David Sedaris on Personal vs Private

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air the other day.  David Sedaris came on.  I perked up, because the English major in me knew the name.

This piece stuck with me.


"But most of his journal isn't for public consumption.  In fact, Sedaris says his public persona as a famous writer is quite different from the person he is — and has been — in private, and the journal is where those two versions of David Sedaris collide."

Sedaris goes on to say that some stuff in his life doesn't make it into his journal because it's too personal.  THE David Sedaris doesn't capture stuff in his own journal that's "too personal."

Back to this blog and market research.  I have to ask:

What's "too personal to share" for our respondents?

  • Does it ever get captured?  If so, where?
  • Who else knows about this "too personal" stuff?


Where do the personal and private collide?

  • How can we get there?  
  • How does the online medium hurt or help this?
There are things that I run across on the internet that seem to be in the "very, very personal" camp.  Stuff that the writers say they haven't even shared with their spouses or closest friends.  "Personal" is such a funny thing.  I love getting to rub against it in the digital ethnography space.

Image Creative Commons 2.0 license via mac.rj

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