Last night in a journal entry, wherein I attempted to sort out what it is that troubles me about Facebook, exactly, I concluded with, "It's the invisible audience we all imagine for our thoughts, sprung to life." Then I started wondering if everyone imagines an invisible audience for their thoughts, and of course turned to Google for the answer. As it turns out, the idea of an "invisible audience" is considered a psychological stage of development that adolescents go through, which accounts for their extreme anxiety over little pimples and the phenomenon of their changing clothes five times before going to a social event: they believe that everyone is as preoccupied with them as they are with themselves.
At first, I was admittedly troubled by the fact that I am 33 years old and still imagine an audience for my thoughts. Surely this indicates some psychological problem or lack of maturity on my part. But the more I read, the more I realized that I do not have the same type of imaginary audience that psychologists talk about when they analyze adolescents. I don't think people are preoccupied with me or spend much time at all thinking about me-- at least, not most people. I would be surprised if they noticed me at all.
My imaginary audience is not constantly looking on with a critical or admiring eye. Rather, I am always formulating my thoughts for the purpose of writing, whether it be a journal entry, Facebook post, blog post or poem. How can anyone write without an audience, real or imaginary? At this point, I haven't even publicized the fact that this blog exists to my friends. They are not the audience. Humanity is. The humanity whose pulse I imagine running through my veins, the universal lot of us, who all live and think and feel in this slice of time. I don't believe I have any really unique experiences; I simply take the time to formulate things that others experience but may leave unsaid, unpackaged. I want to write it down for all of us, for the sake of common awareness, shared experience or at best, deeper living.