Ever since Emily Gould’s brief memoir of blogging appeared in the New York Times Magazine online last Thursday, there’s been a good amount of talk about the piece–from questioning the story’s validity as cover-worthy journalism to how she posed in the photo shoot. In the piece, Gould recounts her time spent as a blogger with gawker.com and the havoc wreaked on her personal life as a result. She started out blogging fairly modestly, but went overboard when she moved to Gawker and made seedy online gossip her job. She recounts many mistakes, some interesting personalities, a couple of personal epiphanies and a peek inside the machines of tabloids, but mostly she keeps coming back to a point we try to make at the LAMP: When you post something on the Internet, it’s permanent.
Anyone who really wants to find what you’ve put up can do so, and they can do so decades later. A mistake made on the Internet can last forever. Even if you take down an item or encrypt it, there’s no knowing if someone else somewhere copied it or wrote about it online. Emily Gould discovered all of this the hard way, and throughout the article one wonders if she’s really been able to forgive herself for some of the damage she did both to herself and those she cared about.
We’re not here to tell you that you shouldn’t blog, or that you shouldn’t share pictures and videos online. Obviously, we write a blog, and we post pictures here. Our hope is that the millions of other people who put themselves on the Web every day take the time to consider how what they post can affect their loved ones, their own personal lives, and their futures.