Selected members of the jungle? crew were particularly moved by a very interesting article recently posted on nytimes.com, entitled Exposed by Emily Gould. It’s a first person narrative, telling the story of how a young proffesional blogger/writer’s life collapsed (in her view, anyway) after habitually posting her a virtual diary online via her own blogging site Emily Magazine. Her seemingly never-ending semi-apologetic story explains how her practice of posting intimate details of her personal life on her blog site led to the loss of two boyfriends, a nervous breakdown, the loss of her job as co-editor for Gawker (New York gossip/pop culture blog), and how an embarrassing appearance on Larry King Live fast-tracked her demise.
She appeared on Larry King as a spokesman for Gawker.com, to defend Gawker Stalker, and online database of celebrity sightings, which included a tipster-supported “stalker map.” Jimmy Kimmel, filling in for the aging Larry King, went on a tirade, Gould claims, accusing her of endangering high-profile people, and making them vulnerable to dangerous stalkers. Gould suggests Kimmel’s anger originated from personal vanity, not from his compassion for tormented celebrities, because one Gawker’s tipsters claimed to have “seen Kimmel looking drunk,” suggesting the TV superstar talk show-host was maniacally micro-managing his own public image. The actual clip of Larry King Live was viewed by the jungle team, and Kimmel did, in fact, seem to have genuine concern about voilation of privacy, and his guests brought up issues of journalistic integrity that the new media, namely bloggers, continually disrespect.
Gould, with some humble introspection, could have learned a lot from Kimmel. Clearly, Gould is heavily self-absorbed and and infatuated with her own thoughts and public image (though not even close to being a celebrity, or even well-known). Her own percieved tragic downfall is really an orgy of self-pity and narcissism. However, the article remains interesting because of the questions brought forth: Should people publish intimate details of their personal lives online for public viewing? Has journalistic integrity eroded since the power to publish has been given to average joe/janes with nothing but computers and internet connections? Is Emily Gould’s self-romanticism symbolic of America’s younger generation? Do blogs and social networking sites reinforce undue vanity, grandiosity and excessive self-love?
It would behoove Ms. Gould to put her writing ability to better use, limiting her use of personal pronouns and writing about something external—anything other than herself. Perhaps she’d better herself by working as a journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan, covering real human tragedies and atrocities, unlike her own fall from grace in Williamsburg-adjacent, Brooklyn.