Privacy and Blogging

My Dad sent me this link to an interesting article about privacy and blogging.
I’ve been pondering about privacy and blogs for a while now. It’s tempting to be exhibitionistic – blogging about persional matters gets one attention and feedback like nothing else. But airing one’s dirty laundry in public is frequently proven to be a Bad Idea. It’s easy to unnerve potential dates, anger or alienate friends and family, and so on. You can always blog anonymously, but you can never be 100% sure that you won’t be found out. Blogging under your real name makes everything you put in your blog reflect on you, especially in this age of Googling potential employees or dates.
This domain is also my business domain, so potential employers could easily find my blog. My students sometimes read my blog. My family and friends read my blog. So I don’t post stuff here that I regard as personal or potentially none of someone’s business.
I regard my blog as my personal soapbox – the place I write things I would otherwise be mass-forwarding to my friends’ inboxes. It’s not a place for me to share girl-talk, gossip, or stories about my private life. That’s what my journal is for. That’s what hanging out over coffee is for. Sure, sometimes I’m really, really tempted to blog personal stuff, but I do my best to resist that impulse. Is it self-censorship? Sure! But then, thoughtful people self-censor all the time. It’s what keeps us from blurting things out that might hurt people’s feelings or embarass them (or us!). It’s what keeps us civilized and polite and able to get along in this overcrowded world.

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3 Responses to Privacy and Blogging

  1. Rich says:

    There are lots of things that I keep away from my blog. Most of them are things about work and personal relationships. I also hold some of those things away from friends also. I know that I am not totally an open book. I think that is a sign of a healthy life.

  2. fling93 says:

    Yeah, I’ve generally kept all my personal schtuff away from the blog to make room for all my political schtuff. Only recently did I think to use my LiveJournal for the personal schtuff to keep it all separate (as I think they would have very different audiences). I think it’s ideal for journaling as it has three layers of privacy available (public, friends, private).

  3. sarah says:

    One of the things I like about my journal is that I can post publicly or to select people. Now I’m a bit of an exhibitionist, so I don’t sensor much, but knowing I can is important.