Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Who really knows you?

When I started this blog I used it as a way to keep family updated about Elle and Joseph. I still use it to talk about my kids most of the time but sometimes I use it to vent my frustrations, to (try to be) funny, to get out into words whatever is on my mind. So now I've run into a bit of a situation.

You see, a lot of people from my real life know about and read this blog. And most of the time that's ok. I have been finding though that more and more often lately I'm feeling inhibited with what I write and share. Sometimes I don't say things that I want to because I'm worried about hurting some one's feelings. Sometimes I don't write what I want to because I don't want people to feel like I don't respect their privacy.

For example: There are some issues from my childhood/teenage years that I would like to explore further but I don't feel like I can do that here. Not because my parents read this blog, but because so many other people in my life do. There's probably nothing that I would want to discuss here that I haven't already talked about with my parents but it doesn't feel right throwing it all out there knowing that my MIL or one of Jesse's friends or my brother's ex might read it all.

A couple of people have suggested that I start a new blog. I don't know if I'm crazy about that idea. For the most part I like this little blog. I like the small readership I've built up. I feel like I have a little community and I don't want to lose that.

I don't know. Maybe knowing that my family and friends are reading this is good for me. Maybe it kind of acts as a self-edit function. Instead of thinking "Ha! What a great story about my vagina! I'm going to go share that with the entire Internet!" I think "Ha! What a great story about my vagina! I'm going to share that with ..... Crap. My dad will probably read that. I guess I better not." Since I have a natural tendency to over share, perhaps it's a good thing that I have this kind of blocker on my blog?

I'm curious what other people think about this. Do people in your real life know about your blog? Why did you tell them about it? Do you ever regret it? Why did you not tell people about it? Do you just post whatever the heck you want without worrying who's going to read it?


nell said...

This a tough one for me. As my readership has grown, both in terms of virtual friends and people in my real life, I've had to consider the impact of posts on the people I care about. Mots of the time it's not a huge issue, although recently my parents told a friend of their about my blog - an elderly, Catholic friend - and so I've been conscious of the issue again lately.

If you want to, you are more than welcome to come post stuff over on my blog. I know it's not the same, but still, the more the merrier! (And of course, since this is me, the darker the better.)

StickyKeys Says: said...

Get a livejournal! Heh, I'm only slightly kidding. I love filters specifically for the privacy reasons. I have a guys only filter, a girls only filter, one for homies, one for people that I know in real life, etc. And if I have something I really want to vent that I don't want people to know I venture into one of the communities and share it there.

One thing I've always disliked about blogger is the lack of a community feel. You can't "friend" anyone and you can't really filter your posts.

Self edits are nice, but they can also be limiting as you know. If you can't tell internet strangers for free then who can you tell?

CamiKaos said...

When I started my blog it was really to vent and to write. Not to update people in my life about K. A few of my friends new about it and eventually I told my brother, his girlfriend, a bunch more friends, my parents, cousins. At this point even my grandmother knows about my blog. As does my favorite bar tender and friends from high school.

And I still say pretty much whatever I want. I don't say anything that would hurt someone, but I talk about whatever I want to and figure that people can stop reading if it makes them uncomfortable. I've always been really open with my family though and they know me well.

There are a few things I won't talk about, but I figure if I am afraid someone would read it, it's probably something that should be dealt with personally within my family and not screamed about from the rafters.

I've had to sit and consider quite a few things though.

Good post by the way.

Sophie Treadmill said...

Some of my real life friends know about my blog and some don't. The main reason for that in my case is that I want to be able to gripe about my day without censoring myself. If someone from the dept were to read my blog and I'm griping about something work-related, I really don't want to have to justify myself. What's the point of having a blog to get my feelings out if I have to censor or justify?

If I want to talk about my day I want to do so in an unexpurgated manner and having that freedom is what's most important to me. I guess what you have to ask yourself is what is the purpose of your blog? Has that purpose evolved into something different from its original premise? I can see the need for two blogs because it's nice to have a place where you don't have to censor yourself. I was thinking about setting up another blog to contemplate heavier stuff, but I decided if my online friends don't like it or think it's too self-indulgent, that's too bad. But there is a reason I don't let everyone know about my blog, so I understand the impetus to create another one.

Sophie Treadmill said...

OH! I forgot, I called you the other day, but I don't know if you got the message or not.

Anonymous said...

I had a bog, that my family knew about...It lasted for a year..then I needed to get 'dirty' with reality and I closed up that blog and started the one I have now...They do NOT know about it and never will...I needed to get some crap off my chest for total strangers to read...not family!!!!

My blog friends are way more understanding.

Jennifer said...

Everyone knows about mine. I have it in my e-mail signature line. I don't edit what I say though as I do always try to be up beat anyways, I do change names on occasion though especially kids names. I make them different and a lot of time even different sex if that doesn't matter for the story.

Ferdinand the Duck said...

No one in my real life knows about my blog, and I'm still extremely apprehensive about what I post. Basically, no ranting about friends/family/coworkers, and no real job talk at all. Which is why I've only been posting about my apartment lately. I have plenty of friend/job drama, but nothing I would feel good about splashing all over the internet. Not that I haven't written a million unposted entries on that stuff.
My intention was to use my blog to post funny little stories about my life and pop culture stuff, or whatever. Basically somewhere for me to write, since I don't write anything other than press releases anymore. I never intended to use it as more than that. Like I said, I've been sorely tempted to get into other areas in my life, but I'm trying to stick to my original plan.

Krista said...

In some ways I have the same problem. Blog started to keep far away family in the loop of our life - especially now with a baby.
But then I discovered this online community... and I want to post things that they make me think of... but I'm sort of self-edited because I don't want to offend anyone - like my sister-in-law that I was not getting along with...
The issues...