I really should have called this "blogging without privacy". When I started this whole blogging thing, I really didn't think through all the repercussions. I just thought it sounded like a fun thing to do. And it is. I'm loving it! I really didn't expect to have anyone pay any attention to my blog, except my sister and her friend, who were starting blogs of their own. Then I told the rest of my family, thinking they would like to hear what is going on with us, since we live so far away. The surprise is all the friends that I have made out in the bloggy world that I didn't know before. It's not just family, but people whom I have never met that are reading!
Then last week, my son introduced my blog to his friends at school. They needed a picture of him for a project they were working on, and my son knew where to find one: on my blog. So, a couple of his friends came to my blog for a visit and did a little perusing. I wasn't sure what to think of this. When I blog, I try to take into account who may be reading. I never dreamed my "audience" would include the neighborhood teens. Not that I expect to have any teen regular readers other than my son. This is definitely not a private diary!
I must say, I haven't made it known locally that I have a blog. Other than a couple neighborhood teens and a couple friends, no one knows outside my immediate family. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't want to explain something that may seem geeky to anyone who has yet to discover the wonders of blogging. Maybe because I'm not sure I want the real world to know as much about me as I am willing to let the virtual world know. Maybe it is because I don't want people I know to know so much more about me than I do them. How weird is that?
I have always tried to write as though anyone I was writing about might possibly read what I have to say. Which is a rule I probably ought to better apply in my real speech, and not just the virtual.
Even though I did start this impulsively, I did think hard about safety. I have decided not to say where I live, or my or my husband's names. Nettie, for those who've wondered, is not my real name. I'm also hesitant to include any photos that would make it possible for someone to identify our home or my children's school. I did choose to call my children by their real names, because I'm partly doing this as a record of family history. It would be nice if there were official guidelines for how to do this, wouldn't it?
I blog publicly. I suppose the only audience I should keep in mind is possibly anyone with an internet connection. That will limit what I share. Not that I ever really had an urge to write about the intimate details of my life. I kept a journal as a kid. And I remember my Dad saying once, "You shouldn't write anything you don't want anyone someday reading." That advice probably holds especially true for my blog.
Maybe this will make me feel distant to those who read here. I won't be sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings. I won't be venting. You will have to trust me when I say that I find being a woman and mother in today's world as challenging as you do. No details. Sorry. The irony is I tell myself I am partly doing this to express myself. I guess it is just my public self I am expressing after all.
So, who knows you blog? Does your husband read it? Do your kids? Do the neighborhood teens? Do you feel that you restrict what you might say, knowing who might read? What guidelines or rules do you follow to protect your families safety and privacy? If you were to start over, what would you do differently? Yep, I'm being nosy again! But, mostly because, in some ways, I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out for myself.