Let’s Get Personal

…Or not!

Confidential Buncee

Like many of my fellow bloggers out there, I take most of my inspiration from real-life situations.  Conversations had with friends or family members, experiences in relationships, the inner workings of my own brain – you name it, and I consider it fair game.  For the most part.

However, when you’re sharing things with anyone, let alone the entire internet, there are times when you need to be picky about how much you share.  For example, most people don’t use the names of their loved ones in their blogs, opting instead to call them by nicknames.  Many people choose not to even share photographs of family members or friends – and those that do always ask permission first.  Basic things of that nature – sharing etiquette, if you will.

All of that comes pretty naturally to me, as I’m pretty protective of my own privacy and would never want to compromise someone else’s.  However, I do find that I have trouble sometimes, distinguishing how much is too much when it comes to sharing thoughts and experiences.  Part of how I work through things is through discussion, and through writing.  Blogging is the perfect combination of that, and ever since my first post I’ve turned most of my difficult experiences into words.

At times, however, I’ve felt like I’ve had to censor myself, and not write the way I would like to, or say certain things I would like to, for fear of over-sharing and compromising the comfort and trust of the people I care about.

Writers, and especially now, bloggers, are all too familiar with standing in these gray areas, and this is a fine line we walk daily.  And I’m sure that I’m not the only one who worries or holds back on occasion.

Personally, I’ve often found my balance through communication – when I have questions about a post, I tend to run it by a second set of eyes to get another opinion. Other times, I’ll write posts at the time the inspiration hits, and then hit the “save draft” button instead of “publish.”  Nothing gives you a new perspective like distance. And occasionally, sitting on a piece of writing and then coming back to it later will give you an even better idea of what you really want to say, or clearer idea of how something will come across to others.  But I still find myself a little unsure, often leaving those posts as drafts – never returning to them at all.

So here’s my question for you all – How do you all find the balance between sharing enough, and sharing too much?  How do your friends and family respond on the occasions that they’re mentioned in your posts?


9 thoughts on “Let’s Get Personal

  1. My mom loves when I share family stories but they’re mostly fond memories and none of them are ‘airing any dirty laundry’ so to speak. :) There are stories that I think have been very meaningful to me that I do not share, even with a nickname, because they are very private to someone else, i.e., past relationships… It’s funny because these are the stories I want to share the most, they would practically write themselves in minutes.

  2. It’s a fine line isn’t it! To some extent I think self-censorship is a necessary evil in the blogworld, especially if family and friends are reading your blog. My mother, for instance, was so critical of any of my posts that were dark or negative that I have had to ask her to unsubscribe! I am also very caredul with names and photos of family and ask permission first. Still on a bloglearning curve!

  3. If I do a Google search of someone I’m going to mention in a post or article… and they are all over the place, pictures and all… why should I hold back..they are already out there and can hardly be critical of my mentioning them… however if they’re well hidden then I will respect that and nickname them or the like… but people forget Google has a way of finding them, even if they appear in discussion groups they think are hidden to the public…

  4. I don’t like it, but if someone wanted too, they could find out a lot about me by just doing a google search, so I try not to worry about revealing things that are already available. I have written a couple of posts on my personal blog that I later went back and deleted. Not because they were bad, but because they were a little more negitive then I wanted for my blog. I figure if people want negitivity, they could just watch the news.

  5. I like your post. Great topic, Andrea!

    One rule I’ve created for myself is that I can make fun of myself all I want, but I attempt not to make fun of others unless they are ok with it or are not specifically pointed out as being the person in the post. I try to compliment others and and make fun of myself. After all, they aren’t here to defend themselves and it just feels mean to me. But that’s just me. As for making fun of myself, I find that it is another way to reach out to others, to be vulnerale, and truthful. I can be a real idiot sometimes. I want readers to know nearly all there is to know about me so that if they still want to keep reading what I write, I’ll know that it isn’t because I’ve only showed the positive aspects of myself. If I held back from readers, I’d feel as though I was living a lie.


  6. I really like this point you made about putting experiences into words – “and ever since my first post I’ve turned most of my difficult experiences into words.” It’s challenging to figure out how much is too much. I try to check in with my intentions as I am writing. I figure that if my intentions are good then I am probably on the right track.

    • Checking in with your intentions is a great way to gauge things, I hadn’t really thought of that before, oddly enough. But you’re right, I generally feel better about posting things when my intentions are coming from a good place, rather than just a need to “vent”. Those more negative posts usually get sidelined for good! Awesome advice, thanks for the comment!

      • That too, is a great way of doing things! I’ve often found that sometimes once I really vent and get things out, I don’t even really feel the need to share/post – sometimes venting is all you need.

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