Monday, August 28, 2006

To Tell or Not Tell

Do you tell all your friends you have a blog or do you just leave it out there for others to find? I’m torn. I have only told one friend about my blog and only because, as I said I’m no computer techie, I needed help with the HTML coding to get my links to work. Well turns out I figured it out all by myself and didn’t need any help. Do I think she will visit daily to see what’s going on in my head? To be honest, I would be surprised. Would I mind? Not at the moment.

Where I struggle is putting personal conversations out there on the web. Writing something that verbally would be okay but when out in the public domain just doesn’t come across that well is my fear. I have seen it on another blog. There is an issue with a friend, the commentators start making all kinds of assumptions based on the little information the writer can give and still maintain their friend’s privacy and then the friend’s feelings get hurt by the commentators remarks and the friend feels the need to defend themselves to, in their mind, “strangers”. It just gets all convoluted.

The appeal of not telling my friends is that I can put a situation out there, receive advice – better, bad or the same – and then decide what I want to do with the information – continue the conversation with my friend, use the information for myself or do nothing. Am I being honest with my friends? Do they care where I get my information or insight? Am I invalidating the privacy bond between friends?

If I tell my friends about my blog, assuming they actually read it, am I willing to accept the consequences of hurt feelings by putting something out in the public domain? While I would never, ever disclose any identities, I have astute friends and they likely would recognize the situation as theirs.

There have been times when I have told friend B about something going on with friend A, gotten advice and then passed it back to friend A. I didn’t ask permission to discuss the issue with anyone else but I did. The chance of these 2 friends meeting each other are pretty slim and even if they did it’s not like whatever the issue was would come up in conversation. However, on a blog, assuming my friends are going to read it, my friends will get to read what others might have to say, it might not be very nice, and they might not like their life so “exposed.” In a verbal conversation, I have a choice of passing along information and there is no “disclosure” that the situation was possibly discussed with another to obtain more direction. On a blog, the situation is out there for anyone to see and the commentator’s makes a remark without regard to feelings and for everyone to see.

So how do you decide?

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Manic Mom said...

DON'T tell your friends. You will ALWAYS second-guess what you are writing. For instance, whenever I write about abortion, I wonder if those who I know have had one think I am talking about them. It's too tough. Keep it in cyberspace.

The only reason mine is kind of public is I made the mistake of making my domain my own real name, but that's just because I want to get a novel published someday so I was using the blog as a way to get my writing out there. But it definitely limits me.

Paperback Writer said...

I've told a select group of my friends. I don't usually write about them anyway. But when I do I make sure to blur the lines significantly.

I have two friends who know about my blog and blog themselves. The rest also know and I'm guessing they check - at least they did the last time I checked the site meter.

Besides, I know I'll always second guess my writing. That's just how I am.