Public and private

So, I have had (until today) two Twitter accounts. There’s the public one — sigridellis — and there’s the one I’ve given out to family and people I know in person. The original idea was that I’d use the private one to talk about things that are of interest to people who’ve met me and my family, and the public one to talk about my writing, my blogging, and public culture.

But the thing of it is . . .

The thing is, that’s not how I actually use the internet. Maybe some people — maybe some of you reading this — manage to keep a distinct public – private dichotomy online. I’m not that person. If I really want something to be private, I don’t put it on the internet. Not even in email, if I want real, actual privacy. (There was a local semi-scandal around here a bit back, with relationship failures and accusations in various directions. Email were forwarded, IMs were screen-captured and sent around, deleted journal entries were recovered. In short, I took the lesson to heart — Nothing, nothing at all, that I’ve ever put on a computer is truly private. I rely — as do you — on the kindness of friends and strangers to not forward my dirty laundry to the world.) (Those of you holding my dirty laundry have my thanks.)

And the thing of it is, I paid attention to the blogs and Twitters I tend to follow. I don’t follow the celebrities who do nothing but linkspam, however much I like said celebrity’s work. I do follow the ones that reveal a little of themself — who bitch about baseball, or complain about awkward filming locations, or whine about meeting deadlines, or share Cute Kid Anecdotes. I like the sense — however illusory — that I know these strangers a bit.

I also follow people who answer back. Not to me, necessarily, and not every time, of course. But the people who make some conversation out of Twitter. And, for me, I converse when I get comments quickly. I do not go back and “catch up” on Twitter. Whatever I missed is gone. So timely Tweets to my phone are vital for conversation.

The upshot is, the personal has infected my public Twitter. And as far as I know, nothing bad has happened. So why, then, ought I keep one private? I can’t think of a good reason.

So this marks the end of the dual Twitter life for me. I’m dumping my private one and keeping sigridellis. If you are following the private one and not the public, and want to keep following me on Twitter, I suggest you switch over. And, I’m going to make sure my public account is following all of those from my private account. What this means is you’ll hear a little more whining, a little more chatter about my kids. It means those of you following both Twitters right now will no longer get duplicate information.

It’s always defriending amnesty around these parts — not everyone wants to hear about my kids, or the hours I work, or the incredibly amusing things I think when I’m sleep deprived. Who knows? I may discover that there is some purpose the private Twitter serves, and start one up again. But for the meantime, what you see is what you get.

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