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I still don't get the Internet.

I know I've been hit and miss with my updates these last couple of weeks.  Between a completely unexpected surge in business at my office, my first vacation since Lulabelle was born (btw, happy tenth anniversary, Steph!), and miscellaneous unexpected trips away from home, I haven't really had the chance to sit down and bank updates for my blog the way I normally do.

But I made a commitment, so even if they're not good, I need to post something.  I at least owe my regulars (all three of you) an updated on the exact shade of insecure that I'm feeling right now.

Today it's about the Internet.

Like, I know it probably sounds silly, but how do people do it?  How do you commit to posting things with your name attached without feeling a weird sense of contractual obligation?

I mean, I know the stuff I post around here has my name on it - that was kinda the point of the blog in the first place - but this is a safe zone.  I can revise or expand posts if I feel like my point was misconstrued or if maybe I realized in retrospect that I was just having a bad day when I wrote something.  (Oh, and don't I just love it when THOSE posts bring in traffic.  Thanks a pantload, fate.)

It's so much scarier to me to post something anywhere else where I don't have that same level of control.  I don't want to tweet things because I'm worried I'll be misunderstood if I only have 140 characters to work with, and I don't want anybody yelling at me if I try to fix a mistake later.  I don't post to Facebook because I don't think my old high school and college acquaintances are too eager to indulge my frail sense of e-confidence.  And I don't post on message boards because I never know when the other posters are going to be dickheads about it when I make a mistake.  (On a related point, Something Awful is so much more fun to lurk than to post.  There's too much pressure to be clever.)

When I stop and think about it, these are all the same kinds of things that made me socially awkward in school.  I was afraid I'd say the wrong thing and ruin a good conversation.  Now that I'm older, I don't have those same hang-ups in person.  Talking to people is easy - you just act polite and people will be polite in return.  Turns out that's the only rule that matters.

So you'd think that I'd be able to get over it and post things on the Internet, right?  But no.  It's different.  The Internet remembers things.  It saves everything you put on it.  Somewhere there's a dusty server saving cached versions of every comment I've ever made since I was thirteen, and I don't like the idea of somebody being able to put those all in a string at once.

How do people live with that?  How do so many people gleefully post their most inane thoughts on Benghazi and lady Ghostbusters without a second glance?  How do so many people brazenly sling mud at each other and pass gut reactions and snap judgments?  Does nobody remember that their name is out there?

Don't get me wrong - there was a time when I did all that stupid shit, too.  But that was at least back when I could do it anonymously.

Maybe this is just my vanity coming out again.  Maybe it's that part of me that keeps expecting to be a superstar when one of my books finally hits #1 on Amazon's bestseller list, and I'm terrified that as soon as I have any success, some petty asshole is going to dig up every possible reference to my name to find out how much of a loser I am.

If that ever does happen, guy, take my advice: just stay here.  There's plenty.  I'm trying to make this easier for all of us.