Monday, November 02, 2009

If a tree falls in a forest...

Increasingly I have started questioning the wisdom of keeping this as a public blog. There are certain disclosures that I am no longer feeling so comfortable about sharing openly. It has been quite a long time since I have participated in any writing prompts or memes that require me to share links. I don't feel there's much incentive to keep it public.

Lately, when I have felt the need to get something off my chest, I have hesitated before blogging. The feelings/thoughts I want to unload are of a sort that could get me in trouble at work or invite trolls to heap abuse. The truth is, I no longer see my blog as my safe, quasi-anonymous, below the radar space. I even worry about perverts grabbing family pictures for seedy purposes. Perhaps I am being neurotic now. Perhaps I was way overconfident in the past about the lack of buzz keeping me relatively safe.

Despite my recent neglect, I have a lot of affection for this blog and what it represents. And I would benefit from a place where I can go back to speaking my mind freely when I need it, without worrying about the consequences. Thus, I am seriously considering making my blog private/by invitation only in the future. If you are one of my online or offline friends and you want to keep on reading, please leave a comment or send me a message and I will grant you access when I make the blog private.


  1. I always read, Ingrid! And I'd love to continue. :)

  2. I understand this whole issue very well. As you know, I've done a public blog where I put EVERYTHING out there for the whole world to see and read, then a private blog by subscription only that most readers didn't like because they couldn't get update status on their readers, and I've finally settled on what seems to be just right for me - a public blog under an assumed name with very little identifying information that could damn me or that my family could locate. I don't post pictures there either. You might consider that option. Whatever way you go, I definitely want to be included. Please keep me informed! I agree that when you begin to feel like you can't really say much on your blog it limits the creativity and the therapy aspects which make it so appealing in the first place. Whatever you decide, don't give up on writing - it's good for you! Writers must write or they will explode. LOL (PS - If you go private, consider seriously who you include. Sometimes family, coworkers, etc. aren't the best option.)

  3. Ingrid, this is Tonya. I always read to check in on you and the family. But I do understand about your privacy.

  4. Ton, do you want me to give you access? I can use whatever email address you want to give me.

  5. I understand completely about the disclosure aspects of blogging. Sometimes I experience a bit of fall out over things I have written. I often think about going private.

    I would love to keep reading if I can. XX

  6. The Internet/World does have quite a few crazies out there. Most are mild and only want to sell you something or are desperate for attention. I think a lot of people don't quite get the exact nature of a blog or its scope and don't realize that blogging isn't much different than standing on a soapbox in the middle of your town.

    There are different things you tell to different people, different levels of disclosure. This takes time to soak in for people who blog.

    The problem I faced a while back was of audience. What I write tends to span a wide area and because people are different, I didn't think it worked efficiently. So I started over and broke up my one blog into many that covered specific areas and styles.

    Blogger allows you to do that quite easily. You could create a separate anonymous blog for your more private thoughts or you could do as you mention and create a private blog. My concern is your statement about speaking your mind freely "without worrying about consequences."

    There is always consequence.

    Sometimes I think people feel they have to have flat personalities; they have to fit a character type. Of all the people that I've known, once I've gotten past their shell, they all seem to have depth that often doesn't come out. That's one of the great things about blogging; it forces this out and helps people understand who they are.

    I'm not a fan of anonymous blogs because I always feel a person should stand behind what and who they are. It's a bit like pretending to be someone else. And it increases the likelihood of bloggers writing anything that comes to mind rather than what they really think.

    The private blogs seem like an oxymoron. If you need an outlet for private conversation, it is much healthier to work on developing personal physical relationships with people rather than virtual ones. It's easy to call someone you never physically met a friend, but as you state, there's no consequence in that friendship. It isn't the same thing.

    The one thing many bloggers often forget, especially after they've blogged for a while is that you don't have to blog about everything in your life. Blogging should never be a replacement for real contact with people, for real conversation, which is infinitely more fulfilling.

