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Are you scared to hit publish on your latest post?

Lately I’ve come to the realization that as a blogger, you tend to be one of two people.

The “tell-it-like-it-is” blogger, doesn’t mind confrontation, and can handle 200 comments calling them an evil bitch and still manages to sleep peacefully at night.

The “play-it-nice” blogger, refrains from posting anything TOO confrontational, and if in the heat of passion hits publish on their post, freaks out that someone will post a mean comment, doesn’t sleep well for a week, and will revise their live post many times over to make everyone happy.

I’ve been on both sides. The first six or so years of blogging I said what was on my mind with no issue. Most of my “drama” came from offline sources. The only nasty comments I’ve really ever received came from DS1’s bio-father and his friend.

However, in the past three years I’ve slowly started to censor what I say. I play nice, I don’t post anything controversial, I agonize on what to post to make everyone happy, and usually, no one pays attention anyway.

We have created a society of blogger fear. If you say too much about your job, they could fire you. If you bring up family matters, they will call you or email you freaking out and screaming. If you blog about your friends, well then, you might be very lonely on the weekends.

We have created a society of artificial personalities. You play nice hoping it will give you more hits, more readers, more followers. You worry if you post ANYTHING that may conflict with another persons sensibilities, they may no longer like you, follow you, and no longer comment on your posts.

Back in April, I posted 24 Facts About Myself and the next day got forwarded an email from my sister that our mother sent her with the following:

WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TODAY GO READ SARAHS BLOG ON ONESTARRYNIGHT. SHE SAYS AND I QUOTE, I HAVENT SPOKEN TO OR HAD CONTACT WIH MY MOTHER SINCE DECEMBER. LIFE IS MUCH MORE PEACEFULL NOW. THAT REALLY WOUNDED ME. I FEEL USED AND ABUSED. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. TO HAVE TWO ADULT CHILDREN OF MINE TURN THEIR BACKS ON ME I CAN NEVER FORGIVE THEM. I CERTAINLY DONT DESERVE THE WAY THEY HAVE TREATED ME FOR YEARS. I LEAVE THEM NOTHING BEHIND WHEN I DIE. IT ALL GOES TO YOU. MOM

This really bothered me for a variety of reasons but that a tiny snippet of what I wrote could cause such an intense reaction threw me for a loop. Granted I really could write an epic post on how I grew up and the emails I’ve received from my mother.

It doesn’t matter WHAT you blog about, someone will take issue with it. Someone you don’t even KNOW will feel like YOU are attacking them personally.

If you post about breastfeeding, you will most likely get a few comments from mothers who will tell you “formula is just fine” or “how dare you make me feel bad about my choice to formula feed!”.

Don’t get me started on the RSS feed debate, partial or full? You will find people arguing for both sides. You are never RIGHT.

Not to say that posting something honest or even controversial, will automatically bring forth negative responses.

When I recently posted about embracing my fatness, I got a lot of great comments, helpful comments, and supportive comments. I will admit I wasn’t too pleased to see that a lot of people assume being fat = eating crap all day long, but overall, I found the response I got to be positive.

I’ve met some AMAZING people in the past nine years that without OSN, would never have happened.

So why then do we censor ourselves, if generally, no matter what we say, someone will take issue with it? Because at the end of the day we just want to feel connected to other people. We want friends, we want to KEEP the friends we already have, and not cause any waves. We want to be liked.

Do you censor yourself on your blog? Why or why not?

Also, just because I’m curious, have you ever had to deal with a negative reaction because of your blog, or had to deal with rude comments, twitter messages, emails, and such stemming from your online life? How did you handle it?

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Joni Rae
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:27AM CST

Awesome post!!!

(and thanks for the linky love)

I try to be a “tell it like it is” blogger, I strive to be upfront and honest about my opinions and experiences. Until I get to drama in my life. Then I have a hard time knowing what is ok to say. I have so many people read my blog that I actually know-

my aunt read the post where I talk bout being seventeen and pregnant and she flipped out- she didn’t want me writing about how I was kicked out (I was, but everyone has forgotten that little tidbit of my life).

It is very aggravating, for me, trying to figure out that line where it is ok to tell people what is going on with me.

Great post Sarah!

<3

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:33PM CST

You’re right, it’s SO hard to find that balance on how much information to share.

Especially when it pertains to me and MY life. I won’t discuss what my siblings are doing, what my parents are doing, friends, etc. However if what they are doing PERTAINS to me or MY family, I don’t see why I should censor that.

liz
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:32AM CST

I laughed how you said that even when you post about full or partial feed, you won’t be right! HAHAHAHA!

