Thursday, April 19, 2012

Posting About Posting: Coming Out About Your Blog

"Posting About Posting" is another accidental series I started about social media stuff; I wish I could tell you why, but I do know it gives us a break from my usual talking about shoes. You can read more here and here, though I'm not sure why you would.

***

"I feel like a voyeur when I read your blog," a playgroup friend and reader (hi, friend!) mentioned to me today.

"Yep," I nodded. "Pretty soon you'll be mentioning things in conversation we never discussed, and I'll think 'What the Hell - how did she know . . .' only to remember that you read my nonsense."

It's a funny thing for those of us "out of the closet" to real-life friends about this blogging thing, the way it changes our interaction with them. Something about a friend seeing the written side of you can steal that chatty interaction you once had with one another, the back and forth of "How are you doing?" - tough to ask that conversation kick-starter when we bloggers do little but go on and on (and ON) about exactly how we're doing.

I also can't get the phrase "my blog" out in conversation without blushing furiously and worrying that my non-social media peeps perceive this as a hobby on par coolness-wise with the "Dungeons & Dragons" crowd (is there still one of those?) or, worse, people who still use the term "peeps".

On the other, manicured hand, I've found it's mostly been a good thing letting people in on this little invisible world of ours. It has sparked discussions with friends I don't think we would have had otherwise. It also helps that they know why I may be obsessively taking photos of my shoes or panicked about finding a cell signal or something similarly (ab)normal at any given moment.

As I tell more people about this silly online diary of mine, I struggle sometimes to write like nobody's reading, if you'll forgive me borrowing a completely trite phrase - that is, to pen what I hope is passably decent without worry whether anyone likes my drivel. To resist writing what I suspect might merely be popular and stick to what is true to . . . uh, whatever the heck it is I'm doing here.

Which in part is a big, fat lie, of course, since we bloggers secretly want everyone, real life friend or otherwise, to love us so that we can be discovered and have great big giant book deals magically fall in our laps and be besties with Gwyneth, all while maintaining our indie blogger cred and not selling out with increasingly generic, dull posts.

Or, um, something like that. Know what I mean? Are you "out" yet?

21 comments:

coby kutcher said...

Well put. I blush big time when I speak with my friends about my blog! And when I talk about emailing with my "online friends"! ha!

Mrs. Type A said...

Good post. I would say I'm halfway out of the blogging closet. I use pictures of me on my blog but not my name. I tell some people about it, but don't link it to my facebook. I rather like this set up because it allows me to tell people who I know would WANT to read it (i.e. friends from college or law school who don't live in my city now, but like to know what I'm up to) but also hide it from the judge-y eyes of random acquaintances and (shudder) people from high school.

for a different kind of girl said...

Six years (I think?) in, and I'm still in. I'm not even sure why. Probably because there's some stuff I've posted there in the last year or so that I haven't been prepared to 'give' to my friends and family. Maybe I don't want them to see the kinks in the uniform I wear as protection some days. I also don't think I need them knowing what a 12 year old boy I can be sometimes!

Adrienne said...

I've always been "out", and it's a difficult balance, I agree.

I totally want all of that, I'll admit.

The hard part about being "out" for me is not knowing who exactly does read the blog. I'll get comments from people, and I'm like, oh hey, yeah, it's weird that said that when I didn't even know you read the blog...

Hima said...

Know exactly what you mean! My friend with comment on something that I wrote about, and I'll wonder how she know. Of course, it's been on my blog!

JMS said...

Good post! It's easier to think of people I don't know reading rather than the people I do know. I'm 1/2 out I would say. Someone sent it to my mom and that is always in the back of my head when I write.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I've struggled and written about this as well and still haven't quite resolved it. When I see IRL friends who ask me about how I've been (or about my recent trip) I sometimes think "didn't you read my fabulous blog about it?" I'm thinking about posting more of my posts on facebook, but I need to get my privacy settings updated first. I don't need my in-laws reading.

Dawn said...

