Thoughts on the Privacy of my Blog

My writing is very personal to me, therefore so is this blog. And that is something that poses a very strange dilemma for me. On a certain level, I’d like to have a lot of visitors and followers, but at the same time that is a very scary prospect. Do I really want to open myself up to all of these strangers?

I currently feel safe among my small, rather close-knit blogging community. I don’t have to worry about ridicule and rejection; I know that my blogging buddies will be kind even in disagreement. Can the same be said if my blog were to have much more traffic? I feel if it were, it wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t have the same freedoms, constantly be doubting my words and conscious that so many people were to read it. I don’t feel like I could wholly open myself up.

I can list on one hand the number of people in my every-day life that know of this blog: my best friend, my husband, and another close friend (this is all excluding online friends). That’s it. It is extremely difficult for me to share this personal part of me with my family. I truly love my family, but oh my goodness, I can only imagine the amount of teasing I would receive if my brothers or sister were to find my blog.

There is just something that makes me distinctly uncomfortable knowing that people who are close to me are reading my writing. I don’t have my blog linked to my Facebook or Pinterest, and only have it linked on Twitter because I (don’t use it very often and) purposefully do not follow a lot of people besides bloggers. I would like to create a board on my Pinterest for my blog to get it out there a little more, but I don’t necessarily want all of my Facebook friends to know about it. So, I thought, I’d just make a new account for my blog and post from there, but then that’s a bit of a hassle and inconvenience to have to jump between my personal account and my blog. And it’s silly to not want to promote your blog among your friends, right?

I keep coming back to the purpose of blog. It’s a creative outlet for me to share my stories and my life for others. I got the first part down, I just can’t seem to share this with the people in my life that aren’t online. It’s like I’m read to take that jump, to say “Hey! this is my blog! I am super proud of it!” but just can’t get past having to actually share it with people.

I don’t have anything to hide. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I don’t talk about people and I’m appropriate with my posts. In an ideal world, I would like to stop pretending that my blog doesn’t exist because it is something that I spend a lot of time on and am proud of, but it is so personal to me that I am scared of any teasing or judgement I receive. I want to share, but I want to keep it close to home. It’s the ultimate oxymoron that I’ve been struggling with for the last five years.

My mind is just a jumble of thoughts right now and this really isn’t the most put-together post. I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything and just make a decision.

Help?

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Privacy of my Blog”

  1. I don’t think people should judge you. You’re smart and kind, compared to a lot of people, and you have interesting topics to read about, and not only that, but you return the comments as well. This is your blog after all; if you don’t feel comfortable just yet, then you shouldn’t allow family members to read it. If they stumble upon it and ask, then I would say “Yeah, that’s my blog.” I have linked mine to my Facebook accounts before, but that’s only because I wanted to promote my poems and my stories. Only share your blog when you are absolutely sure of yourself, and when you are comfortable in sharing. If you’re having doubts don’t share it. I hope this helps?

  2. I actually have the same thoughts as you. I both want and don’t want more visitors. I like having more blog friends, but at the same time, getting more exposure can be stressful, even if you’re doing it for fun.

    I hide my blog from people I know offline, even though I don’t write anything that is embarrassing, harmful, or private. Like you, something about it makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t link or post about it on social media either. I had also thought about making a new Twitter account, one just for my websites, but I don’t want to deal with two accounts.

    In the end, I realized I should stick with what’s comfortable to me. Yes, advertising your blog on social media is the current big thing, but that doesn’t mean we all have to follow that! I already have blog friends, and people manage to find my blog without me posting it on social media. If I’m not comfortable advertising my blog, I shouldn’t do it, and that’s pretty much what I’ve decided at least :)

  3. Is it possible that you just fear people will judge the fact that you blog? You sound a little like me – willing to go out into the world, but a bit ‘ehhh~’ about people close to you really finding out what you do online. I try not to have shame in having a blog, and recently I started writing more about web development to assist me in finding cool jobs or just meshing with well known web developers and ‘getting some kudos’.

    Since my blog started out of my want to share a personal diary with my friends, I never had an issue with my friends finding out about my blog and reading it. It did make me feel so embarrassed when they tried to read my written posts out in my voice. They weren’t mocking me but it was indeed embarrassing and everyone’s written ‘voice’ is nothing like how they actually speak, really. :P Or, everyone seems to think of people’s writing like something a newsreader would write? Goodness no!

