Awhile back I asked for some feedback regarding The Beast We Call Blogging. I also promised to share my feedback, after I let my thoughts formulate.
I would still love to hear your thoughts on the topic, if you’re so inclined! Blogging, and the opinion of such an act, is quite the study in human nature!
What role does blogging play in your life?
Wow. This has changed so drastically over the course of my blogging “career.” But now? Blogging is my means of capturing my thoughts, emotions and story. It is the voice that will remain, long after I am gone.
Blogging is my legacy, my community and the scrapbook of my children’s lives. Essentially, I am writing a very long novel to keep me company in my last year’s of life.
What does blogging say about you, your sense of judgement and the choices you make?
The choice to blog is the choice to let your life be on display for the world to see. That choice comes with the responsibility to be honest, respectful and appropriate.
Is this type of transparency in poor judgement? I think it can be. As little as I hold back, there is a great deal I keep off the internet. Ash and I argue and fight. There are portions of our life we choose not to share with the world.
I have learned to share my stories and views without invading the rights and privacy of others, but that was a lesson learned over many, many years. I respect her feelings on where the line is drawn. I respect my children and am always aware of the trail I am leaving behind for them, their friends, their friends parents, future employees and potential spouses to discover.
Blogging is a constant study in judgement. What you do and don’t post, how it will affect those closest to you and how the decision to live so publicly reflects on you.
But when it comes down to it? I own my mistakes of the past. There’s nothing here I am ashamed of. I have taken the power away from others to hurt me by facing my missteps, taking accountability and owning up to my screw ups. In the course of that process, I have become someone I am much more comfortable being.
I have made mistakes in life and in blogging, but I own them.
Do you share too much?
I think I do, at times. The line between transparency and privacy is a thin and veiled line. When I do, I rewrite, I remove and I rethink.
Are you what others would refer to as “inappropriate?”
At a point, yes. I was immature, attention seeking, narcissistic and an exhibitionist.
Some people think blogging in any manner, form or act, is inappropriate. I think I have found a good balance of appropriateness without losing what I want to capture.
I respect the varying opinions on bloggers and my personal choice to blog. Ironically, those who have criticised and condemned me the hardest are among my most frequent readers.
Do you exploit your children, your relationship or your life? Are there bloggers who do?
Oh, I hope not. I think I am respectful of their privacy, especially the older they get. I am careful about what photos I post of them and this is an ever present question in my mind.
I do believe there are parents who exploit their children, share way too much of their lives online and cross the line on a daily basis. I literally cringe reading how some parents refer to their children or share deeply personal information about them.
There is a reason mommy bloggers get such a bad rap and those parents are why.
Are you concerned your choice to blog could affect your personal relationships, your employment or another aspect of your life?
Concerned? Yes. Enough to step away from blogging completely? No.
Ash doesn’t understand why I keep my archives. She sees it as holding onto a part of my life that is done and over with. I see it as the path which led me to where I am now. I mean, how many of us can look back at our mistakes and poor judgment written out in black and white? My written past is tangible proof of who I was, how far I have come and the mistakes I turned into lessons.
I have lost jobs because of my blog, but they didn’t have to do with anything inappropriate I wrote. It had to do with being gay. I don’t disclose my sexuality to a family unless I am directly asked. My personal life has nothing to do with my professional life. I don’t bring my wife to work with me, unless my employers know her and are comfortable with her.
I never write about a child or family unless it is in a very vague and positive manner. I never post photos of anyone else’s children.
I respect I may not be one family’s cup of tea. Choosing a child care provider is a huge decision and fiercely personal. Being gay doesn’t affect my ability to provide childcare.
If a family chooses not to hire (or to fire) me based on the content here, that is well within their right. I take no offense to such a decision. And if it is “the gay thing” they have a problem with, they aren’t a family I want my children exposed to on a frequent basis. But again, my sexuality had nothing to do with my ability to provided childcare. I am not going to discuss homosexuality, my personal life our anything else of such a nature with anyone’s children. I am their caregiver, not their parent.
What is your goal in blogging? What is your purpose?
I don’t really think I have one, outside of personal journaling, the awesome community I am a part of and my own enjoyment. At one point, I wanted to make it big. I wanted free trips, amazing sponsors and an incredibly high readership. But that accomplishment comes with huge price tags I don’t think I am willing to accept.
I don’t want to be torn apart and have every word I write under a microscope. I don’t want to become a public commercial. I don’t want to give up the freedom of what I write, when I write it or how I feel about it.
I do, occasionally, post content for pay or points. Those posts are few and far between, but they buy me a cup of coffee or two throughout the year. Yes, that’s it. I also turn down quite a few opportunities because they aren’t a good fit for me or this blog.
How do these questions apply to the blogging community at large?
I think every blogger, especially those with children, need to keep their objective in the front part of their mind. I think they need to consider how their content will affect their children and those closest to them. I think they need to keep it real and honest. I think they need to be hyper aware of the legacy they are leaving behind them.
There are detectives out there who will find your shit out. They will call you on your lies and they will uncover your deepest darkest secrets.
Nothing put on the internet can be erased. Once it is out there, it is out there.
I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with blogging, but I think you have to be cautious, intelligent and truthful. Always.
And if all else fails? Just stick some candy between your toes!