    The power of blogging, aside from marketing, is getting feedback from a multitude of perspectives. The power is getting feedback from people who aren't your friends, so are more free to express themselves.

    Anonymous blogs don't give these people a chance to know who you are so they don't get any or much of a context about where you are coming from.

    Private blogs lose the advantage of perspective and replaces real life friendships for artificial ones. That might offend some onliners who might claim their virtual friendships are deep, but unless you've lived through some life experiences together in-the-flesh, then the best you have is an acquaintance.

    Open blogging requires that the blogger establish some personal rules for how he/she blogs. There are many things that I won't disclose on my blogs. For example I rarely talk about people in my real life. The exceptions are that I'll only refer to "a friend" and will do what I can to obscure any details. I acknowledge I have two boys but I don't disclose personal information about them. I only write about general stuff that pertains to being a parent.

    I talk a lot with real life friends so I don't have any need to blog about quite a few things. And this actually hurts my blogging level. Those people who know me in real life and read my blog tend to get what I disclose and don't disclose. For the most part they respond to me in private.

  7. Yes, please give me access if you would like and my yahoo account. Tonya

  8. I truly struggle with this, Greg. I would rather keep my blog public, but I am concerned about crazies and pervs, as well as extremely judgmental people. So I have scaled back on posting pictures of the girls and sharing the things we are currently doing.

    My second concern is about work. I sometimes wonder what would happen if someone from my company saw some of my postings, especially the older ones that were quite confessional in nature.

    There are things that are considered taboo in American society, even more than where I am from. People here do not talk to friends/coworkers about what they earn, about people who are chronically underpaid by company standards suffering salary cuts while exec pay skyrockets. They hardly talk about slashed benefits and never-ending layoffs. They do not talk about the fact that seniority and years of service are becoming a liability these days. It's not considered polite and legitimate concerns can be seen as a bragging whine when compared with other people's situations. I can only talk about these things with my husband or my mom, and it's not the same to gripe as to reflect and write down one's thoughts.

    Last, I am quite averse to confrontation. For good or bad, in my middle age I have a tendency to keep my opinions to myself. I used to be quite vocal, quite in-your-face in my college years. Nowadays I have no interest in converting people to my point of view, and in a lot of the circles I move in, people do not react well to a socially liberal, fiscally conservative person. When religious people come to my house to proselytize, I don't blurt out "I'm an atheist." Instead, I tell them I don't have time to talk. When some idiot in my Facebook feed says that Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin are great Americans, I roll my eyes, but don't post back. When a casual acquaintance uses the words liberal and socialist as insults when speaking of others, I just keep quiet.

    Maybe I am a chicken, Greg. My life is too damn stressful already to make it worse by arguing with people about their opinions.

  9. Oh, Ingrid, I I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water in my world. And I wonder how on earth I ended up here surrounded by so many people with such radically different views. This is why I've not started my own blog--just a chicken, I am! I've been reading you for a while, but don't know if you consider me an online friend. Whatever you decide to do, I'd love to continue reading.

  10. Hola Bori,

    Lo único seguro es el cambio. No te preocupes por los que con gusto te seguimos. Sobreviviremos. Has lo que sientas, hoy te desahogaste aquí, mañana tal vez escribes un libro, o usas un nickname y escribes novelas de espias o te unes a un club de oratoria. Con el cambio llegan nuevas oportunidades. Nadie merece más stress del que le da su trabajo. Se feliz. Pero si decides seguir apúntame en tu lista.

    Recibe un abrazo Boricua. Por cierto, te comenté que mi hermana vive en Texas?

  11. Gracias, Borincano. ¿Dónde vive tu hermana?

  12. Hola, Ingrid,

    Sea lo que decidas, me gustaría seguir leyéndote. Cuenta con mi apoyo.

    Un abrazo,

    I. Enid

    PD Cómo están el ambiente luego de la masacre en Fort Hood? Qué situación tan lamentable.