Monday, July 23, 2007

What are your blogging boundaries?

What are the limits on the things you will blog about?

This question was asked on Matty's site and I decided to pick up on it.

Over the past ten months, I've experimented with this quite a bit. I've shared parts of my life that were difficult, enough to provide background to give my transition from one way of life to another some context. My lifestyle is unconventional.. and not very many people have ever tried to adopt and assimilate into another culture while living in their culture of origin. But it's more than a social experiment for me. It's my life now. And I like being able to explore it with others, whether or not they have an interest in ever doing something so radical themselves.

I've occasionally blogged about things that were probably best left unsaid, such as personal bumps that have left me feeling insecure or uncertain. I've blogged about some things that are so personal that I really questioned the wisdom of it in retrospect ~ on more than one occasion. In some of these things I've gone too far and recognized it as I sat here behind my computer monitor, feeling as though I was stark naked and vulnerable in front of the entire world.

I am first and foremost interested in ideas. What drives us, what makes us tick, what gives our lives meaning and purpose? What lights our individual fires? I am interested in the personal experiences of others that have been life-changing and growth producing. I am interested in the thoughts of others as they sit in their private garden, uninterrupted by external events and distractions. I am interested in how others express their lives.

My own position is that this is where the beginning of wisdom is shared. It is where we discover commonalities. Finding commonalities among external things such as social markers is not sustaining. Not ultimately.

In thinking about blogging boundaries, I think I've decided (not certain yet) that my boundaries are drawn where I am left feeling too vulnerable, too exposed. My points can be made without that distraction.

What about you? Where do you draw the line on what you'll blog about?



Mad Hatter said...

mmmmm, the longer I blog the more boundaries I seem to have. Back in December and January I was writing about things that were both personally and intellectually raw. Now? Not so much. I'm not entirely sure why I'm in retreat but I think I have felt a little bit of distrust of the medium creeping in. Maybe it has to do with being more leftie than the usually liberal woman blogger and finally realizing that my thoughts and ideas will always provoke more people than they will provide a-ha moments. Most likely though it's because I "spend" myself in so many other ares of my life that I don't want my blogging leaving me feeling spent.

And still... I agree with you about blogging and the exchange of ideas. I think that right now I am trying to figure out a place that is comfortable for me in all of that.

flutter said...

There are three things that you will never see on my personal blog. I allude to them but I will never come out and say them directly. Some of my family reads my blog and they don't know about my birth daughter, and, well my blog would be a shitty way for them to find out.

Julie Pippert said...

Hmm I don't have a solid line down the middle of a page with "Yes, will blog" on one side and "No, won't blog" on the other.

But I do have certain topics I will not discuss, such as my marriage (outside of the usual sorts of stories I might share in a group).

I also don't have a hard and fast question I ask myself.

But I do have a filter.

From debate and boards, I have some experience, though, with comfort levels, so my blogging learning curve isn't that steep.

I haven't ever put up anything I regretted after it was up. I have had some nervousness, such as "oh dear will this flop," or "how will this be received," or "all righty, upper lip stiff here we go."

If I write something too worrisome, I let it sit for a day or two. Sometimes I pass it by my husband. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it doesn't.

I'm not sure how or why, but I seem to have a pretty good idea of my boundaries...although I seem incapable of explaining what they are.

It's worth pondering, and I'm sure it will come to me.

Julie Pippert said...

Mad, I call that the ebb and flow. I do that in blogging and also in corporeal life. Sometimes, I just need a little distance (or however one might like to put it).

It has cost me friends, people who can't understand the 50% introvert side of me. :)

I am there for others, friends who need me. But myself, I might put a good bit of me away.

I'm not sure how to explain it.

TBH, though, I am often (usually) in an A HA! (something I think I've even said more than once in a comment) moment in your blog, and I don't know that I find you too much more left. Not to invalidate how you feel, just saying how it seems on the outside.

I do, however, decidedly understand that spent feeling.

I think you are very, very wise to find a balance that works for you.

Snoskred said...

I don't blog about my sex life - current or past tense. It's just not me. I see a lot of bloggers who do, and it suits them fine.

I have a blog post written about a guy who I almost left my engagement for - I've sat on it for a few weeks and I still can't get up the courage to post it. I don't think it's getting an airing. It's still too personal to me.


jen said...

for the most part i don't blog about my relationship, it's not the right forum for that or, to be honest, something i'd even want to do. it's my space, and in that i try to stay focused on me, and my view, perspective, pain, joy in the world rather than others. sometimes the line blurs, but i am conscious of it.

slouching mom said...

I won't blog about my family of origin. I learned the hard way that even very mild commentary about them is extremely hurtful.

Mary said...


