When I was in secondary school I would hoard phone numbers. I collected numbers of people I would never ring and barely spoke to at all. I scribbled down their details regardless, though, when I overheard someone passing their number to a friend. Sometimes I’d trade third-party numbers with other hoarders. I just wanted their information.
I think being so ridiculously shy was a factor. I hardly knew anyone in the school because I barely spoke. So this was one way of getting to know people, I suppose. No girl would ever want to kiss me- in fact the only girl I did kiss in school was hideous and learning disabled. As was I, and the guy she snogged half an hour after me.
Another possibility for wanting people’s personal details is that, at an early age, I was passionate about sharing information. There wasn’t much I understood about the world, and I wanted knowledge of any kind. I couldn’t grasp how to gauge the relevance of this knowledge, though: people’s personal details became as important- if not more- than the coursework I was failing on. I still have one girl’s number embedded in my long-term memory.
As an adult, I still want to be able to find out whatever I want. I’m quite geeky about Freedom of Information. I don’t have a great deal of respect for privacy (there aren’t any laws that govern it as such, but there are laws governing data protection and defamation of character). I’m aware this isn’t a respectable trait, but what this fascination has instilled in me is the desire to pass on information that people DO have a right to know. As a writer, I’m constantly searching for something that could help people in some way, something that could get hits to my blog, something I could write that might get me noticed. Sometimes I want to write it under my real name, sometime not (in the latter, it ends up here). It’s part of my vanity. It’s part of my need to be noticed, as was my teenage phone-number-collecting hobby.
The difference is, now I want to find information that actually helps people. That actually informs. So far, a few bar reviews and a load of pictures of girls robbed off Facebook hasn’t been particularly helpful. So, for self-satisfaction, I want to search out a story, find something happening that might not just interest you but might help you in some way. I want to offer you something so meaningful to you that you share it with other people, and this blog is lifted from the bowels of internet obscurity.
But HOW? HOW do I do this?!