Can We Talk?

Censoring Your Blog

So the ladies at Momversation sounded off on blog censorship and that reminded me: I’ve been meaning to talk about this subject for quite some time and since I’m not cool enough to guest post at Momversation *grin*, I’ll tell ya’ll what I think here, in my safe little cubby hole.

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The question is: Where do you draw the line in terms of what is okay, and is not okay, to blog about?

If you’re a blogger, you had to have thought about this issue at one time or another. Sure, blogging about your life is what it’s all about, but your life is not all about you. Because there are other people involved, then we HAVE to think about their feelings and respect their privacy, of course.

It really all boils down to what you’re comfortable revealing to the world. How comfortable are you revealing intimate details about your life? How do your loved ones feel about you blogging about them? Where does the privacy line begin and end with you?

I’ve been blogging for four years now. I started on Blogger, wrote there a few months before discovering WordPress, tapped into my inner geekiness, installed WordPress and wrote on my self-hosted blog for a few years until problems crept into my code and my web host started emailing me four or five times a day citing various CPU problems.

I got frustrated with the problems and finally made the switch over to WordPress.com simply because I was unwilling to deal with the headaches anymore. I wanted to focus my energies on documenting my life, not documenting various php errors. (And by the way, I can’t TELL you how much more relaxed I am about blogging now. I can write, post and promptly forget about it. I LOVE not having to deal with the fine details anymore).

I’ll be honest, blogging was created specifically for me. (Not really, but you know what I mean). I get it. I love it. I’m in my element. Blogging is my perfect self-expression and I don’t ever see me quitting – I’ll be blogging my experiences on my death bed – 100 years from now. *grin* I’m not a very sociable person in real life and in fact, have trouble really opening up to people in real life, so blogging about my life, about my feelings, about my passions, is therapeutic for me. It’s my release valve.

I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier since blogging. I don’t feel so … pent up. And though I’ve never met, nor will ever likely meet, any of the people I’ve “met” online, it’s been such a rewarding experience to just talk to them, to know they’re out there … well, I can’t really describe how that’s affected me. Suffice it to say, I’m a different person because of blogging – and I mean that in a good way. 🙂

Though blogging has been a positive experience for me, it’s been a roller coaster ride for my husband. He’s a VERY private person. There are things about him that his family doesn’t know simply because he’s never felt comfortable enough to tell them. Not because of THEM, but because of HIM. He doesn’t like the world to know about his business.

So to say we’ve butted heads on this blogging issue would be putting it mildly. The man has NOT been happy with me.

He reads my blog. I wish he wouldn’t. Not because I have anything to hide from him, but because it’s sometimes embarrassing for him to read about my innermost feelings/thoughts when I’m sitting just a room away. It’s so much easier to be honest about myself when there is a physical distance. Does that make any sense? But it doesn’t stop there. He reads, and then he comments.

Him: “I really wish you wouldn’t have written that.”

Me: “But that’s how I feel.”

Him: “But that’s bragging.”

Me: “I have an awesome family life and I’m proud of it.”

Him: “That’s not very positive.”

Me: “Sometimes I’m not a very positive person.”

And on and on. He doesn’t really criticize, per se, but he definitely comments.

I’ve learned, through his comments, what is, and what is not, acceptable for him. I’ve learned to dilute the issues in my life so that I’m SORT OF telling you the whole story – but it’s never the whole story. I tend to exaggerate, or belittle things, to protect the reality.

I’ll be honest, there are times I really resent the fact that my family reads my blog. Sometimes, I feel stifled and suffocated because I can’t really BE me. But I’ve learned a way around that feeling, I just write a private post, a post where I release all of my pent-up emotions, and I feel better.

Most of the time, though, I’m grateful for the censorship. Because if I didn’t have this built-in censorship committee, I think my blog would soon turn into something ugly. I wouldn’t have anyone reeling me back in and telling me to stop whining, or complaining, or being so negative. It’s harder to be positive than it is to be negative.

And I don’t want my children to remember me as a bitter, cynical, b*tchy woman. So, I embrace the censorship – it keeps me grounded.

There are certain things I don’t talk about. My husband’s job, for instance, is absolutely off limits. I don’t know if anyone from my husband’s office reads my blog or not, but it wouldn’t be very hard to find me, if they really wanted to. I don’t write about anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to my kids about – so no sex stories or anything equally risque.

I obviously don’t talk about my work very often because I know there are a few clients who read me. *waves*

And that’s another reason I don’t reveal too many intimate details about my life here, either. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out my last name. And when I finally get my professional site back up and running, it’ll pretty much be staring people in the face.

That’s one of the biggest reasons I chose not to reveal my family’s real names when I started blogging. Though I am certainly not going to live my life in fear of someone finding me and/or causing my family harm, I’m not completely stupid. My children’s lives are private. I blog about them because they are such a big part of my life. But as the ladies mentioned in the video, I blog about my experiences with them, I wouldn’t presume to know what they’re thinking or doing when I’m not with them.

Another big reason I don’t mention my boys’ names on here is because I don’t want whatever I say about them to come back and haunt them later in life. I don’t want someone to Google their names and be lead back here. I’ve heard too many stories of that very thing happening and how that negatively impacted the child’s career/love chances later in life. No way. As far as this blog is concerned, they will be referred to as Game Dude (GD) and Mushroom King (MK). I picked those silly names simply because those names embody their personalities.

I’ve always referred to my husband as either hubby, or the husband. It wasn’t until last week, when we were at our weekly lunch date and I was texting a message to Twitter about being at lunch with “the husband” that he got annoyed with me.

Him: “Why do you refer to me as an object?”

Me: “I’m just respecting your privacy.”

Him: “But I’m an object. Is that what I am to you?”

Me: “Of course not. Would you prefer I use your real name?”

And to my complete astonishment, he said, “yes.”

After I got over my initial surprise, I was ecstatic. Not because he had given me permission to use his real name (though that was part of it), but because he’s FINALLY validating my blogging hobby. He’s becoming more comfortable with himself, with what I’m doing and he’s letting a little more of himself out into the world.

I love this man more and more with each passing year.

So, I’d like to formally introduce you to my husband, Kevin.

My husband, Kevin
My husband, Kevin

Yes. We’re known to our family as KK. Cute, right? *grin*

It’s such a relief to be able to finally type his name, to give him his identity back.

And it’s also rewarding to know that he’s come to trust me, my writing, and to embrace this little hobby of mine.