Diaries, Blogs and a New Year

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On 1 January 2010 my thoughts turn to new years and new diaries.

As I use a church diary  that starts in Advent (that is before Christmas) my diary already has several weeks use, so I'm not starting a new one, only a new year and decade!

My greatest excitement over a new diary was the day I began to write in a 5-year page-a-day lockable diary given to me for my 14th birthday. It was the most treasured gift of my teenage years. I wrote in it at the end of the day (usually in bed) most days of the following 5 years, recording my thoughts and feelings about what had happened and what I hoped for or dreaded. It was a record meant for my eyes alone. Did my parents or siblings ever find the key I wonder? I hope not!

Several decades later I remember only a little of what I wrote - I destroyed the diary sometime during my twenties - an action I now regret. It might have made useful reading for me when my children were teenagers. Since then I have kept an occasional journal or 'day book' to write in at significant times - some might call this a spiritual journal. This has been helpful during periods of confusion or struggle, such as when I desperately hoped that God was not calling me to ordained ministry in the Church of England. 

Like my teenage diary with its lock and key the occasional journal is mostly for my benefit, but it does include wise or funny words from others that I sometimes draw on for more public use. Now I also write a blog - this is about as far from a secret lockable diary as you can get. This blog 'Seeker' is out there in a public space. Yes, I do want people to read it, so I don't post that which should be private. But anyone who uses the internet and social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter has to struggle with where to draw the line between public and private. In a rapidly changing technological world this is a challenge - how to balance the benefits of easy global communication and virtual communities with the need for privacy, protection and time to know one another face to face in family, friends and locality.

Where do you draw the line?

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