Blogging · Family · School

Going Public

A couple of things have happened this week that have made me think about the way I feel about my blog. Firstly, a new work colleague suggested that I add her on Facebook. I post all of my new posts onto both my personal timeline and my blogs page, so if I were to add her on there, she’d become aware of Mum’s the Word fairly quickly. Secondly, I was talking to one of the mums of a girl in Edith’s class and she mentioned that she was friends on Facebook with some of the other mums. Although I was already friends with two other school mums on there, I realised that I was cagey about who I added because of them seeing my blog.

The thing with blogging is, although I’ve now met several other bloggers in real life and consider a few of them to be very good friends, I mostly forget that real people read what I write!

I had a message the other day from some who was in my class at school. She got in touch to let me know that she really enjoys reading my posts and that she felt like she knew me even though we’d not spoken in over ten years. I was so touched that she took the time to make contact and it really made me think about the fact that, even though I’ve been pouring my heart onto a computer screen for the last two and a half years, the thought of people reading your thoughts is quite an abstract concept – until they tell you!

I like to think that this blog is a pretty good representation of me. I’m brutally honest about my thoughts and feelings, probably to my detriment at times, but I find it hard to censor myself for the most part. What’s the point of writing if you’re not being honest? If my writing wasn’t authentic I’d be better off writing fiction, surely? But, when you put your heart on a page, you leave yourself open to a lot of stick.

I think it’s mostly paranoia. I reckon other bloggers would agree that writing a blog is brilliant when people comment on your posts or engage you via social media about something you’ve written. I’ve had debates in my comments that I’ve been thrilled about, even when people are being negative about my opinion on something, but by contrast I have this overwhelming fear that I’ll write a post and then walk into the playground or my office and see people whispering about me or judging me in some way. The stupid thing is, they probably do that anyway, everyone gets judged by their peers, but it’s one thing being judged and it’s quite another to serve up a WEALTH of material for people to judge you on.

I asked in my fave parent blogging group on Facebook whether I should say “screw it” and go public and I had a mixed response. Some said that they have hundreds of co-workers who read their blog and they love it, others blog completely anonymously and wouldn’t have it any other way. Someone also made the VERY cogent point that basically anyone who knows how to Google could find my blog anyway, without very much effort at all.

Basically, I’m in blogging limbo.

Am I right to be scared? What would you do? Perhaps I’m missing a trick and I should be littering my every path with my blogging business cards?! Who knows.

23 thoughts on “Going Public

  1. Ooh, how funny. I just had this conversation this morning. I feel like someone stuffed a sock (several socks) in my mouth last year when I realised that SO many people I knew were reading my blog. Now I get emails saying ‘you didn’t say THAT at the time’ and ‘actually it was ME who suggested that…’ and ‘darling, do you think perhaps you’re oversharing?’ and right now I can’t work out what on earth to write. So basically this comment is more of a sympathetic passing of consolation cake than a helpful suggestion…it’s a tricky one, isn’t it?

  2. Its funny isn’t it I think the same way when a work colleague adds me I’m not sure how I feel about them reading my blog but more importantly when my ex boss added me I had a minor heart attack as I know I’ve had a rant on my status about him in the past lol

  3. As I pointed out to you if you have an online presence under your real name it won’t be long before you’re found.I don’t use my real first name at all on line so if I was Googled by a potential employer etc I wouldn’t be found.But if you want to continue posting your blog updates on FB then you need to put all your blogger friends on list so when you post a link they are the only ones who can see it.I have all my FB friends in lists so I can share or update to relevant people without treading on toes or feeling uncomfortable.

  4. There is one person in my real life who knows I blog and that is my husband, and he doesn’t know the name of it or has ever read it. The thought of people in RL finding out scares me. Not all of them – I’d happily share with certain family members and understanding true friends, but not with others, and certainly not mums at school or potential future work colleagues. As I can only control who I tell and not control who they tell, I have decided not to tell anyone at all. For me, it’s about having a space I can share with interested people without me being judged by my RL family and friends. I know that once someone has been told, they can’t be untold, so I’m extra cautious. It’s hard work but the longer I can keep people from finding it the better. Some bloggy friends know my real identity and stuff about me, which is cool because they are respectful of that, but that’s very different from RL people knowing about the blog. So not 100% anonymous, but certainly undercover.

  5. I tried to blog anonymously for a long time, but it just didn’t work. Eventually I think you get figured out. It does make me think twice about some of the things I write, but then actually I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If it’s something I could only say to a best friend, then I probably shouldn’t be putting it on the blog. There are issues whether you’re anonymous or not, they are just different issues. I hope you manage to get to a decision that works for you

  6. I HATE HATE HATE the thought of school mums finding out – I don’t mind my friends but wouldn’t want to be “gossip” for those who I know but don’t know?????

