Ghost Posts: Reading What's Been Removed

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"I'm giving up. I can't do this anymore."

The words barely echo the true hurt and frustration. Another homeschooler is experiencing burnout or worse. Life has conspired to cripple this individual, and in a last resort of cathartic expression a blog post is born.

Moved, I click over from my RSS Reader; only to discover the post has been removed. The internet remembers, even what we'd like to forget. I have, through the power of technology, caught a glimpse into a scribbled out experience of life. The blog author has "taken back" what they wrote. But what I don't know--and rarely ever see--is why the post was deleted. Did they feel too vulnerable? Did they realize they were merely feeling overwhelmed last night? Did they discover something that made them change their mind about the whole thing? And why, I wonder, did they publicly post it in the first place if they now feel it no longer appropriate to share?

I am well-acquainted with change. We update Sonlight every year, seeking ways to better serve you. This means that every year you benefit from what we've learned in the past. On the other hand, change is hard, and it can be incredibly frustrating too. In fact, we list our yearly curriculum updates as one of the reasons you may not want to buy from Sonlight. We make the changes and move forward. So I know things disappear and are replaced with new ideas and thoughts.

But "ghost posts" are different. They indicate some change in thinking. And it makes me curious: Why the change?

Have you ever bumped into a deleted blog post? Have you ever removed one of your own? What changed your mind?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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  1. Andrea

    Blog posts, I'm not sure (I don't blog anymore.) But Sonlight posts, Facebook posts, comments...yeah. And the reason is not necessarily because I changed my mind, but possibly because I decided I didn't want to broadcast to everyone what I was just thinking. Maybe I decided it wasn't very tactful, maybe it was too personal, too raw, or that I would be misunderstood. Such things have come back to bite me, so I'm more cautious. Sometimes I think before I hit "post", sometimes I have to come back and delete after I've had time to think. I'm glad technology allows us that option (and even so, I know that possibly some will have read what I wrote before I deleted it.)

  2. Ariana

    I occasionally delete.

    Mostly because I decide I just don't feel like hearing comments.

    Comments are mostly great. But when I talk about challenges I get a few anonymous comments of:

    "Have you thought about putting your kids in public school. I really think it would help."

    And I get pretty annoyed. lol

    I don't listen to someone, let's say you, not that you do, vent about work and then helpfully answer,

    "Sounds like this job is causing you stress right now. You should quit."

    First you wouldn't take me seriously because obviously I really know nothing about your job at Sonlight besides the little you share. And even though you share often I don't know exactly what your day, week or month looks like. Heck I don't know what an hour of your day looks like!

    And second, even if I DID know, who the heck am I to decide if you should work there or not?

    Yet lots of strangers feel they have the qualifications to make a decision for me.

    So annoying!

    So I type up a post thinking mostly of my family and friends (who are the ones I've been blogging for from the start) and then remember the couple hundred strangers reading and delete. lol

  3. Stephanie C

    I rarely post something and then delete, but I have often typed up something and never posted it. For me, I guess, it's a vent when I'm in my 'flesh.' Once I go to the Lord I get straightened out again and remember that I'm not doing this on my own. :o)

  4. mom-e-mae

    I do that quite often. Usually when I wrote it, I was "in a mood" and then after writing it out, reading it over and maybe even getting feedback on it, I realize it was not a reflection of what I SHOULD be feeling, thinking, doing, being. So I delete things that are not uplifting or edifying, or helpful to others or myself.

  5. Luke

    Andrea, that makes sense.

    <laughing> That's a good point, Ariana.

    Stephanie, I've also typed up stuff that never got posted. But that mostly happens when I just can't get the post to make sense or be even remotely helpful/hopeful.

    Mom-e-mae, I hear ya there. But I've long wondered: Would it be more uplifting/helpful to share the way your thinking has changed? I know I often read posts that--while certainly discouraging--contain something I feel as well. Knowing how the blog author worked through those thoughts and feelings would be very encouraging to me.

    Good insights, friends! Thanks for jumping here.