Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A belated Merry Christmas

I've been neglecting my blog big time. I didn't even come on here to write a 'Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays" post at the appropriate time. So let me just say, now- Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to everyone who happens to stumble across this page, for whatever reason.

I feel like I've had a good enough reason to for my benign neglect. I've been enjoying being at home in VA with my family, celebrating the holidays. I've been doing some very welcomed lazing about, had some very entertaining reunions with high school friends, and opened a whole bunch of presents. Oh, and of course I have been soaking up every second of time possible with my nephew. I thought it seemed kind of silly to be buying so many gifts for Landon and making such a big deal of his Christmas- after all, at 5 months old, there's no way he'll remember any of it! But I've actually been amazed at the inklings of greater comprehension I have been seeing in him, and the great enjoyment he's been displaying in many of his gifts. His development, even day to day, is just unbelievable. I know this does not come as news to anyone who has kids of their own, but for me the past five months of watching his growth have been awe-inspiring.

It's not all been fun and games- there's been some family drama here today that has been very hard on my family. I'm not going to elaborate any further as it's not my issues to share in the very public setting of the blogosphere.

The issue of blogging boundaries, in fact, is one that I've been thinking about a lot of late. Some of the blogs that I really enjoy reading lay it all on the line- and it's a guilty pleasure to read all the intimate details of another person's life, the workings of their mind, and the relationships they share. I often find myself wondering, however, where the line of appropriateness lies. It's tempting to use my blog as an outlet to vent my anger at people who hurt my loved ones or piss me off; to unload petty annoyances that are an unavoidable fact in marriage and friendship; or to make snarky comments about acquaintances that do unthinkable things. Always, however, I'm stopped by the thought of what it really means to be posting on my blog: this is publicly available to ANYONE with an internet connection. It's not anywhere close to anonymous. And I have associated my professional identity with this blog, so the way I represent myself here is, in a very real way, connected to my business persona.

When I'm reading and revelling in the juiciest of blog posts, a part of my brain stands back, wondering if the poster has considered the potential repercussions of their words made public, or if they've considered outlets through which their words could reach the person they reference. I've read posts, written by people that I don't know at all, that detail dates, fights, sexual activity, mental breakdowns, drug usage, binge drinking- you name it. I know that everyone has their own reasons for blogging, and some people actually want to promote a persona that is edgy, or controversial, or whatever random adjective they aim for. Don't get me wrong- I don't judge- it just makes me think, long and hard, about what I would call (for lack of a better term) the ethics of blog disclosure. Where is the line that delineates the appropriate from the not-so-appropriate? How much can you reveal about events which involve other people before you start impeding on their right to privacy? How do bloggers handle it when they post about an interaction with one person, and that person ends up reading the post and feels that it was a violation of trust?

I'd be interested in hearing other people's opinions on this matter. I have lots more questions and thoughts but this post has already gotten pretty lengthy. In other matters, I have some interesting news to share, but I'll be holding off for a while till it's a done deal- so stay tuned!


annie said...

First of all, please please please send me links to these blogs!

Second, you're totally right. Bloggers need to decide what they're comfortable with sharing. Me, I feel comfortable sharing recipes and discussing political/religious opinions/events. Occasionally, I post about my cats. But I don't post about fights with real people, my job, sex, etc. I think it's fine to be yourself in your blog, but it starts to cross a line when you're sharing every single aspect about yourself (and other people). Really, if you want to lay your personal life on down, go for it. It's the dragging other people in that isn't so great.

Also, sorry about any drama you've experienced!

JR Moreau said...

Geez, how appropriate. I had a particularly nagging personal issue that I decided to blog about yesterday. I know concerned parties read my blog, so it's my snide way of letting them have a piece of my mind.

More often than not, I keep personal stuff within my friends and family, but other times I feel the issues I'm dealing with could bring a sense of comfort or comradeship to people who are also having a tough go of it.

Generally, I prefer not to read people's posts if they just whine all the time. I'm a purposeful reader and commenter. But, every once in a while, I think it's cool to post your humanity and vent a little. It's all about how comfortable you are and what your audience is interested in.

Jessica Lawlor said...

It is a touchy subject, but I do think there is a time and place for intimate details.

For instance, I have a personal and anonymous blog that I write about my life and the details of it in. I write about things that I wouldn't necessarily want my mom or employer reading, but that's why it's anonymous. I do it for me, and to get my feelings out there. It makes me feel better to write about a situation, and I'm sure many writers agree.

However, on my public relations blog you will not see mention of drinking or relationships. We stick to the topics of current events and PR. It's a professional blog that I would encourage anyone to view.

I figure that as long as I'm not using real names, I'm not hurting any of my friends or family.

Happy New Years!