privacy · questions · real life friends

Where’s the Line?

I’m confused about the privacy issue when it comes to blogging.

I have friends who post their names, their kiddos’ names, their hometowns, their jobs and pictures of all of the above.

Then I have friends who use their blogs as family newsletters, essentially, detailing all sorts of things that happen with their family.

Then I have friends who use pseudonyms for themselves and their children. I am a blend of this; my name really is Rachel and my husband really is Keith. But I don’t use our son’s name. He’s Little Man.

I have friends who aren’t anonymous and post their blogs on Facebook for the world to see.

It seems, though, that frequently in the world of adoption, blogs are mostly private; families don’t know about the blogs and names aren’t frequently used. Now that’s not the case in all adoption blogs, of course. But it is the trend.

And I wonder why.

I’m not worried that Little Man’s first mother will find this blog. If she does, I would welcome that, actually, since we are in a closed adoption. I feel like she would get to see him grow up and experience his life vicariously through this.

And I know some people are all about anonymity because there are evil people in this world that could do them harm. But I’m not going to post my address or anything… would it really hurt to give my son’s name? I don’t know…

I mean, I know why I don’t share my blog with everyone in my life. I like the limited anonymity that I have. I write about people and events that I don’t necessarily want them to know about. I finally told my mom about two months ago about this blog. I haven’t regretted that decision, though.

I’m writing about this because I’m thinking about coming out of the blog closet. I do have a number of real life friends that read this. I’m letting more and more people know about it. But I wonder if I will find myself limiting what I write about – limiting my honesty – if there’s a chance “he” or “she” (whoever they may be that day) will read my thoughts and feelings about them. For instance, I have a whole post about MOPS that I would love to write… but I know I will hurt people’s feelings. Because I’m not as anonymous as I used to be. Even writing those last two sentences are causing my stomach to twist… and I don’t want to be that kind of writer. I want to be honest. And real. Because life is messy.

But where’s the line? I can’t decide…

8 thoughts on “Where’s the Line?

  1. Tough call! I share my name and face, but not my family's. As cute as my baby is, I'm uncomfortable putting his face out there. Then again, I don't write a parenting or adoption blog where it's relevant. lol

    And I've already deduced that MOPS isn't your favorite thing. I didn't like it my first year, either, and L even told me that those ladies weren't my “tribe” and suggested I bail. But figuring out what role MOPS really played in my life (and in the lives of the other women in there) gave me a different perspective on the whole thing and I started liking it more. Write what you want! They're your opinions; people can take them or leave them, right?

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  2. I recently gave Aliya's birthmom our blog address and my mom really questioned it. She is worried I will hold back on my feelings and posts, but I don't think I will. This is a woman we will know the rest of our lives, why hold back?

    It's a big decision to put yourself out there! You'll do what's right!

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  3. I agree! It's hard to know where the line is. I am very open on my blog and use real names, but at the time my blog was created I had quite a bit of anonimity as well. Now, not so much. I don't know that I like that because I too feel that I can't be as honest and can't post what I really want to post – I think I have to be edited – and that wasn't the purpose of my blog either. It's just crazy -friends of friends of friends have started watching my blog, let alone all of the people I don't know that are checking it. I checked the stats on blogger the other day and I'm getting about 1000 hits on my blog a month – I have 25 followers and post on average 2-3 posts per month – so who are these people?! Anyway – I just wanted to let you know that I also question where the line is. If you figure it out, let me know too okay? =)

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  4. When I first started, I was completely annonymous. Since R came along, I have opened up a little, but also been really protective at the same time… I don't post the same way that I used to because I know so many people in blogland IRL now, and because there are so many haters out there… silly, I know. I try not to talk too much about R's personal story as far as her birth family goes… but it is hard, too, because that is a big part of adoption… and that is why I am blogging in the first place.

    Since I have stopped blogging so honestly and mostly just talk about R, by readership has dropped a lot, which I am ok with, but since no one IRL even knows I have a blog… it is really just something to archive my thoughts and my life's timeline.

    Good luck with your decision. I don't think there is a wrong choice as long as you do what you are comfortable with.

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  5. Yes, it is tough to know where the line is and I recently had this shoved in my face. I made a comment on my blog this summer that came back to haunt me at my job, and I had to leave that job. It was a sarcastic joke that was taken the wrong way and it makes me very cautious. I have considered taking my blog private, but many of the people that read my blog are not my friends in real life. My mom reads it, but there are only a few friends that do read it.

    I do not use my last name, and I'm not sure how I'll deal with it when I have a baby. We'll see.

    This probably didn't help you much, but I just wanted to share my experience.

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  6. I think about this a lot.
    For me, it wasn't a particular decision – although it probably should have been.
    I started out so small, with only my friends reading,t that I never thought about it.
    I never actually expected strangers to read my blog.
    So – for me – it seems a little too late to create names for the kids or avoid pictures.
    That's a risk I guess I am taking and will leave in bigger hands than mine.
    (Not that everyone should take that risk. Of course.)
    I do sometimes censor myself with a few posts I would like to write that would hurt someone's feelings, but then I figure – that is okay to censor that because avoiding hurting a family or friend's feelings seems more important than me blowing steam off in a post for my own benefit. I can privately journal that junk if I need to.
    I think you can still be very honest and not share intimate details.
    But it is a journey – isn't it?

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  7. This is so good! I loved reading all the comments, too!

    I go back and forth ALL the time on how “naked” I want to be on my blog – which probably sounds crazy b/c I do post pics of my girls and give all of our real names on my blog.

    I wish I would've thought about all of this BEFORE I started my blog b/c now I feel like it's too late. (I don't pride myself on thinking ahead too much! LOL!)

    But more than the pictures and names, like you said, I sometimes will stop myself from posting what I REALLY think or want to say b/c I don't want to offend some of my readers. I've often thought about starting an anonymous blog for this reason. THEN I think, “Hmm.. should I really be putting these thoughts (that could potentially hurt someone) out in cyberspace??” I have a journal on my computer that I write things I can't say on my blog. All that to say, I agree totally with what Lacey said. 🙂

    I like your blog, btw and I have to admit – after I read a few posts I immediately looked for an “About Me” so I could see your picture!! LOL! 🙂

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  8. You know me…I kind of say it ALL! 🙂 But I don't post our last name nor do I give the blog address out to people I don't want to have it. I think you should come out of the blog closet. I have been blogging for 5 years and have never had a threat to my security or my childrens. I think you will be just fine. And we want to see your sweet baby's face more around here!!!

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