When I started blogging, I viewed it as a personal journal and didn't care if anyone read it or not. I quickly realized that I'm a coward - a real chicken.

I keep my blog light and rarely discuss dark issues or anything that might offend others, i.e. family, friends, co-workers. I have cracked on things at the office but I'm fairly certain no one reads my blog there.

I rant and vent on my blog, usually with humor. I don't care to discuss controversial issues because it's an invitation for an argument.

I'd love to put it all out there sometimes but I won't. That's why I read your blog so I can express myself freely here. :o)

Oh, the things I could say...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I don't blog about my own sex life, past or present.

I have alluded to a stalker I couldn't lose for many years, but the whole story, if it is ever told, will be a book, fictionalized.

I was also raped, but won't blog about it because some of my family members read my blog on occasion.

In the past, I have told stories about my family of origin, but am not sure that I should have. It felt disloyal, even though I told no lies. Some of my experiences with family members will never be related in my blog, but will probably be fictionalized as well, because telling my story may be healing for me, and I deserve that, but I won't hurt others in doing so.

mitzh said...

Though I have blogged quite a few things that made me feel vulnerable, I never talk about my family as much as I supposed to. I respected there privacy just as much as I wanted my privacy to be respected.

QT said...

Chani - I try not to blog about my family in too derogatory of a way. Only one of my sisters knows about my blog. The other just started a blog so we can keep up with the niece & nephew, and I was scared she would click "random blog" in blogger and find me - hence the move.

My relationship, while I do share some things, I try not to go into too much detail, only because I feel like it could be disrespectful.

However, past lovers, slights etc - all are fair game. I try to conceal real names where possible, but they are all a part of me.

Emily said...

Sex with my husband. His mother reads my blog every day.

Magpie said...

No rants about family. No rants about husband. My mother and MIL and sister and SIL, and maybe some others, all read. So nothing that would be hurtful.

Mary-LUE said...

I don't blog about conflict in my marriage, other than an occasional joke about such things as our different ways of communicating about time.

I skirt on the edge of blogging personal painful history. I do some. People involved might read and so it doesn't seem worth the risk of losing relationship for my own personal satisifaction. So, I talk a little bit but without specifics.

I rarely blog politics. I'm in a weird never world politically speaking and I have a difficult time trusting the discussion won't devolve into name calling.

Um... that's all I can think of--for now.

MsLittlePea said...

I won't blog all the complaints or dark parts of my parents since my dad sometimes reads and I don't want to hurt their feelings. Like many, I have a lot of unresolved/probably never will be resolved issues with my parents. Even though nothing I say would be a surprise to them since I have never been one to hide my feelings and opinions from them, I still don't want to rehash the past all the time. And I don't say negative things about my siblings either unless it's something funny they wouldn't mind. I also don't say anything negative about my husband since we've always kept our conversations/fights private. I've never really gone into my political opinions as well but it's not hard to figure out which way I lean.

crazymumma said...

I will not blog in detail about my girls. There are things that i could say that would attract a creepy element. Now if you were sitting with me over a bottle of vino it would be different.

I also do not blog (much or in great detail) about my marriage.

I only JUST posted a photo of myself, but am highly reluctant to post images of full face of my girls.

meno said...

I will join the chorus of those who will not blog about the details of my sex life. I don't blog a whole lot about my husband, except as how it pertains to me. That is his story.

I have a post that i wrote about 9 months ago about being molested as a child, i still can't bring myself to publish it. Maybe some day, maybe not.

KC said...

My parents read my blog. That about sets my blogging boundaries. (often I wish they wouldn't)

I'm also careful about patients and identities.

Christine said...

i'd say i am with julienne in that i don't talk about my husband except in minor, antidotel kind of ways.

and i mostly have a filter rather than hard rules, but i don't talk about family or friends in such a way as would hurt them. they have NO IDEA about my blog, but may someday.

liv said...

Hmmm...I don't usually blog about politics bec. I find my self more impassioned than filled with well researched thoughts. I definitely leave the ex-beast behind and don't like to blog about my kids' illnesses. Mostly I find enough material in my own bizarre experiences to fuel the deal.

ellie bee said...

I try not to blog about anything that may hurt my friends or children, who read my blog. Mainly, I just blog about what I am thinking about at the time. I have been told that I am "MUCH more interesting in real life"--I know that I am probably a boring blogger, but I really am for the most part a fairly simple and content person (finally!) I find that the most "popular" (ie most comments) blogs are frequently about "hot" issues, or unhappiness...I tend to avoid both...

Anonymous said...

I will pretty much write about anything, but when the posts are of a personal nature I delete them after a week or so.

I don't want to have something in the archives that could spring up and bite me someday.