Blogs are not the new-thing-in-town. People wrote journals for centuries. In their own minds, in stories, in legends, engraved on tombstones or written on paper. But public ones generally were more restrained. More controlled. Self-censored. The internet opened a fantastic gateway to information sharing, and suddenly everyone on the web can become your personal therapist. It's just great: it's free, it's distributed, and hey, two minds are more efficient than one, so what about a few millions? Looks good on paper. Except for two major problems.
The first thing is, circles of trust are exactly that: circles of trust, that you define yourself. Would you go around and pour your heart out to your butcher in the new city you move in last month? Just like that. Without knowing the guy? Who knows what *he* has in his closets? I didn't think so... Basically, everyone on internet should be treated as a stranger, like you would do on a street. Be courteous, helpful, but slightly defiant. These people didn't earn your trust, so don't give it away for free. Because it is just much more valuable than that. It's priceless. And despite the confusing etymology, priceless doesn't mean that the price tag doesn't exist. Trust is a big problem here for various reasons. Because you share secrets. Because they can redistribute them, distort them, amplify them. Because they can forge fake secrets for you. Hey, you trusted them, others do, so basically they would trust what they say on your behalf. It's only natural, we all believe what our mummies and BFF told us without questioning them that much, don't we? The second issue with trust is expertise. How much do you trust these people, not only in regards privacy, but also about their level of expertise in the field you seek them out for? Do you see a degree on the wall? And if you see one, where does it come from? Do you check the unique identification number on it? Trust is tricky. Forging identities is not at all.
The second thing is this: what do you do to yourself when you go around talking about yourself? When someone does something bad, what do they do? They go around and look for support. Yes. They want people to tell them "nawww, you're right, I'd have done the same. F*ck it." Now that's handy: hey, statistically, you'll find a jack somewhere online to agree with you, no matter how dumb that thing you did or said could have been (and trust surfaces again: who says he or she agrees truthfully? People like to mock and joke around.) People used to have issues back then too. They just kept them for themselves. Of course sometimes you just can't keep it together anymore, and you need help to see it through and swim to the surface and take a good breath of fresh air, and avoid death by drowning. That's why overall, having *expert* people around is a good thing. For specific cases. Not to nourish your paranoia. Microsoft Research came up with a new name for this recently: >Cyberchondria. Come on, admit it. When you discovered a tiny new lump somewhere on your body, or had that recurring migraine come back, you checked it out online. And you saw the worst case scenarios and you lined up for breast-cancer screenings, full-body scans, or at least a normal GP appointment, and then you bugged him and asked him to be really careful with the examination. But, sometimes it's good. It works, and the mighty Internet gods helped you to diagnose your problems decently. Though rest assured internet is best used to diagnose flus and your cookie recipes than to identify lethal brain tumors. But still, sometimes it works. And you come across that person, that single individual, who was in the same case as you are now, and that guy can give you *the* advice, almost the perfect one, or a lest the preventive one. Or the one you want to hear. If you find one search result telling you things are looking pretty darn bad, you acknowledge the fact. If you find one good result saying you'll be fine, oooh, danger, maybe you should keep looking another 5 minutes, shouldn't you? Cyberchondria is evil and sneaky.
Furthermore, when you do seek expertise all too easily, you stop learning how to cope. You find that virtual shoulder to cry on, and you think it makes things better. Of course the shoulder will still be here tomorrow if you need it (Or at least your better hope so. That's already something to have *Hope*), and things might turn around, but it doesn't seem the sitting duck tactic is the best approach to problem-solving. Not dealing with your problems is just that: not dealing. It doesn't fix anything, it doesn't make it better. It doesn't make it worse either, which is great. That's a precautionous approach to risk management, but not the most optimized one. There's a huge difference between seeking advice and reporting all the tiny necrosis of your life on a public log and looking out for people lurking at it, the vultures and the parasites as well as the compassionate souls. One is proactive; the other one is just passive, endangering, aggravating.