Really, the only person who I ever think about would be my MIL because she is a master manipulator, and tries her darndest to create drama. So there have been a few posts where I tease Craig about something that I end up hearing about later. But that’s about it.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:36PM CST

Seriously! People will defend their RSS feed choice to the death LOL!

Oh yes, I feel for you, just by posting THIS POST, apparently my mother left a voicemail with my sister that said my post was viciously attacking her.

You can’t please everyone!

JoEllen
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:54AM CST

oh yeah. i totally identify. when i have written about my miscarriages and needed to work through emotions in the months following, i second guess myself for even posting it because of some flack i have received in the past. the “you should be happy you have one child” comments. the assumed martyrdom.

at times it has felt like i couldn’t express the broken feeling in my heart. while the comments i have received are overwhelmingly supportive, there have been those few critical ones and wouldn’t you know, those are the easiest to remember and the hardest to forget.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:38PM CST

I am so sorry you had to deal with such awful individuals! Having ONE child doesn’t somehow negate the LOSS of another. {{HUG}}

The critical response seems to always trump the 20 supportive responses doesn’t it! It sticks in our head, eats at our heart… it’s painful!

Lynda
posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:15AM CST

I don’t like controversy, but tend to cause enough of it just by stating honest and non-offensive opinions. I never go trying to tear anyone down or make rude comments on others blogs, but I find people are so sensitive that someone almost always takes offense at my choice of one word over the entire message or they misconstrue the message and feel I’m attacking them when I’m not. I hate drama especially about crap like that. I don’t have time to sit there and squabble over trivial things when no harm was meant.

People are so on edge and maybe that’s because they’re keeping their personal life online, but it makes me want to interact only with bloggers who don’t jump at every comment that is not actively rah-rahing them with support. I can disagree with someone over a single point without hating their guts. The internet is a terrible place to civilly disagree with someone though.

On my own blog, I’m not very controversial, but that’s probably because it’s silly to get all flamed up over photography. On a normal day anyway.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:40PM CST

I saw your recent “flame drama” and just find it insane that a random person could take SUCH OFFENSE to a post that was… linking other posts!

Oh yes, you are absolutely right, it always seems like an extreme, either you 100% adore someone or you despise them from the pit of your being! There’s never any middle ground where you can politely disagree.

nimil
posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:56AM CST

i have always been the kind who puts care to the wind and just says what she wants to say. this of course gets me in a lot of arguments and trouble but in the end its my right to have an opinion and if someone is going to ask for opinions well, they better be ready for mine.

i do censor myself in small details, like i don’t like talking much about my family because the situation is very sad and i don’t want to depress myself and everyone reading my blog. its not so much out of fear as it is out of consideration. i did write more about it int he past when i was younger and i was shocked to see that someone who called them self an adult could leave such cruel comments on a barely 20 year old girl’s blog… especially when they are not living in the situation we were living in at the time. but that did not stop me from saying what i want to say.

i don’t talk about where i live in detail either because there are unfortunately scary people out there.

i hate that opinions have become reasons to hate and argue to the point of insults and threats… for this reason i screen my comments now, and i hate that i have to do that.

a year ago i disagreed with a girl about what she said about michael jackson just a day after his death. she said something very cruel and i didn’t feel like i wanted to know this person anymore. so i removed her from social lists and what not and i just kinda turned my back to her. she in turn started to harass me, came to my blog, and left awful comments, harassed my boyfriend and told him that i was a white trash emo kid, etc. and i didn’t even write about her! i just stopped speaking to her…

so you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. people on the internet are anon for the most part, and for that reason a lot of people become jerks.

well damn.. i started rambling lol

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:42PM CST

OH yes, I don’t discuss the details of my personal life too much because online/blogging/etc is my way of COPING a lot of the time. To, for a brief time, escape all the stress!

Ugh I am SO sorry you had to deal with such an immature person! It’s amazing how someone you were “friends” with could turn so suddenly!

nimil
posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:45PM CST

in a way it worked out for the best because she became some crazy stalker person who threatened another woman’s children with bodily harm for also disagreeing with her… thus why i don’t talk in detail about where i live.. scary people on the internet X_x it makes me sad that people can’t just discuss things in a calm rational matter anymore.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:55PM CST

OMG that is INSANE! I am so glad it didn’t escalate further with her!

Maureen
posted on July 5th 2010 at 10:19AM CST

This is a great post and I mean it, Sarah!

Last week I posted something that I had doubt about publishing because it talked about my religion but my worries turned out to be nothing. I even got a reply from Jesus Christ himself – who knew He have a blog? LOL!

I only got one bad taste comment since I first been blogging but it’s at my old blog. A girl made fun of my picture and said “Hey, you look fat, you haven’t been exercising?” it made me pissed as in “WTH?” for a bit but managed to reply and thank her for the reminder hahaha.

