When I started writing about pregnancy/baby stuff, I wished that I could share it with more people, or that more people would see it. Shameless, aren't I. But hey, what blogger doesn't want an audience? Isn't that the main purpose of blogging? But I didn't want to share out this blog--there are years of stories and posts that I didn't want everyone in my life to read. On facebook I'm friends with former teaching colleagues as well as former students. Plus any posts about family...I don't want them to actually read it.
It's funny--when I was first 'writing' online, back in the geocities days, I had a link in my email signature. I was so excited when my pageviews reached 600! But after switching to blogger in 2004 and then teaching for a couple years, I guarded this blog as my secret outlet. I'm sure I'm not the first one to note how much easier it is to write honestly for an anonymous audience than knowing that people you know are reading it. It makes you consider what you can or cannot or should and should not write. Which partially defeats the purpose of blogging, or at least my stream-of-consciousness/thoughts-in-my-head form of blogging.
Anyway, so I made that whole new blog, and then I shared it on facebook. And sure enough, there was my audience! Lots of pageviews and comments. Which of course I love.
But then...most everyone I know is or can read it. People I know really well, family members, people I haven't seen in over a decade--all of them.
And that's cool for posts about stupid name trends or picture updates. But of course I've written some really introspective things there too, heartfelt shit.
Which I like writing and recording, until I see and remember that everyone can read it. It oddly feels like a slap in the face--in the wake-up call sense, not in the offensive sense. Oh right--I'm putting some of my innermost thoughts On the Internet Where People Can See Them. I still tend to have the idea that I'm pouring my thoughts out into the anonymous abyss. Real-life comments about my blog bring that crashing back to reality. So I find myself censoring not just post ideas, but even some post content. I find myself thinking, "Do I want everyone to know this? Should I really include this part? Will so-and-so see this and get offended? Is this more information than I want so-and-so to have or know?"
But hey, I wanted an audience. I wanted pageviews and comments and yeah, some validation. Sure enough, I've gotten that. At what cost?