*I seem to have accidentally started an irregular series on things blogging & digital age; for more of my drivel on the same, go here and here.
"Oh, the stories I could tell if I let myself. . . " I Tweeted this morning to a longtime Invisible Internet Friend, who had suggested I post a gem of an in-law story here. It's the dilemma we "lifestyle" bloggers face, every one of us - how to decide what's appropriate to share in our respective slices of the blogosphere pie? What's going to entertain, inform, or otherwise move a reader yet not violate your own standards of decency, safety, or otherwise land you in the Smug Married doghouse?
It got me thinking about the unspoken rules of writing I try to live by here - emphasis on "try", since that is an elusive a dream as fitting into my pre-baby Citizens as well as I did, uh, pre-baby - and how those evolve. As our lives change, so does our writing and so the the standards we hold ourselves to in that do as well.
Longtime readers will recall I never used to post personal photos; part of that was due to the conservative culture involved in practicing law, part was that it felt showy to put personal photos up (though I've never minded that with others), but it also enabled me to write more freely about family or situations I might not otherwise because I was "anonymous". Yes, "anonymous" is in quotes because nothing is truly that on the internet, but even the guise of it gave me comfort to write without much worry.
Since trading in that job for this stay-at-home one, it felt natural to drop the anonymous act - something I did only after consulting with the Anonymous Husband, I hasten to add. I wanted this space to reflect my reality now, umpty million baby photos definitely included. I hoped that in doing so, it also would give me a different connection with y'all; after all, it's tough to convince anyone I know what I'm talking about when it comes to Mom Hair, for example, if you can't judge for yourself what my own (non-Mom Hair, I pray) visage looks like. Though I'm not "out" to all of my friends and family, I wanted something more in my own voice, photos and all, that I could show them, though in my opinion outing myself necessarily limits some of the subject matter I use - if only because my friends and family are able to call me out on the outrageous lies I'd otherwise post here.
Given that loooooong background, then, I try to post using the following guidelines (emphasis on "try"):
- Be kind. I may jest at stuff - trendy life planner mom agenda schedules of doom, hello! - but never at the person buying the stuff. Ok, usually not. Only behind your back. Kidding - I'm really am trying here;
- Nothing I wouldn't want my boss, in-law, best friends, or husband stumbling across;
- No photos or names used of anyone whose express permission I haven't received, especially when it comes to kids (which is why you won't see playgroup photos here, for example, though I swear we do have friends)(this also raises a question of what you do with your own kids) (parentheses);
- Nothing that jeopardizes safety of my family. Of course this is something we all strive for . . . also, obviously this is a grey area, in which some would say that any personal details, names, or photos used at all are an issue. I don't know what exactly the right answer is here, but the question informs every post put up here.
- Post when I have something to say, not to keep on a schedule or keep up with the e-Joneses. There are weeks when I could happily log on here every day, like I have recently, and there are times when I'd rather do anything else, even m-a-t-h. Either way I usually try to keep weekends for family & my online time to a minimum then.
Do you have a set of guidelines you go by? Am I over-thinking things as usual? Do I need to log off here and just go buy those post-baby-size Citizens already?