Lynda
posted on July 5th 2010 at 10:34AM CST

Ugh. I never understood the desire of some people to go around the internet being mean and rude to others for no reason at all! I just had to deal with a troll like that on my blog too.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:48PM CST

Thank you so much Maureen!!

OMG lol that is pretty funny, can you imagine Jesus sitting down and commenting on a blog? You have to wonder what computer he has…

Oh geez, I think personal attack comments are the WORST!

TheFeministBreeder
posted on July 5th 2010 at 10:20AM CST

I think anyone who has ever even accidentally landed on my blog can tell I’m a “Tell-It-Like-It-Is” type of blogger, but even with all the “provocative” stuff I post, I still feel like I’m holding back now. It’s not that I’m afraid of making somebody mad, it’s that I’m afraid anything I say will be taken out of context and used against me – like last summer when some psychotic Floridian obstetric resident (who most of my friends read) decided I was a racist and posted shit all over the internet telling people to come to my blog. By the way, the irony of the fact that she’s psychotic AND an obstetrician is not lost on me. But now, I feel like I have to watch every word I say for fear that someone may take what I say the wrong way. A few months ago on Twitter I called my son a White Mexican. I immediately got people saying “I am so unfollowing you! – that’s racist!” Newsflash people: MY CHILDREN ARE WHITE MEXICANS – THEIR FATHER IS MEXICAN – OH MY GOD! But internet people immediately want to assume the worst.

This is just the nature of this business I guess. But honestly, I have often thought about shutting down TFB.com and going to a completely anonymous blog where I can say whatever I want and never take any ownership of it.

Le Sigh.

Lynda
posted on July 5th 2010 at 10:36AM CST

But internet people immediately want to assume the worst.

Yes, that is sometimes the case. People assume the worst and assume others are assuming the worst about them. I really look up to those bloggers who can let insults roll off their back like water off a duck.

This is just the nature of this business I guess.

It truly is. If you have a public blog and think you’re somehow exempt from the trolls or unfavorable comments… well, you need to shut it down and go friends-only or develop thicker skin. :)

Lynda
posted on July 5th 2010 at 10:38AM CST

Oh, I’m so bad at this. Obviously, I didn’t mean YOU need to develop thicker skin. Just that ONE does in that situation. :)

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:53PM CST

But… your son IS white mexican! Or would people prefer you broke it down every single time “my son whose heritage is Mexican, Caucasian, Irish, German…”.

It sucks that people will take offense to ANYTHING.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 12:31PM CST

Wonderful post! I try to be a “tell-it-like-I-see-it” person and my fledgling blog is not so different.As I have grown older I have become more diplomatic and thoughtful. I get flack in real life for saying what I mean and over the years I have tried to open this flack up into a conversation about how me and the other party can deepen our understanding of each other. (I don’t prance around and just insult people, but I do trod on a few toes from time to time.) Most people HATE that, but I just don’t believe in secrets. If someone takes issue with me I prefer they talk to me, we get uncomfortable for a little bit, then hash it out. Otherwise resentment can build. Where there is tension there is growth.
Kindest Regards,
Karey

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:55PM CST

Oh yes, I would LOVE it if people could actually DISCUSS an issue. However, sadly, most people will not say a thing, internalize it, OR turn the “situation” around and make it all about themselves and create a pity party.

Seems like no one likes to compromise!

Anna
posted on July 5th 2010 at 1:05PM CST

I absolutely do not censor myself. I think that people who DO probably aren’t “themselves” in real life either. If you want to say something, SAY IT. Online or off.

My family and friends all read my site and I’ve heard at least 100 times from them that I’m pretty much exactly the same online as I am off. Be it on my site, facebook, twitter, etc.

Well, I take that back, I DO censor myself about work but there are federal laws that state I’m not allowed to talk about what goes on there so I HAVE to to that.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:56PM CST

Well said! I think if people are “people pleasers” online then generally, they are offline as well.

Melodie
posted on July 5th 2010 at 3:23PM CST

Because I have to live with my husband I censor a few things. My kids names for one and my relationship stuff. I will comment on other people’s blog posts as appropriate about my personal issues (because no one can read them there) but otherwise it’s not blog fodder. It is a bit unfortunate. But my husband is overly concerned with safety issues so I try to respect that. It’s only in the last few months I’ve posted photos of my kids on my blog. If you go back to when I started all the photos were taken of other people’s kids or there were royalty free pictures.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 6:57PM CST

Does your husband do anything re: blogs or social networking?

I’ve also found that those who don’t UNDERSTAND social networking, blogging, etc, tend to get MORE upset over posts.

