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To Delete, or Not to Delete

I spent much of last night lying awake, primarily suffering under what I’m pretty sure was a bit of bad salmon. I wasn’t anywhere near as sick as I could have been, but I did at one point wonder whether TSA would let me board my plane today if the bucket of fluids I was carrying could be demonstrated to have originated within my own person. That eventuality has blessedly not materialized.

But what all that lying awake tossing and turning and trying to decide whether I’d feel better if I just forced myself to puke did was give me ample time to think about my last brief entry here, and whether it was ill-conceived. Or whether it was just the PS that made it sound ill-conceived, raising the specter of stalkerdom where it needn’t have been raised. And whether I should delete the PS, or the whole thing, or just pretend like it never happened, or just simply relax, because all this anxiety was probably bacterial in origin.

This morning, all of this has me thinking about the old post-editing controversy of 2003. In fact, I thought about this a couple of weeks ago, when I had lunch with my dean; we were discussing my blog (which, yes, he has read), and he asked whether I ever regretted particular posts. I had to tell him yes, and that what I regretted about them was usually something tonal — too much whinging, for instance, or too much knee-jerk thoughtlessness. The beauty of the blog, of course, is that the comments allow for a modulation of that tone, a development of a thought, a slight shift of direction. Because of that I’ve never regretted a post enough to delete it.

Last night, however, or more properly very early this morning, I was seriously considering deleting the last post, mostly because it seemed, in the midst of the abdominal cramps, to make me look like an unremediable idiot. I’m now not sure it does quite that, but it still makes me a little nauseated, so this post is, in effect, doing the work of modulation. Also of pushing that last post down off the first screen.

But now I’m wondering: What are the ramifications of deleting entries? Under what circumstances does deletion seem appropriate?


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