    My boyfriend knows about my blog, and reads it, and my family know about it but they don’t really get into it and read it.

    If you have nothing to hide then I’d certainly ease into it, slowly and gradually tell your family what you’re up to ‘oh I am just writing something, thinking of adding it to my blog’ and what you enjoy doing on the computer. I’m sure they would be accepting of it, especially if you have nothing to hide! Tell them about the great friends you’ve made. I tell my parents. And sometimes I have met some of my blog friends too. :) I tell them we became friends because we decided to share words. And that the internet is not such a creepy place because blogging is people sharing their words and worlds, not just random chit-chat with a stranger. The less uncomfortable I get regarding my blog when I chat to people in real life, the more I feel OK with talking to people about it! :)

  4. I agree with you about how more traffic could lead up to the constant doubt of word choice and blog topic. Privacy is currently a hot issue right now, “Do you not want others to see because you’re hiding something? If not, why?” But in terms of blogging, we can almost control the amount of exposure (keywords are important so don’t include your full name to avoid being having your site be indexed with association to your name! ;))

    Less than 10 people I know in person knows about my blog. Probably less than 5 at this point. Sometimes, we just need privacy space away from others. It’s fine either way because it’s up to you to control the exposure :). Blogging is a creative outlet for me as well and I feel comfortable with sharing my stories online as well.

    As for judgement, you have to not care for it and if people want to be judgemental, let them be. You don’t have room in your life for them ;). Haters gonna hate~

  5. For me, personally? I don’t give a f*** if people think bad of me. There’s always going to be someone that hates me for being me, and that’s the same principle here. You’re a very sweet and kind young woman, and you should not fear negativity. You will rise above it and realize only you have the power to control your own reactions. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, and that’s true here. Never let anyone have that sort of power over you. I would hate for you to put your blog to private. I enjoy reading about your life.

  6. oh becca, i think that feeling is inevitable for us bloggers? there will always be the fear of others learning about the blog, fear of rejection, feeling paranoid, etc. perhaps they’re the reasons why i constantly create-maintain-delete a blog!

    but anyway, going back to you. becca, i’m a huge fan of your blog. i enjoy reading your stories and i love the way you write/tell them. sure, you may feel conscious with being too personal sometimes, but i don’t see anything wrong with your content. besides, you’re right, you don’t post things inappropriate anyway and you should definitely be proud of it. it’s your online diary but there will always be limits on what one should and shouldn’t share. you know where to draw the line.:)

  7. I originally started blogging as an outlet to share my experiences and showcase my creativity. I never really thought too much about audience. With sharing my stories online, I was aware that anyone could view them. Even though this was the case, I never shared my blog with anyone that I knew offline.

    It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I had to use a nickname instead of my real one which is rather unique and was easily searchable. What happened was that I had broken up with my boyfriend at the time and his dad was a nut case. His dad must have Googled my name and came across my blog where I had recently wrote a post about “moving on.” I was getting messages from my ex that there was a couple of false statements in my post and his dad started following me on twitter with a very obvious username. I bought a new domain and started over again. A few months later, I had made a post telling a story about a “weird first date” which just so happened to be about the same ex. A few days later, my dad came up to me and was like “You have to delete your blog.” This made me so upset knowing that my family were still in touch with his and that they all knew I was blogging.

    To sum up my experience with this, I ended up buying another domain (my current one), making all of my old posts private and picked a nickname that relates to my own and is more common so it’s not easily found by people that I know. I never wrote my ex’s name anywhere in my posts, nor did I say anything bad about him. It just felt kind of “starkerish” when people I know IRL are looking at my blog. My current boyfriend is the only one that knows that I blog but I don’t believe he reads it. I tell him everything anyway. =) I’ve considered going back to using my real name but I would feel restricted again. I mean, it’s been over 3 years now since that incident but I’m still paranoid that our parents are still talking to each other about my blog posts. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is my outlet and I want to be able to say what I want.

    People shouldn’t be judging you on your on blog! I’ve enjoyed all the posts that I’ve read here so far and I wouldn’t want you to feel restricted in your own outlet. I’ve learned that I much prefer an audience who doesn’t know me, that way there is less judging and other issues… One this is for certain – don’t be ashamed about your blog!

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