Melodie
posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:15PM CST

No, he doesn’t. He has a twitter account but that’s it. His claim to fame is that he has more followers than me but all he does is retweet news articles about the environment. He thinks I’m going about this all wrong. Ha! He makes me laugh. Anyway, I don’t get too bothered by it anymore. I’ve found a way to make it work for me.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 3:40PM CST

I’m a tell it like it is person, in person.
Online I feel I have to censor myself much more. Some things I don’t write about because I can’t seem to put it as eloquent as another blogger might.

There are so many things I want to talk about, but I don’t. People are really sensitive.
I’ve had to deal with nasty emails more than nasty comments.
Most of the nasty emails I’ve dealt with are from other black moms telling me I’m doing my kids a disservice by living the lifestyle we do.

I’ve had people tell me I was participating in reverse racism by starting my site for mothers of color.
Really? Because racism is supposed to be one way. How the heck is building a much needed support system being racist?

I realize I can’t make everyone happy. I don’t purposefully try to hurt someone with my words either.
I feel myself getting more ballsy though, so we’ll see what the future holds.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:01PM CST

You have a double edged sword going on BECAUSE you are dealing with race issues as well! Either you are being supported by your community or ostracized!

I also feel that way sometimes, I will start writing a post and then see that someone else said it FAR more eloquently than I ever could and I give up lol.

Brocc
posted on July 5th 2010 at 3:49PM CST

I read your blog for some time, and although I don’t comment very often I must say that I only write real things but thing that ¬®neighbors¬® can know and what I make public won’t affect my friends/family and me. I don’t know if I do the right thing.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:03PM CST

It’s hard to know if it’s the “right” thing. However I am starting to feel that I need to do what’s right for ME rather than worry 24/7 about everyone elses feelings.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 4:04PM CST

I try hard not to censor myself, but often, my posts are about family, which — as you’ve discovered — can lead to problems. When my grandmother was dying, I posted a few times about how little my uncle helped with her care. At the time, none of his family were connected to me on the internet, so I felt like my blog was a safe outlet. But within a few months, his wife and daughters had friended me on Facebook, and my blog gets cross-posted to my Facebook account. I debated about removing those posts from my Facebook notes, but I felt like that would be dishonest to myself, to censor out the pain I was feeling at that time. So I ended up putting privacy settings on my Facebook Notes so that they couldn’t see my blog entries.

More recently, I went on vacation to visit my cousin in Oregon, and we had a bit of a conflict one morning that really upset me — I made an innocent comment that struck a nerve with her and I felt like she jumped all over me about it and got pretty confrontational. After, I wanted to blog about it, to try to get some of the hurt out of my system, but I ran into that issue of “someone in the family might see this” again and ended up not doing a blog entry at all. But I did bitch a bit on Twitter about it, and that helped some. :-}

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:05PM CST

It’s hard too, where to find that fine line. If we blog about OUR experiences with another person, why should we have to censor OUR feelings to spare theirs?

Leonor
posted on July 5th 2010 at 4:58PM CST

I had to censor myself long ago, when I had a blog in High School (around 17 of age, I guess).

I’m 22 now.

One of my ex-boyfriends (oh the drama) who basically hated my guts knew that I had satirized my High School experience on my blog, and sent the link to the director, to my head teacher (who was my philosophy teacher), and to all of my classmates. He probably expected I would get expelled and that all of my classmates would turn their back on me.

Unbeknownst to me, my philosophy teacher was a great follower of my blog without knowing that I was one of his pupils.

My teachers loved the blog, the director told my ex that he found it hilarious and most of my classmates actually went to shake my hand with a big fat grin on their faces.

And yet I had to censor myself and leave nothing but scraps of my writings on the world wide web. Ah, those were the good years. Plus I got to enjoy a lengthy correspondence with my philosophy teacher, who became my friend (despite our 15+ years age difference).

Now my blog is purely anonymous and I avoid by all means to unveil my true identity. I was really hurt by the fact that EVERYONE got to see my true passion for literature and writing as a whole. It belonged to me and it was taken from me.

I was seen as the talented little bookworm… but I didn’t enjoy one bit of it.

Meh, at least got some notoriety.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:07PM CST

Wow I bet your ex was not expecting you to have a more positive reaction by “outing” you!

My sister had a similar situation occur many MANY years ago. I created a blog for her and she would bring up her friendship with a guy from work, well another employee had a crush on that guy and printed out ALL her posts accusing her of discussing sensitive work and personal material.

However, she got in trouble with management.

She never really blogged again.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 5:30PM CST

At his request, I don’t post my husband’s picture, save for the errant arm or leg or discuss his job. He is in a position where I understand why. He has mixed feelings about me blogging anyway, so I respect his wishes on the photo thing. The rule of thumb I use when writing about my son is would I want him reading this in twenty years. I’m also lucky in that except for only my sister, husband and one friend, 10 random people read my blog.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:08PM CST

LOL then I MUST be part of that random 10!

