Monday, 25 May 2015

Blogging and Transparency

I've been blogging on and off since 2004--way back in the dark ages of the internet, I know!  I suffered my fair share of growing pains regarding privacy, other people's personal affairs, and the dread disease TMI.

But if you're a blogger, you blog because you want to connect with people.  Otherwise, you'd be jotting everything down in a paper journal rather than, well, publishing it!  It's a given that you'd want a certain amount of honesty about yourself (if you've a lifestyle blog that deals with your life, that is).

I didn't really intend for this to be a Catholic mommy blog.  It just sort of happened.  Because I'm a mother.  And I'm Catholic.  And those are integral to who I am.  So naturally, I share a lot about my children, including photos.  (I often worry about isolating childless and single people.  I never really worry about isolating non-Catholics.  (Because {Catholicism is awesome}.  And I make no apologies.))

It's hard to navigate the treacherous ocean that is the net.  I'm silent about a lot of things that may leave readers puzzled, to respect my family's privacy.  I want to be honest and open, but I also want to maintain a certain degree of that privacy.  It's not an easy balance to strike, and I'm still waffling my way about it.

What do you think?  If you're a blogger (or even just on Facebook or Instagram), how do you choose how much to share and what to keep private?  If you're a reader, at what point do you feel that a blogger or journalist loses authenticity?  And how do we honor and protect our children throughout?


  1. I totally love how you used these photos of you and Afon to illustrate the 'transparency' post. It was an awesome idea!

    I'm still all sorts of uncertain as to how much to share blogging, and how to build posts that are obviously replies to something..without giving too much information, being too harsh, or too vague. On facebook, I've sort of figured out how I want to use it..I want to share beauty, encourage conversation, and nurture a more intentional life in myself and others..

    Blogging, I guess I have the same goal, but it's a different medium..and I don't always know how to approach it authentically AND charitably..because I sometimes just want to hash out what I'm thinking, with input from people who don't get wounded easily. :p

    1. "without giving too much information, being too harsh, or too vague"

      Yeah, this! I do have strong opinions on some things, but I've learned the hard way that some of them are dead wrong and a lot of them are just not worth fighting over in the end. It's been a growing process. But knowing that there are far less absolute truths than I originally believed has in a storage way made me braver about what I put out there to be argued over. Probably because I'm okay when people argue with me about it now. So I've been one of those wounded people, yeah...

  2. Oh gosh, I LOVE the photo essay! :)

    Transparency is a big deal for me on the internet. I'm used to being very, very open when talking about my feelings and experiences, and when I can't be open publicly for one reason or another, I'm more likely to just ... not blog.

    In blogging, I have Masha's Facebook goal (on Facebook, where my friends and family cover nearly every imaginable political and religious position, I post random thoughts when they seem likely to be entertaining, and mostly avoid discussion posts). I'm a lot more comfortable with blogging as a medium than Facebook or Twitter, mainly because I don't think quickly; I need huge amounts of time to process ideas and condense them into something readable. But I use all three. And honestly, my information boundary for all three is less "What's TMI for me to share about myself?" and more "What has the potential to hurt someone else?" For the most part I avoid the latter; I'm not above the occasional "Stick that in your pipe and smoke it" remark when I feel there's a case of willful blindness going around, but I probably should be, because sometimes it just makes people more defensive....


    1. You are SO open, Jenna, it's a beautiful thing; there are no layers to you. You bare your soul and that's very brave!

      "I write to learn what I know." Flannery O'Connor said something like that. I'm the same way! Many times I open the blank post and start to type not knowing what my conclusion will be. It's one of the many ways blogging has enriched my life!


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