Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Censorship

My life is so public these days. I have accounts with Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter as well as other more interest-specific groups like Craftster, Dogster, and Ravelry. And in these accounts, I have "friends"--people that I would recognize in person, people whose faces I've never seen, and people who know me so well that, frankly, it's embarrassing to think about sometimes.

And then there's this blog.

I love community of all sorts, and I like these social movements. I think of it as a way of being together, worldwide, and it's wonderful to share ideas and experiences in a boundary-free way.

But I've come into a conundrum. I'm not crafting so much because I'm doing other, good for me things and I'm not alone as much. This is good, but it leaves a little hole in my social networking. A hole that I'm hesitant to fill with real, personal details.

Why? Because, for the first time ever, there are "friends" that I sort-of know that I don't really want to share every detail of my life with. "Friends" who comment on odd things when I run into them in person, who say "I saw on Facebook that you went to Austin last weekend" in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. There are people integrating my personal life with my screened-for-them life.

I've always been an open, honest person, and I find it difficult to think about censoring myself, but I am also beginning to appreciate privacy to a certain extent.

So I'm considering what to share here when I don't have wonderful pictures of knitting to share. What to talk about while I'm thinking about where I'm headed next. What to mention when I want to share something more important than the weather, but less important than how I feel about something going on with people who might read this.

Difficult, this public/private life. Interesting that we choose to share it, and the way we screen ourselves. Also interesting when we don't censor ourselves and end up embarrassed, or worse, fired.

Shannah

2 comments:

Abby said...

I know what you mean. Considering my public blog is basically about about my child I have to consider every piece of information I put there. I can be overwhelming if you let it.

Marsha said...

I wrestle with some of those issues, too. My online presence is mostly limited to my blog and my Facebook account (I'm on Ravelry, but don't participate in the forums there).

There's a fine line between fully expressing myself and offending someone, since I know that friends and other people I know do read what I write. So I often have to self-censor. (For example, I can't write a post about how I have SUVs and minivans because I have friends who own both and read my blog.)

Right now, my rule of thumb is "never put something on the Internet that I wouldn't want my parents or my worst enemies to read." If I want to be 100% unfettered and honest in my writings, I may create an anonymous blog totally unconnected to me.