For bigger or more personal posts I generally have Keith look it over, however not once has he asked me to censor myself or remove any tidbits, usually it’s to help me clarify a point or flesh it out a bit more.

Now if only I could get him to blog consistently LOL!

Keeshia
posted on July 5th 2010 at 5:41PM CST

Very good post. I’m glad to have you back on your soapbox, so to speak. I’ve always liked your long posts as they’re always full of goodies. Personally I’ve always struggled with where to draw my line. For myself I’ve always been a tell it like it is person. I’ve struggled with having to draw a line because of people who have come into my life in the last few years.

I’ve always been a harmony keeper and that’s why I’ve drawn myself into a little box to keep myself from addressing things others might flip out about. Whether or not I’ll stay in it for long or whether I’m even happy about it is something left to be discovered.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:11PM CST

Thank you! I go back and forth on how much to censor, in the early days I said whatever was on my mind, these days I actually CARE what people think lol.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 5:47PM CST

Great post.

I don’t censor myself in terms of what I write on my blog being controversial – and yes, I get PLENTY of flack and accusations of being “anti breastfeeding” (it goes both ways – just as formula feeders can come off as defensive, some breastfeeding advocates can come off as self-righteous and confrontational towards those of us who seek support for our often difficult and emotional decision to formula feed), but there would be no point to me blogging if I censored myself because of it.

However, I do censor myself (when I can manage it) it terms of how I respond to such accusations. I try and be as sensitive and open-minded as I can be towards the feelings of others. I guess the word would be “temper” rather than “censor”. I also do choose to leave out personal details about my family and friends, because it’s not a diary, it’s a blog, and they didn’t ask to be fodder for public consumption.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 7:12PM CST

Oh I know, my friend Lynda has had experience in the past with being “attacked” for needing to supplement her boys due to her chronic low supply issues.

I don’t see how being MEAN will convince someone to make a different choice about ANYTHING.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:11PM CST

I feel like I do censor myself a lot. One of my main reasons is my job. I hardly ever publicly write more than just a generic work is busy, work is tough blurb. I don’t even do that much. There is a lot I could say but I don’t want it to come back and bite me in the ass. My last post did concern something that went on in my workplace but it didn’t contain anything I wouldn’t have said to the faces of those involved; I censored those parts.

Other than not blabbing about work I used to not have an issue with censoring anything else. Then I started exploring self portraiture for several reasons and I got HUGE backlash from my family over it when some of my photos were cross posted to Facebook. Everything blew up last April and I don’t think that I will ever recover from that. My parents called (I was 24, married for two years, and living on my own) and said “But what will our friends think if they see pictures of you like ‘that’!” and made it more about what people would think of THEM rather than being open to the idea that this was something for ME. One of my sisters also go in to it, asking what was up with the “weird” photos and tried to tell me they were, hmm, what did she say. Oh yes, “too sexual.” You could see my bare shoulders. For weeks I was on the verge of panic attacks and really couldn’t deal with the situation. I am still very deeply bothered by it, partly because they all said “We’re only doing this because we love you.”

I think issues with family are worse than “random internet people” because these are people who SHOULD know you and SHOULD support you for who you are. When they don’t I think it’s much more of an emotional hit. (My family also doesn’t “get” a lot of the internet and are fairly close minded.)

Ever since that “incident” over A YEAR AGO I really haven’t posted much of anything personal. I’m afraid of their reactions to anything else that might not fit their idea of who I am or what I should do or say. I have not been able to come to a decision about whether I should post for me and not care what family says, or if I should just stay away from anything “controversial” and try to not get involved in more drama. Like others I’ve also thought of just going completely anonymous but I feel like wouldn’t help me any because it’s like denying who I am. I’ve thought about it for a long time from a lot of different angles but can still come to no conclusion. Guess I keep waiting to see sky writing to tell me what to do.

One of the thoughts I’ve had about censorship deals with how does a person tell who they really are? If they deny self and put up a front for other people to see, do they really become that person? Why should we be so afraid to express our opinions? Why should we have to fight so hard for acceptance and to conform to the ideals of someone else?

(Wow, that turned in to a novel and I’m more of a lurker type person. So, hello!)

posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:09PM CST

I completely 100% agree with you. It’s MUCH more painful to have the “attack” come from a friend or family member.

I do think the longer someone “hides” a portion of themself, online or offline, the more it becomes who they are. The more fear they have, more anxiety they have, and so on.

