So I was talking to my therapist last week…
…That sounds weird to me, although it’s true..and apparently after six sessions I will be magically cured of all my anxiety, according to my health care provider’s website, so I can only use that sort of lead-in for a few more weeks.
I was talking to my therapist about blogging and privacy, and he asked me, “So why do you blog?”
“Because I have been doing it for over 12 years and it connects me to a community and to friends across the world.”
We were discussing privacy, as I’ve said, and his point was that if I have a concern regarding my internet privacy, why then am I inviting e-stalking by keeping a blog?
It’s not a bad question.
Truth is, I used to be very very public. Returning to a more public platform has not been without its share of stress. And as I’ve been thinking about that, I started considering the ways we blog.
Back in…2005, I think, I moderated a panel discussion at a con about blogging. It was the first time this particular con had addressed the phenomenon known as blogging, and one of the points I made was one I’ve brought up during subsequent discussions.
It sorta goes like this:
- Yay! I have a blog! I can say whatever I want!
- Yay! My friend Sam found my blog!
- Oops. My friend Penelope found my blog, too, and I talked some trash about her last night.
- I’d better go friends-only.
- Oops. Sam shared my posts with Penelope. Screw you guys, I’m deleting my blog.
- HI! I’m back! Did you miss me?
- (Pssst..I created a new blog so people like Penelope and Sam can’t read my posts.)
There is a growth pattern to blogging. Most of us start off a little unsure of ourselves, not entirely sure anyone’s listening. Which is kinda cool, because it gives you the freedom to say whatever you dang well want. And we do that. And right about there is when the Dramamonster makes his appearance.
I think the best of us are out there writing about our lives and our loved ones. Those are certainly the blogs that attract my attention..the ones that share detail about day to day life. But how do you do that in a way that’s respectful of your loved ones?
Well, you can go friends-only/non-public.
You can use aliases, for yourself as well as for others. You can blog anonymously.
You can opt to not talk about the bad stuff.
There’s no ‘wrong’ way to do it. Probably. I mean, I’ve had friends that chose to blog snarkily/mean-spiritedly about their loved ones, and they have an audience, but..I’m not in that audience. Because just as I’m the sort of person that’s likely to burst into tears if people I know love each other are fighting, I’m also not going to enjoy being witness to a relationship that shows a lack of respect for the parties involved.
What I think is more better is to write each blog post with the awareness that you have an audience extending beyond the person you think is reading.
It’s probably your lover..and if you wouldn’t say something in her/his presence, you really shoudn’t be saying it online. Which is, I think, common sense, and is a hella good guideline to follow for any blog you share publically. If you really pay attention, the best bloggers out there are very good about not taking their domestic AUGH!!! out onto their blog and offering them up for public consumption. (I offer as evidence Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C.)
My guideline? People in my life know I have a blog. That means I may blog about them. But I try, very hard, to never say anything that’s too private. I don’t want anyone in my life to punch up my blog, read something, and think oh hell, she’s talking about ME. I’ll even go one step further and not use real names so that a random internet search on Penelope’s given name won’t pull up my blog post about her wild night of drunken debauchery.
When I blog, I’m always thinking about my privacy.
And I’m thinking about the privacy of anyone else I’m discussing, too.
The goal is to keep it drama-free.
Now go be excellent to each other.
The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.
So! The first rule of DFT is – say it with me – “Your Mileage May Vary.” What works for me may not work for you. And that’s ok.
Second rule of DFT: YMMV. 🙂
Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let’s try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don’t agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you’re gonna have something to say that I hadn’t considered. This blogger’s soapbox is only an inch or so high…so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my blog in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)