, so we spent time getting ourselves acquinted with the whole phenomenon.
We talked, well, I talked, to some degree about the strange private public of the blog, and about my reticence in posting truly private things about myself on the blog. I revealed to them a personal matter that I can't bring myself to talk about on the blog (as tempted as I have been several times to do so). In telling them this private matter, I was trying to illustrate the vulerability I feel in writing personal things for an unknown, unseen public.
Yet, I found it intriguing that I could reveal this personal matter to my students. They are a seen public, although they are still unknown to me. They know far more about me than I know about them. (Indeed, that's one of the many reasons I've found teaching difficult--the one-way nature of teaching is challenging for those of us anxious about our presentation of self.) Yet, somehow, it still feels safer to tell them this private thing than to tell it here. Perhaps because if I were to spill all here, it would be in far more detail, therefore revealing even more than the few sentences I expressed to my undergraduates. In the classroom the revelation served a purpose; The purpose of this whole blogging thing still escapes me.
And still, here I am blogging away.