We live in a society and the majority of us are raised to believe that having money, a wide social circle, and conforming means we are successful. If we do not have those things, we are “losers”.

Such a backward way of thinking isn’t it!

Veronica
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:27PM CST

I censor myself 24/7. I havent been blogging long but it isnt much different there. I would say I am about 80% censored. I keep it pretty real but keep a lot to myself. Im a busy person and just do not have the energy to constantly defense myself, my beliefs, or actions. Some people cannot handle the truth

posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:05PM CST

Very true! People do not want to hear the “bad”.

Caity
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:34PM CST

I don’t think I really censor myself. At times I guess it could be said that I just leave out parts of my life that could be considered drama but that is just who I am. I generally don’t talk about those things with lots of people offline so why would I do it online either? I talk about my life freely when I blog. I’ve had rude comments here and there but I don’t let them get to me. I just leave them there or respond nicely if they are actually posing a question, even if it’s a rude one. “Kill them with kindness” has always been my motto in life as well as “always be yourself.”

posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:03PM CST

I think for me, to censor a blog post, means to CONSCIOUSLY go “I CAN NOT POST THIS, because I fear repercussion”. Instead of just not sharing every little detail about ones life.

Ashley
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:41PM CST

Awesome post. :)

I don’t usually go into the controversy, not because I’m fearful, but because unless I’m very passionate about a subject that comes up it just doesn’t make it to my blog. Not to mention I don’t get anywhere near enough visitors to create a bit of drama. lol

I think the worst comment I ever received was because of a post about why you should Spay or Neuter. The person was highly offended that I could make the decision for my animals to remove their sex organs, and even asked if I would make the decision for my daughter. I pretty much ignored it and moved on. There are always going to be people who don’t agree with you, and who are offended.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:00PM CST

Thank you! Yep, someone is always going to take it personally, someone will always over-react… it sucks!

Thasanee
posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:54PM CST

I’d like to think I don’t censor myself, but I do find myself censoring in certain situations. There was one incident where I blogged about my husband losing his job and I guess his best friend stumbled upon it somehow and was so upset that he didn’t even know my husband lost his job AND that I blogged about it for everyone to read. My husband was PISSED. I felt bad but at the same time, I was very pissed off that I had to watch what I said on MY blog. Since then I have been a bit more careful and if it involves my husband then I will let him know before I post. I generally try to post what’s on my mind but at the same time, I am conscious of who is reading.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 8:59PM CST

If it came to be a personal post all about Keith I would ask his thoughts on it, but if it involved ME I most likely would go ahead and publish.

Your husband losing his job affected YOU in a big way and to post about it shouldn’t be punished.

posted on July 5th 2010 at 9:22PM CST

I’m rather amused. Some of the comments here are contradicting. I remember back when I posted on a certain message board I mentioned how by speaking my mind I was thrown out of my apartment forcing me to move in with my mother-in-law. I felt like what I did was wrong and I blamed myself for it. Others agreed with me. Yet those same people are saying something different here. It’s either ok to be yourself and speak your mind regardless of the consequences, or it’s not.

If I knew then what I know now would I have censored myself? To tell you the truth, yes. Yes, I would. I went through hell and back after that little stunt. Speaking your mind does have consequences.

I try to watch what I say when/if I can. However, censoring myself is SO not me. I’m a very outspoken person and tend to act on emotion. if I’m angry, you will know. The world will know. Lots of people say that’s how they are, but I call bullshit. Most people avoid confrontation. And for good reason. Who wants to be kicked out or fired? That sucks. Believe me. I know.

Dez
posted on July 6th 2010 at 12:06AM CST

Personally, I think I’m a mix of the two. While 90% of the time I don’t censor my life online, there is still 10% that I do. I share only what I feel like at the time. Which is how I run my life in general. I’m a pretty quiet person, but I’d rather be honest than people pleasing.

As for my own blog, I’ve dealt with a few things just for existing or giving my opinion. None of it has changed who I am or how I blog. Here are a couple examples.

1) I was upset about the way my brother and sister were treating me around Christmas. To the point that it had become depression, so I blogged about my feelings and how I wished my sister would want to hang out with me and do things with me like she did “Jessica”, my brothers Girlfriend. I even went on to say how I didn’t hate her and wished I could be friends with her.

Of course she took it the wrong way which led to her being dramatically upset and a phone call from my brother which made me cry and then get angry when he demanded I take the post down because it hurt her feelings and everyone will think she’s horrible. I refused and told him that perhaps he should read it again as I didn’t say anything bad about her and hung up. It’s safe to say that Jessica and I never became friends after that.

