Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why I Bailed on Liveblogging a Backpacking Trip

This past April and May, I backpacked Southeast Asia solo.
I made my way through northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, with long layovers in Dublin and Abu Dhabi on the way there, and Cairo on the way home. It was a magical and breathtaking two months -- a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip.
Southeast Asia
Before I left, I had a plan to document this momentous event. I was going to liveblog my trip on Bespectacled.
Checking in during my stay.
Documenting the places to see and things to do in each area.
Posting pictures and brief thoughts on my travels.
It was all a great idea. I could be alone in my travels whilst still sharing my experience with others and documenting it for myself later. I could give valuable advice and tips to those doing a similar trip. I could keep my friends and family updated on my progress.

Less than three weeks into my trip and this grand live-blogging experience, I shut the whole thing down. 
I stopped posting, I deleted the posts I'd written, and I generally wanted to pretend that the whole thing hadn't happened. Though I might want to sweep this one under the rug, I felt that I should explain myself a little bit.

Meticulously documenting my experience was ruining the actual experience for me. I know that this is an unpopular opinion for a blogger to have, or really anyone who participates in social media, but sometimes it's true. I just wanted to experience these places, enjoy the food and the sounds and the sights, without feeling obligated to remember and recount it later. 
It might seem selfish, but I didn't want to owe anyone a part of my experience. I wanted to keep some things to myself.
This leads me to the issue of privacy.
It started to freak me out that other people knew where I was -- that strangers could know where I was -- without my knowledge. I know, I know, I use Facebook too. Everyone knows what everyone is doing, right? 
But for some reason, this felt different. I have privacy settings activated on my Facebook, whereas anyone can read this. They might not necessarily know it's me, but I'm sure that they could figure it out. (Step one: read my 'about me' page. Step two: look at the picture of me. The end.) I started to worry about who could be reading. Ex-bosses came to mind in particular.

So, sorry for bailing, anyone who noticed that.
I'm not such a great blogger -- I'm private, and I keep myself to myself. I thought that since I'd posted about travel here before, that I could liveblog with no problem. The reality, however, made me feel very exposed. So I covered up, and then deleted the evidence.

Whoops.

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