Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sharing My Life on the Internet

The second part of the question I answered yesterday was this: Do you ever have hesitations about things you share on the blog? Here's the answer:

Yes. Of course I do. When you blog regularly, you have to decide where to draw the line between what goes on the Internet and what doesn't. Obviously, there are things that I share with my close family and friends that I would never post on the blog for everyone to see. For the most part, I try to be pretty open on Spirals & Spatulas because I think it's the personal posts that are the most interesting. I think I write better when there's some emotion behind my words. But, I do carefully evaluate everything I post.

Whenever I write anything that's personal in nature, I save it as a draft and then re-open it a few days later and read it again. Sometimes I decide I don't want a post to be published after all and I end up deleting it. Sometimes I decide to go ahead and publish it. Sometimes I decide to edit it a bit and then hit Publish. It just depends. 

A few posts immediately came to mind when I first read this question. The biggest one was my post on Jeff's Confirmation story. That post felt really emotional to me, but it was really Jeff's story to tell, not mine. I usually try not to post a bunch of stuff about Jeff  because it's not his blog. He's not the one that decided to share his life with the Internet, and he shouldn't have to just because I have a blog. But, I felt like that post could be really helpful to anyone in a similar situation, and I so badly wanted to document my memories from that time. So I told Jeff he had total veto power and asked him to read it and let me know what he thought. He ended up asking me to edit a couple things, and then he said to post it! I honestly thought he might just say no, don't put that on the Internet, and that would've been totally fine with me, but I'm really glad it did end up as a real post. 

Every now and then I write kind of lovey-dovey stuff about Jeff that I feel a little embarrassed to post, but because I use the blog to document our life, and because I want to remember how it felt to be a newlywed, I end up sharing posts like "What Life with a Husband is Like" and "On Houses, Husbands, and Happy Faces." There's nothing wrong with people knowing that I like my husband a whole lot. :)

Another one was more recent... you know that post where I was brutally honest about how tough law school can be? That was really hard for me to write. It's hard to admit that your life isn't perfect. It shouldn't be so hard (because no one's life is perfect!), but it is. I almost didn't publish that post, but I'm so glad I did. I think a lot of people were able to relate to it (not just law students, but anyone who happens to be working through something hard to get somewhere better), and I was proud of myself for being honest and letting myself admit that law school is really, really hard sometimes.

I definitely have limits though. I obviously don't write a blog post about it every time Jeff and I have a little argument or every time I have a bad day. I don't disclose my grades on the blog (because it's likely I have classmates reading), and I've already told Jeff that when the time comes to start having kids, I will NOT be informing anyone via the blog that we're trying for a baby! Haha. I don't share how much money we have or what we paid for our house or how much I weigh or any of those things that you wouldn't tell people in real life.

Of course, there are also the personal safety concerns. I don't share our last name on the blog (and I blur it out in pictures), and I blur out our house address and license plates in any pictures that have our house or cars in them. I don't ever say the name of the company Jeff works for, and I won't be sharing the name of the law firm I'll be working for soon. It's all probably unnecessary, but you can never be too careful, right?

It's an interesting balance, I think. I've recently seen some wonderful things come out of bloggers sharing parts of their personal lives... one blogger I follow has written recently about her struggles with her husband's upcoming military deployment, and another has written a bit about her recent miscarriage. Both of them have received so many encouraging, kind comments, and they have so many people praying for them. Sure, those kind commenters may not be "real friends," but they are sending up their prayers, and that's worth a lot! The Internet can definitely be used in amazing ways.

I'd love to get some other bloggers' thoughts on this! How do y'all decide what does and doesn't get posted on your blog?


  1. i definitely agree with things you try to avoid (money, address, jobs, etc). i also try to never, ever say something mean (or that could be taken the wrong way) about anyone who does or could possibly read my blog. especially my husband. i would never complain about him on the internet, unless i'm obviously trying to be funny. sometimes i feel like my blog seems unrealistically happy for those reasons but i absolutely wouldn't have it any other way.

    the most personal thing i've ever published is a post about NFP. i know some people definitely considered it too personal, but i really thought it was important to explain why we do what we do (and most importantly to share that it actually works, one of the biggest misconceptions about nfp) because it's a teaching of the church that doesn't come up very often. well, except for right now, ha ha!

  2. Great post. There's a lot of personal stuff I don't post on the blog, but I think I should start. You're right-- it's my journal, and I want to remember this stuff.

    I don't write about work (except in rare cases and vague generalities). And I never give identifying details either-- name, locations, etc.

  3. Because I'm completely crazy/paranoid I try not to post stuff about our home. I'm always worried someone will figure out where we live. I am nuts! Ha.