2) While I know now re-reading the entry that I could have phrased my response to be more clear that adoption wasn’t the right choice for us right now (as it’s only being pushed because we are struggling with infertility and in this point in time I couldn’t love another child without a void) that really isn’t the point. Because of my stance on why we “can’t just adopt”, an anonymous poster said they honestly hoped that my infertility was permanent because I sure as hell didn’t deserve a biological child with my fat nose and my Husbands pedo-face.

In the end I’ve learned to adopt a “Zomg someone doesn’t like me on the interwebz! NOES!” stance. I have far better things to do then dwell on what a troll thinks. I’m well aware that not everyone, my friends included, will agree with what I have to say or do.

posted on July 7th 2010 at 1:06AM CST

What upsets me over your first scenario is that YOU are told to HIDE your feelings, which weren’t negative in the first place! What about YOUR feelings?

For the second scenario, ugh what a disgusting individual to say that to you. I really REALLY hope it wasn’t someone you know personally!

Catie
posted on July 6th 2010 at 12:37AM CST

I try not to censor myself, but I know I end up doing it anyway. I have those moments when I will type out a whole post and then delete it because I think “People will be angry about this.” Or something along those lines.

I’d say 90% of the time, I post what I think/feel at the time. But in that other 10%, I hold back on details that I think would be unpleasant to read, or cause drama. Nobody likes a drama llama. :)

posted on July 7th 2010 at 1:10AM CST

It’s hard because we worry what other people, people we don’t even KNOW, will think of our posts, yet those same people, don’t care what WE think of THEIR posts. Make sense?

I think “causing drama” means to post something to GET a negative reaction instead of posting something that other people may not agree with.

posted on July 6th 2010 at 1:14AM CST

This post addresses why I never post on my own blog unless it’s a WW post. After dealing with the politics of opinion voicing on Twitter, I don’t have the patience to deal with most of the drama-causing people on my blog.

posted on July 7th 2010 at 1:12AM CST

I think in some niches, there’s always that select few that are salivating at the thought of drama, of posting a negative comment or tweet. It’s sad!

Jenny
posted on July 6th 2010 at 8:42AM CST

I try to be honest and write exactly how I feel on things but I just end up losing readers so I just either don’t bother or I censor myself. Sucks though.

posted on July 7th 2010 at 1:13AM CST

Yep, like I said in this post, if you “play nice” you get a ton of readers, followers, etc, so it “pays” better to be “nice” rather than honest! Which is a shame!

Erin
posted on July 6th 2010 at 5:09PM CST

I think we all censor ourselves to some extent. It’s finding that balance that is the tricky part. Thankfully I’ve never been on the receiving end of striking criticism, but then again that could be because I don’t usually post much of substance either. =P

I know we disagree on some parts of parenting (just vaccines, actually) but I still respect you as an author, caring mother, and a hell of a photographer.

One recent development I find frightening are corporations who are starting to sue bloggers who give negative reviews to products/services. Thank the patriots for the 1st amendment.

posted on July 7th 2010 at 1:15AM CST

Oh wow, care to share some links on the corporations that are suing bloggers? That is INSANE! People only want to hear the “nice” or “good” stuff that accepting ANY criticism is seen as the worst thing ever!

Erin
posted on July 7th 2010 at 9:39AM CST

I’ve read of it happening a few times over the past several months although I never bookmarked the exact links. Scary stuff. WSJ did this article a little while ago though that gives you an idea about the depth of it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124287328648142113.html
http://freakyfrugalite.com/bloggers-could-be-sued/

Apparently there is even an association of bloggers for sharing legal fees and advice:

posted on July 8th 2010 at 3:00AM CST

I am a ‘tell it like it is’ blogger, and always have been. As such, I have a list of pissed off readers longer than my arm – in fact, I frequently go to a see, start to comment on a blog entry and then think “hold on, am I supposed to be ‘enemies’ with this person?” heh.

With that said, there are things I don’t talk about. These are things I wouldn’t share with strangers offline, either.

posted on July 8th 2010 at 3:27AM CST

That should have been ‘go to a site’. Derr.

posted on July 8th 2010 at 4:24PM CST

How do you handle the people that out right attack you or say awful things?

posted on July 9th 2010 at 1:36AM CST

Laugh! I spent 14 years being picked on by my two older brothers, there’s nothing anyone can say that I’ve not heard before. People try though, my god do they try.. I’ve had death threats and everything. I let it roll off me like water off a duck’s back ;)

posted on July 8th 2010 at 1:49PM CST

An excellent question that requires a long and thoughtful answer. My site is very much in a niche market, right now, and my commentors have been very gracious and kind to me. I don’t expect that to change too much because it’s about food, and we know what that means. But, I’m sure it will happen at some point. That’s too bad. Come visit when you can…

posted on July 8th 2010 at 4:26PM CST

I think if you are in a “neutral” niche, you don’t have too much to worry about!

