Sometimes when I post something here, I become self-conscious about what I posted. I imagine hidden meanings (or perhaps blatant meanings) that readers may read into posts. In some instances, a post "outshoots" from ideas in a comment thread in another journal. Almost always, the post takes the general topic and goes another place with it, rather than merely "replying" in a journal post. I tend to reply in comments rather than in posts. I tend to post about my own experience on a topic, or my own notions. I'm amused but not particularly troubled that my journal tends to be about me and my own notions on any given topic. If my post bears any relation to any topic I've discussed elsewhere, though, I worry that I offend someone by posting it.
It's a funny thing, this journal exhibitionism. There's no question that my posts are informed by the other journals I read, and by the comments to my own posts. Because my posts thus far are unfiltered, I post everything so that, in essence, the public can read. But then I have to think about who is reading. Whom might I offend? It's an odd thing--on the one hand to want to post for the world, on the other hand to worry that a small portion of the world might actually read and react.
It's a rarified self-consciousness that I experience.
I want to post and say "x", but I also "want" the comfort of being self-conscious that I posted and said "x". The construct is flawed, somehow.
Reacting to other journals through comments poses different, but also self-conscious issues. Some folks who keep a journal here think about things in ways that I easily understand. With a few of my LJ friends, including one or two of my favorite ones, the ways we approach problems can be so different that all the assumptions I make in discussing an issue with a "real life" friend do not apply to a journal friend. With a journal friend or two, we resonate in some ways so closely, and then in other ways we are so vastly different. This makes for a curious interaction. When I extend myself in comnents, then I worry that I've invaded somone's space. But what is a journal, if not an invitation to share some sort of space? I am not surprised that I sometimes wish I could meet someone to discuss a topic face to face, as the advantage of nuance and the sound of voices would be useful to sort out how people really feel about things. But I am surprised that I wish sometimes to communicate by e mail or IM with someone on an issue, as if that would be more "direct" than a journal comment--surely, other than perhaps some "privacy", one gains no real advantage from the other virtual communication modes.
I frankly do not have such scintillating things to say that privacy should matter--it's just that e mail is less "self-conscoius".
I don't lose sleep over my self-consciousness, and I don't think I'm going to buy a self-help book called "Post with Feckless Pride in 30 Days". But when I have that slight gnawing "what if you offend someone" feeling, I might smile just a bit, recognizing a curious foe.