Oh, yes! I struggle with this. I love my little blog but I HATE talking about it in real life. I do have a small group of friends, family and neighbors who are readers, so that keeps me "honest" in the rated PG sense, but OTOH it stifles me, too. I feel like I can't write about anything I wouldn't be embarrassed talking about to any of the people I know, so that is very limiting. However, it has saved me, too. When people from my husband's office discovered it (because he TOLD THEM ABOUT IT), I really didn't have to worry that there was anything overly controversial or private (sappy and emotional? yes. embarrassing? no.). Same with when my 16 year old's friends discovered it.

I don't post anything I wouldn't be comfortable with everyone in the whole wide world reading, and while that's safe and boring and not the road to blogging fame and fortune, it's where I am at the moment.

Nat said...

I'm about half way out. Most of the people close to me know about it but then again a lot of people don't. Now that I've had my blog for so long and kept it a secret I'm worried my friends who don't know will be hurt that I didn't tell them sooner?! When I first started blogging in late 2008 no one else really blogged so everyone I told thought I was a freak but now everyone has a blog so I don't know how people will react. I don't write anything that I wouldn't want people to see so I'm not worried about people finding it but still I sort of like thinking that only my blog friends read and no one IRL does! Sorry for the rambling!

Jamie said...

I get all embarrassed when I talk about my blog to my IRL friends, too, even though most of them read it because I post it to my Facebook, usually. I feel like it makes me sound high and mighty to be talking about it. I don't know why I feel that way.

Erin said...

I'm...halfway out? Some friends know and some don't. Some family knows, most don't. Most of my awkward "how did you know that" moments have been at church - which means I'm even more careful about what I write!

The words "my blog" spoken aloud? I don't think I've ever even said them...not even when actually talking about my blog with other friends who blog. It makes me cringe!

Jen said...

I'm also about halfway out. Like others said, there are times I wish I could write things, but can't since I'm not 'anonymous.' Probably for the best, as most of that stuff would be of the venting or gossipy variety. The most embarrassing, though, is a couple of my friend's husbands reading, and commenting to me about it. THAT made me red in the face.

LPC said...

I'm totally out:). And the merging of identities has been both liberating and identity-enlarging. Highly recommended...

Bridget said...

I'm out. Except not with my neighbors (they'd be embarrassed if they knew I posted about their son pooping in my flowerbed). And I didn't tell CPS, either. Nope. Not when my blog would give them the real dirt on our family. Then they would have felt justified knocking on my door.

Jennifer said...

i'm out to a few people, but have been considering outing myself to everyone. i'm slightly panicky about the idea.

Solar Powered said...

I'm so awkward when it comes to this. Please keep guiding us :). Some people close to me read, I know they do, yet Never mention it. Awkward.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I'm in, I guess. I haven't told a soul that I know in real life about it. I would sort of feel like I got caught naked if I found out they were reading. That's totally weird I know but... it is what it is.

Chas said...

Yes, and I closely monitor what I say (write) to the point where I typically end up feeling like "what's the point?" after a post. I can't be as open as I'd like about certain things I'm going through and forget being totally honest & saying what I think on others. :) Ah well.

www.thewowie.com said...

Great post... so true. I get embarrassed when people bring up "the blog" in real life. (hello, stalker) On the other hand, I get a little stabby if they don't. (Why don't you like me?) Never happy... ha!

Meg @ write meg! said...

Definitely struggle with being "out" to my friends and family! I also write a newspaper column and continuously try to remember what I've written about versus told people verbally. The whole "How did you know about that?!" thing used to happen quite a bit -- until I realize I've already blasted my business all over the internet.

Four years into the blog and two years into the column, I've reached a tenuous balance between what I share publicly and what I "save" for my boyfriend/family/buddies. I got tired of meeting up with a girlfriend to catch up on a few months' worth of drama only to realize she'd already heard all my good stories. Because everyone had. Sucky.

Mary-Sweet Bookshelf said...

Hmm...I still use the words peeps. I must more more uncool than I originally thought.

My family and friends, back home in America, know I blog. But none of my Scottish peeps( Ha!) know. I don't know why? This isn't such a big blogging country, so they probably wonder why anyone would write about themselves. But it is my way to keep my family updated from so far away.

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