Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blogging and the "Real World"; How do they fit together?

In my last post, I talked about how my self-diagnosed Facebook addiction was obstructing (or I was allowing it to obstruct) real and personal interaction with people.  I also mentioned how much I miss blogging.

Hmmm…  These seem like inconsistent positions. J  

However, for me, I think they are separate things.  Although I think blogs are a communicative tool, I am not using this blog for that primary purpose.  I did not start it to educate people about adoption and attachment related issues or hot homeschooling topics or to share craft projects. I have hoped that my blog would include all those things, but that isn’t the purpose.  The purpose is for me.  It is my place to share, to process, to work things out. 

So, I’m comfortable with that part.

However, I have a whole ‘nuther issue with blogging and “real life.”  The intersection of HONESTY and PRIVACY.

This issue comes up most frequently when I want to blog about issues related to adoption, attachment, parenting and the like.  I really struggle with finding a balance between wanting to share, wanting to give an open and honest picture into our life, our struggles, our joys (which are amplified by our struggles…).  But how can I share that? How do I balance that desire for honesty with my worry about putting my kids on display?  How do I share the not-so-great things that my kids do (that I do!) in such a public forum? I certainly don’t have a large readership and, for better or worse, most are friends and close family. But those are the people that it is particularly hard to share with!  Should the people that know my children “in real life” know all of their baggage, their nitty-gritty issues? Is it better to only share snippets of our life, as viewed through rose colored glasses?  What good does that do? It certainly does not offer an accurate picture of adopting older children, adopting out of birth order, parenting a teenager, balancing a mix of homeschool, public school and work… All of those things (and may more) make our life messy. Muddy.  Certainly NOT always pretty. 

My purpose with this blog is not necessarily to teach people. It isn’t much job to inform people of the risks (and benefits) of making somewhat unusual adoption/parenting/schooling/etc choices.  Yet, if the purpose of this blog is for ME to internalize and process all of these things that are going on in our lives, can I really do so if I’m not willing to be honest about everything we are facing?

I read blogs in which the authors use fake names and change details, but are otherwise brutally honest. I read others in which they use real info and seem to strike a nice balance.  But that’s just my interpretation. I don’t live in their homes. No one knows how honest another person is.

I don’t think there are clear answers.  It is just an issue that I struggle with.  My kids aren’t babies any more.  I have a teenager and one approaching pre-teen age.  They can read, they can understand that I share stories. They love seeing their own photos on the blog, but will the love some of the tidbits I share in a few years?  Time will tell.

 (for example, Al will probably HATE this photo someday, but it's too great to pass up)


  1. I understand what you're saying. I love your blog--as you know I left Facebook almost a year ago--as a way to keep up with you, your thoughts, and your family. Perhaps the answer is to be general about others. Post those things about the kids that are general knowledge, so to speak, and be sharing about yourself. Then you're only invading your own privacy. One thing I didn't like about FB was too many details that either were too mundane--did I really want to spend my time only to find out that a friend bought a new shade of nail polish? Or items were shared that I couldn't help but wonder if they really should have been shared and might they not regret that later? Back in my day, when dirt was new, the advice was that anything you wrote to another should be read over the next day before sending. It saved me some embarrassment I must say. Today everything is instant and the regrets come too late.
    Your blog shares your thoughts about topics--adoptions, parenting, home-schooling and that's interesting. It makes me think and gives me pause. Keep your examples to those things about your family that are observable to others and you probably won't betray your kids trust. My thoughts, anyway:) By the way, we sat in a very neat old bar on Maui on a very rainy day and drank a toast to your dad. You know how close I carry him in my heart. Love--

  2. All good points! Thanks for your thoughts. :) And good call on the toast... perfect.