Thoughts?

I just read THIS article and thought there was a lot of good stuff in it. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are?

As someone who blogs, and who has blogged for several years through several new phases of life, this is something that I think about occasionally. I’ve mentioned on here before that while people read regularly, the amount of “life” stuff that gets posted on the blog whether it’s about our family specifically, or our life and ministry in Haiti, is really only about 5% of what really goes on for us. There are a lot of reasons for that.

One thing that became evident in the last year was that it was a security issue for us as a family, and that people could intentionally use the things we say on this blog to make life difficult for us or the mission as a whole. That was HARD to deal with, especially when we know what our intentions are on any given day. It’s hard to let stuff roll off when people are so directly trying to attack you and your motivation for doing something. HARD.

There are a lot of times where I share the funny things that Olivia says, or little stories from our every day life but I do try to think about how she’ll feel about those things ten years from now, fifteen years from now, twenty years from now… I want her to read back and feel like it’s a bit of a window into who she was at this age and our lives at the time, not an expose with all sorts of things that embarrass her. When I write the “Dear Olivia” posts they are a bit more personal, but I’m always trying to think along those same lines – what will be honoring to her when she’s older?

As far as personal family stuff goes, we like to give you a window into our lives, and especially our lives in Haiti. I think it’s good to talk about the hard things, but I do self edit in there too. I think that’s wise and safe and respectful. I won’t share certain details about our marriage, but I might share how we’re managing to move through things as a couple. I won’t share certain details about our family, but I might share how we’re moving through things as a family unit and how those things are affecting us and what we’re learning. I hope that through those things we can open doors for people to learn and connect.

I do struggle with “mommy bloggers” who put everything out there, even if they give their kids nick names in their posts. I guess for me it’s the knowledge that at some point your kids are going to be big enough to be on the internet and connect the dots and even if no one else knows that they’re your kids, they’ll know they’re your kids. And that could be really damaging to your relationship. Really damaging.

We always want our blog to be a way for people learn about our family, to connect with us, to learn about our lives and our ministry and life in Haiti. But, there are definitely things that get the “don’t post that on the blog” rating. And they don’t get posted. We love that while home we’ve met a ton of people that read and follow our blog. I sometimes wonder what they think of us when they meet us face to face :) I think we’re pretty good about being real, just based on the fact that the people that do know us tell us that they love that they can hear me talking as they’re reading because I write the same way I speak, that it is just me being real and honest. But, there are parameters and I try to be thinking about certain things as I am sharing. I won’t ever say anything that could be hurtful to someone else. I won’t say anything that I know could be hurtful to my kids down the road. I will talk about the things that are difficult about living in Haiti, but I will always try to do it in a way that respects people and their culture.

So, what are your thoughts? Is there too much sharing online now?

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts?

  1. IMHO, it all depends. if you are a public figure with the hide of a rhinocerus, and blogging is your life, go for it.

    but if you are a more private person, and security or misunderstanding is an issue, BE WISE.

    i try to be very careful, altho i sort of am a public figure, (missionary/pastor’s wife whose husband is wellknown) to find a balance between sharing my life and not going overboard. a lot of people tell me they are so blessed by just peeking into my life and finding out that i am just human…so that’s a blessing…

    but my older kids definitely hold their breath at times. so i try to be discerning as to what will pull their chains and what will help people to enjoy being part of my life when we can’t always be close.

    blessings!

    • It’s so much about finding the balance isn’t it? I want to share enough that people have a window into our lives and maybe connect with Haiti, missions, us etc, but not so much that it could create problems in the future.

  2. I love the way you write & do think you do a fine job of setting boundries. I remember seeing a woman comic on the Tonight show with Carson (yes, long ago!) going on and on about how her daughter was getting breasts. All I could think was oh that poor girl & that she would regret talking about her daughters personal business to millions of people. Even if you don’t blog its sometimes hard not to tell the funny story that will in future cause issues in a relationship. Thank you for sharing what you do. I now know a lot more about Haiti & living there. God bless you.

  3. I started blogging when I started homeschooling. I desperately needed to connect with other adults. I used real first names, I had a links to my blog in the automatic signatures that went on the bottom of every email. I shared homeschool projects, crafts, recipes and participated in some writing circles in which we wrote our thoughts about a selected quote.

    Life changed. My oldest child was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. As she entered her teen years she experienced severe behavioral problems. I live in a rather remote area and I wasn’t near a support group. Connecting with other mom’s on the Internet helped me parent. My blog became my personal support group. I don’t know how I would have made it without the support of these virtual moms (and a few dads too). I educated myself about fetal alcohol syndrome, shared what I learned, participated in book reviews. My daughter knew about and read my blog. Only once did she ask me to remove a post. I had posted a photo of her that I thought was great and she thought was not so great.

    Still, recently, I made my blog private and started a new one with pseudonyms for my children. I didn’t put a link on my sidebar for my facebook so that I wouldn’t connect my blog with the real me. I didn’t put my new blog information on my facebook info page. I set it up to block search engines. Random strangers can’t find me doing blog searches. I don’t have sharing links to facebook, twitter, stumbled upon, etc. in my post. I specifically set up the blog in a way that would limit our electronic footprint.

    Because, life has gotten still worse… and I still need a support group. I do not need 150 – 200 total strangers popping by my blog and catching up on my life. The people who come to my blog are mostly other moms of children with FASD. My average daily visits are 25 rather than 125. I am way more comfortable with that. My daughter no longer knows how to access my blog. She doesn’t know where it lives. I plan to keep it that way.

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