Blogging safely

Like many bloggers, especially those in the China adoption blogsphere right now, I think about blog safety. Do I use real names or don’t I? Should I use pictures or not? How revealing should I be about where I live? What should I write about? Should I password protect? Here’s what I’m thinking…

My blog is on the Internet for anyone with an Internet connection to see. I don’t know who comes here. I check my Site Meter now and then and check things out, but that doesn’t tell me much. To be safe I don’t write about anything that I am keeping a secret from someone. If I’m planning a surprise gift for The Husband… I won’t post it on the blog. If I’m mad at my boss… I don’t post it on the blog. If my adoption agency doesn’t know was once wanted by the FBI… I don’t post it on my blog.* What I don’t get is why some people do write about stuff they want kept a secret and then get upset when it gets them into trouble. This isn’t called the World Wide Web for nothing.

What we have is a large society of people who are reading our thoughts, seeing our pictures (if we post pictures), hearing about our lives. We can’t assume that our only readers are those that we gave the address to, even if we password protect. I’m sure passwords are passed around.

I keep a pretty tame blog. No ranting, but at 41 (ack, it’s true) I don’t rant much anymore. Just when the prescription website beats me down. (Thanks for that, by the way. Nice therapy). Probably the hottest topics I blog about are political or religious, but I’m still pretty careful and I know that the people who care about me aren’t going to judge me harshly based on this stuff. Even if they disagree with me, they are kind and accepting people. We accept each other despite differences. I don’t talk about the skeletons in my closet much on the blog and any talk of them on forums are fully disclosed to our adoption agency and China. I don’t want any surprises to them. Honestly, I don’t have big secrets to keep. I’m okay with my issues, therefore I’m okay letting our agency and China know about them. From the start, I felt it would be dishonest to our daughter to hide any problems. However, I knew honesty was risky, but life is risky and having a child is risky. Is it no surprise that blogging is risky too?

Well, I think my rambling is done here. I’m interested in what others have to say on the subject. I’ve thought of making the blog more private in various ways and have discussed it with The Husband.

* To my loyal and humble readers: None of the examples above are true. No surprises are in store for The Husband, I’m not mad at my boss, and I wasn’t once wanted by the FBI (or I was, but my adoption agency and China know all about it – you guess).

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11 Responses

  1. Blogging IS risky. You are baring yourself to the world. Just choose what to uncover. I’m not sure what those people expect either. The consequence to airing out your secrets seems pretty obvious. Not many read my blog and I’m just fine with that. It is so therapeutic for me. I really enjoy it.

  2. I totally agree with you. You have to know that this is a public place of sorts so just as the good read your blog, so can the bad. You have to know the limits of your comfort and stay within them.

    Keep smilin!

  3. I agree with you and yet to blog has been a great hobby for me.Its also a great place to connect with friends and some family members.

  4. Agreed. If you’re putting it out there you have to presume that someone you don’t want to read it is going to read it. On the other hand, had I not read blog after blog before I started myself, I don’t think I ever would have realized just how cruel some out there could be to bloggers, and I potentially could have been caught completely off-guard.

  5. I have heard about some nasty things happening between bloggers, but have not witnessed any of it personally.
    For the time being, my blog is a wonderful way for me to keep out-of-town loved ones in the loop. My aunt in Texas says her favorite thing every day is looking at my blog and seeing lily’s face…I also get to see all the beautiful girls that were in Lily’s orphanage and that means the world to me…so, for now, it is just a really positive thing in my life. And I really hope it stays that way.

  6. I feel like I know you pretty well but I can totally understand that there are things you probably wouldn’t want posted to the WORLD WIDE WEB! I know there are things I would prefer the world not know! I have to admit though, if you’re curious about the number of hits you get per day I tend to obsessively go through a list of sites and yours is one I probably hit on maybe 10 times a day for no reason whatsoever!

  7. I have no sympathy for people who air all their dirty laundry on their blogs. If they’re stupid enough to put it out there in bloggerland for everyone to read, then they should reap the consequences. Maybe that’s harsh of me, but that’s how I feel.

  8. I decided to make my blog private to only my family and friends. Someone on a message board that I belong to decided to spread a rumor that I am a blog troll and have reported numerous people to their agencies for what they have written. I have done no such thing. The moderators of the message boards notified this persons agency of things she said on her blog and on the forum that made them feel that the child was in danger. Even after being told by the forum moderators that it was not me who turned her in, she still insisted it was me. I had said things to her previously that I didnt think she did her part in helping her daughter adjust and bond. She didnt like that and decided that it must have been me to report her.
    I have been lambasted by numerous people as this rumor has spread throughout the entire adoption world. Others do not like that I purchased handbags in China and have spoken out about our old agency. I have received rude, mean and nasty comments on my blog. People have signed up on KAF just to harass me and I am no longer going to defend myself. I am home with my beautiful daughter, and other than people I know and trust, the rest of the adoption world can kiss my ass.

  9. I agree. I try to keep a pretty low profile. I use initials (although I think most people who read my blog know my name and M’s name) and haven’t posted pics of us or family members yet, although sometimes I would like to. I try to keep things vague.

  10. I see all of the password protects popping up and I contemplate it, but decide it is not for me. If we had a stalker or strange comments I would, but things have been fine. I walk on the street–so I do pics. I do not post my address, my exact city and such, but I think that is common sense. I do make my email available so other families may contact me.
    There are things we do to protect just as I protect my safety in public, but I think we live in a world that people will find out what they want if they really try hard enough.
    I do use real names, not my last one, but I am Wendy and as with anything the blog is only a portion of my life.
    I love the connection and friends I have made. I hope this form of communication continues.

  11. Wendy,I agree with you completely. I post the pictures and use first names because that’s what I do in real life. People see our faces and we introduce using real names. The likelihood of being hurt for it is the same in Blogland as it is in our home town. I take the same precautions in the virtual world that I do in the real one.

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