Maybe This One’s Only For You

Micah Watson and Shaun GrovesHe pressed play on the cassette deck, bowed his head and read along. He was the manager and father of a pop star in the making and I was a twenty year-old songwriter making a pitch.

The song ended. He handed the page of lyrics back to me, made a few critiques and then stopped himself… “I just don’t think it’s a fit for us,” he said. “Maybe this one’s only for you.”

Micah, my road manager and banjo master, is new to blogging. He’s read a few, just enough to make a very astute (and helpful) observation on our last plane ride home.

Micah’s a songwriter too. He says there are songs we pen for ourselves – songs that are therapeutic for the songwriter to scribble down, for example, intensely personal maybe. Then there are songs for our community – a song written to encourage a close friend, a gift, songs to commemorate a community milestone or to be used in worship by our local church. And then there are songs for the world.

The song I pitched to the pop star’s father wasn’t a song for the world. But I thought it was. I was heartbroken when he didn’t think so.

Micah wonders if the same is true on-line. There are thoughts or stories so personal, or of no real benefit to anyone else, that they’re best jotted down in a journal or told to God. They’re best not tweeted, shared on Facebook or posted on a blog.

Then there are times when it’s appropriate to share with my community, over coffee with a close friend, face to face with my wife, in a small group at church.

And that leaves very little of my life that’s actually appropriate for sharing with the world.

I’m blogging less these days but I’m not writing less. So much of what I’ve written lately has wound up being only for me.

Micah made one more wise observation worth sharing with the masses this morning: My children are growing up in a generation without privacy. Their default will likely be to share everything. And they will probably eventually carry around with them the technology to make that possible. Natural even: Everything is for the masses. Nothing is only for you.

How do we teach our children that some thoughts are private, others are for the community and even fewer are for the world? Suggestions?