Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How personal do you get in your blog?


I met this question in a forum: Just how personal do you get on your blog?

Blogging has become so phenomenal that there are tons of blogs struggling to get heard and stand out in this blogging world. Whether it is niche blogging or personality blogging, it is crucial to understand just how much information about yourself are you willing to disclose. I understand that people had become very tech savvy nowadays that instead of pulling out their journal pad to scribble down their thoughts, they instead simply pull out a portable notebook for their fingers to comfortably kick up and down the keyboard, and with just one click, the entry for the day’s journal is done, published for the world to see.

When you blog, how much information about yourself do you include? Which people do you talk about? Do you include your husband, boyfriend, children or friends? What topics do you discuss? Do you speak about work? Do you write about which village you are living in or which specific place do you and your family is planning to move in? Do you show photos of your apartment or house with the entire village visible in the background? Do you speak about you being alone in your house because of other family members traveling around?

When you blog, do you openly unload all your rants in life? All your frustrations and limitations? Or do you simply flaunt about your recent purchases and how much you just spent shopping?

Blogging after all boils down to your own preference and disposition. There is no exact rule about what you should or you should not speak in your blog. We practice freedom of expression, yes, however, I believe that it is vital to draw the line on things that you want to disclose through your blog. It is important that you protect your privacy. You would never know who would come across your blog in the future. Your boss might just stumble on your site one day and read about your rants in life, worse, if he reads all your rants about work. How many bloggers were fired from their job just because they blogged about work or twitted some personal stuff of which spying workmates took gravely and reported to their administration? Although some of these bloggers turned out professional bloggers after they were fired, that is not the rule for everyone.

If you blog about where you live or your new residence, or if you show photos of your apartment and speak about how you would spend the next few days alone because your hubby would be on a trip, are you not opening yourself to potential danger? If you show photos of your kids in your blog and speak about how cute they are and which school they go to and how good they perform, are you not suggesting something for some potential stalkers? You would never know.

If you are a young blogger and you speak about personal things, are these information something that you would like your parents to read? There is one blogger who thought her parents would never find out, but a family friend did and eventually told her parents - something that she had never perceived.

There was this extremely dirty and humiliating blog fight that I ever witnessed in this blogging world, between two bloggers whose friends later on got involved. The simple bashing each other attempt turned into an enormous shaming and slandering of each other. But those involved had never met each other in person. How come they were able to dig each other's dirt? How the degrading stoning back and forth was made possible in the first place? It’s simple, through their archived personal posts.

Freedom of expression is there for everyone to enjoy. However, in every freedom to act, there is consequence. Make sure that when you write for personal blogs, you are able to draw the line from the very beginning. Write to educate and amuse your readers but keep the personal stuff to yourself. Guard your privacy.

6 comments:

  1. This is such a relevant issue. And an interesting one to be argued about. It's been lingering in my mind as well. But of course, there's no certain standard for this, it's all back to personal decisions I should say. I love your last paragraph about freedom of expression and how it comes with consequences. That's the rightest conclusion I think.

    As for me, I choose to draw certain line for myself, not to spill out all my personal life to the world. But to some extent, I think it's OK to share some feeling with others. After all, life's beautiful! What's not to share....

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Thank you for your time. I'll get back to you soon. :)