Dominique Browning's article, Burning Your Diaries, reflects on her long history of dairy keeping. She says her soul was kept in the diaries, and was afraid of anyone else might read it and see her weakness. So, she burned and destroyed them, and with them her pain and anger were destroyed as well. I, too, rid myself of my old diaries, but not in the same romantic, cleansing way Dominique Browning did. I just threw mine away. Or, in the case of my middle school LiveJournal, pressed delete. I didn't care about them anymore. I don't regret it. I kept diaries my whole childhood and young adulthood, but at a certain point I decided that they were pointless. I couldn't answer the question "Who are these for?" Were they for me? I didn't want them, they weren't helping me, in fact, they just made me embarrassed of myself. Were they for anyone else? Absolutely not. They were for nothing, so I threw them away. Maybe I recycled them. I can't remember.
Something interesting about Browning's article that caught my eye was that she considered diaries to be "irresistible" - to write and to read other peoples! Not only do I think that is really rude on her part, to want the privacy of her own dairies to be respected while she snoops in others, but I completely disagree. Not only can I resist diaries, I find them repulsive. They repel me. I find them difficult to do and to read. I am also uninterested in reading the dairies of others. Why do I need to know what other people are thinking? I am definitely not interested in the secret thoughts of others. When those thoughts concern me, then they won't be a secret to me because that person will tell me. That is why I don't care about blogs. I don't care what people are thinking or doing day to day or ever.
So, in sum, burn the diaries. But not because its some romanticized release thing. Do it because they don't matter. They are just words and paper.