Friday, January 18, 2013

careful what I wish for

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?


Anonymous said...

At the cost of...being known by people? I guess the risk is being known and then rejected, but most people who matter will respond to the honesty with acceptance at the least and EVEN MORE INVESTMENT at the best.

Of course, yes, you are also letting idiots with the internet and opinions speak their mind, and yes, there are more of them out there than I'd care to acknowledge, but remind yourself that Haters Gonna Hate and move on.

Hi. I like you. Even when you share heartfelt shit.

Jules said...

<3 thanks :). To be clear, the audience/reception has been definitely positive--so far! It's just strange to have people that I may not know well know so much about me, you know? Like an inappropriate imbalance, in a way. And I'm sure I will offend someone soon enough! It definitely happened once or twice on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I try to keep my blog separate from my other social media sites. I do post my twitter feed on the blog, but I don't post much about the blog on twitter. My flickr posts show up on the blog but neither generates much traffic for the other. Funny how that works. But, I'm not doing any of this for lots of views. I just enjoy writing and taking pictures. Hopefully, I have a few people who like to see what I do.

Jules said...

Oh god yes, I never link to this one anymore! It's not connected to any other site, at least not that I know of. That's great that you write/photograph for yourself. Definitely the most important motivator. :)
I did forget to say that all the baby photos/info and stuff I do want people (relatives) to see and I know they're desperate to see it. So I guess I need to balance those kinds of posts with more emotional ones.