    Someone said to me the other day “oh I read that on your blog and I felt WEIRD about that”. I am also in a limbo……

    Oh dear Jayne, what shall we do?

  7. My blog came out of a series of facebook updates and I was egged on from there. Once I worked out how to give the blog a FB page I stopped posting to my timeline and now post to the page. Sometimes I share it on my personal one but not always. Those who liked the first updates follow the page and that includes colleagues and some from school. To kind of ‘keep in’ with the school mummies why don’t you create a closed group for Edith’s class – you don’t have to be friends with everyone then but you are in touch…?

  8. As a journalist I suppose I want to promote my blog to showcase my writing under my own name – so it’s very much public. It really depends what ambitions you have for your blog. But maybe I’m just a publicity whore!

  9. Clearly, I’m going to say ‘no don’t do it!’ because I’m a (fairly) anonymous blogger. I say that if they find your blog accidentally (or deliberately) then great, otherwise just carry on as you are.

  10. I don’t mind friends and school mums reading, but I get freaked out sometimes when my in-laws comment on a post, and suddenly I feel very aware of anything vaguely controversial I may have written, and of any swearing I might have indulged in!

  11. Everyone knows about mine, including colleagues and bosses. It was weird ar first and sometimes I do think twice about what I’m writing, which is a shame. But ultimately I never assume peope I know are reading. The bury your head in the sand approach works for me.
    xxx

  12. I’m in the opposite boat. My blog is public My Facebook is not. Like you I post my blog posts to my private and my public facebook page, but I am very particular who I accept on Facebook. I don’t have any of the parents at school on my Facebook. I no longer allow work colleagues on my facebook, because I find it only causes problems. I also don’t accept requests from bloggers. I only have good friends on my private Facebook. That’s not because I don’t want them to see my blog. I’d happily send out my blog address via the school newsletter – although I may have to censor my use of the word “dickHEADmaster” and “Rottweiler” (the school secretary)! Also if I want to put photos of my daughter in the school play on my Facebook – I will – because it’s private and nobody from the school will find out. But I couldn’t post those on my blog.

    Ultimately, the Facebook-Blog link to me is about trust. I use blog names for my children, on my blog. I use real names on my facebook. If I know and trust someone enough to know they’d never divulge the real names of my children – then I can allow them on my facebook!

    The way I see it – I bare my soul on my blog – the real me. If anybody doesn’t like the things I write on my blog – then they don’t really like me. If they don’t like me – why am I bothered about being their friend?

    Ok I’ll stop rambling now… Does any of that even make sense? lol. xx

  13. I am in a similar situation-ish. I want to write stuff but I am very aware of people reading it, however the way I see it is, its my blog for my thoughts, screw what anyone else thinks, you write for you and it makes you happy. x

  14. I know what you mean. It has crossed my mind several times to go public but I would sometimes feel the need to censor what I write. My “real” friends are on facebook and I choose who I tell about my blog. If they find it so be it but I’m not advertising. My husband told me “if you are in 2 minds then don’t do it, you can’t take it back” xx

  15. I have been blogging a few months and my fella knew obviously and that’s about it apart from a couple of close friends….I went public last week after a few glasses of wine…lol….Started plugging my posts on my facebook page & even made a facebook page for my blog and invited all of my friends on FB! Quite a lot of people messaged me and said they liked my blog! yay! Result!
    I think do what feels right for you but at least if people do judge or talk about you it will be a whole new topic to blog about…lol 🙂

  16. I don’t post to my personal timeline (I’m a bit bad generally with Facebook and my blog) because I don’t want a lot of people on there to know about. My close family and friends know all about my blog but I don’t want my wider ‘community’ to know about. I don’t know why!

  17. Oh dude, I feel for you I really do… I’m in the secret boat, no knows I blog other than my OH! But I only do that as I sometimes go on about my depression etc and know that could hurt my family. Do whatever feels right for you, if you wanna keep your work / personal life / blogging life seperate go for it or if you feel you have nothing to hide then that’s all good too 🙂

  18. I don’t tell many people that I blog – there are a couple of people at work who know and my best friends know aswell but I always feel a little funny when I talk about it – not embarassed but weird iykwim. I have two facebook accounts – one for my blog friends and one for my real life friends. I like it better that way I think although I am thinking more and more about telling people lately….

    No help at all really was I?

    🙂

  19. I’m in a bit of a similar boat really. I mean I pimp my posts on Facebook and don’t let it censor what I write knowing that family and friends read my posts, but when they speak to me about a post in person it somehow throws me!
    I have no advice, just do what feels right for you!

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