Penny
posted on July 9th 2010 at 1:23PM CST

I don’t censor myself. At all. Even though I know my ex-husband’s sister-in-law reads my blog and I know she may not like some of the stuff I say about my ex-husband, I don’t let that hold me back.

posted on July 10th 2010 at 2:25AM CST

Oh yes, I am in a similar situation with my ex (DS1’s bio-father), he, his girlfriend, and his friend all visit my blog/twitter fairly often (per my stats) and flip out if I bring up the abuse that happened.

posted on July 15th 2010 at 9:53AM CST

This is a very timely post for me… I just had some blog-related drama recently where I felt embarrassed for not censoring myself.

I can handle the comments by the crazy anonymous internet ppl, but I haven’t been able to handle any negative comments by people I know in RL. Up until recently I’ve just been writing whatever I want (its my blog right? I can write what I want because its for my pleasure), but now I’ve had to reel things in a bit.

posted on July 16th 2010 at 7:00AM CST

If you don’t mind my asking, what happened?

Oh yes, I can, to a degree anyway, handle random online people I’ve never interacted with complaining but I can’t handle offline people criticizing.

mari
posted on July 15th 2010 at 9:55AM CST

I have certain topics that I refuse to blog about. But some of these things are things I won’t talk with people about in person, either.

posted on July 16th 2010 at 7:01AM CST

Same here!

mari
posted on July 16th 2010 at 9:45AM CST

Too much emotional garbage comes up – and too many people think my personal views are flat out wrong.

One of those things is that I stay home and don’t work. Preston and I agreed a long time ago that if he ever made enough money to support us both, then I wouldn’t have to work. For some reason this drives a lot of women loony. But I don’t mind being a homemaker. I enjoy it. It’s what I do.

Then there’s the heapload 22 years worth of stuff about my boys. I just refuse to go there about it on my blog. I get enough grief about all of it, still, in person. I don’t need that grief online. :(

mari
posted on July 16th 2010 at 9:47AM CST

that said – the stuff i do talk about and the way i talk about it (and i do swear and use the f word a lot lol) – i figure if people don’t like that kind of straight-forward talk or my attitude, then they don’t need to be coming to my webspace in the first place. :/

posted on July 15th 2010 at 10:02AM CST

i generally “tell it like it is” but there are definitely topics i won’t talk about. i don’t talk about how my mom is super crazy and i often want to punch her in the eye. actually, now that i think about it, most of the things i don’t allow myself to post are family related. i guess that’s the trade off.

i haven’t had too much trouble talking about anything else, other than the time some asshole said he/she wouldn’t follow my blog anymore because i wrote about how my dog has cancer and somehow that related to me not liking the duggars (which i’ve NEVER posted about on my blog). but really, that was just… weird. boo freaking hoo get out.

posted on July 16th 2010 at 7:03AM CST

LOL I would LOVE to know how that person made the leap from dog cancer to duggars.

tattooed_mummy
posted on July 15th 2010 at 10:59AM CST

I hate your fussy comments box.

now I’ve said that,,,,,,

:-)

yeah I say it like it is BUT I don’t talk badly about named or easily recognisable people, that’s just rude. I talk about things or issues.

posted on July 16th 2010 at 7:07AM CST

LOL, to each their own right!

Lula Lola
posted on July 16th 2010 at 7:30AM CST

This is a great post.
I started blogging around the first of the year. And felt pretty comfortable. Not that anything I was saying was remotely controversial, I just felt that I could express my opinions easily.
I made a comment in a Blogfrog community about a hot button issue that I feel people get far too wound up about and all of a sudden, it was like the morality police were coming for me. I reeled it in a little after that and kind of stepped away from the controversy. I don’t do drama in real life, and I certainly am not looking for it online.
The only negative comment I’ve had was someone criticizing my son for being a messy eater and that he was old enough to know better.I’d posted a photo of him eating a Danimals Crush Cup and it was messy. I thought it was so strange that someone took their precious time on this planet to say something about my son’s mess. Odd.

posted on July 18th 2010 at 6:05PM CST

That is SO odd that someone commented on a CHILD being a messy eater, I mean really now!

I do think to a degree, that any community, like blogfrog for example, there is always going to be a core group of people that feel they are above everyone else when it comes to “standards”. I’m sorry you had to deal with negativity and drama!

Serenity
posted on July 23rd 2010 at 12:15AM CST

I have been following for the entire nine years you have been online. I am glad I found you again and glad you are taking part in the challenge. I look forward to reading you regularly agian.

posted on July 23rd 2010 at 4:35PM CST

Oh wow that is AWESOME! Would I remember you from any particular domains?

Serenity
posted on July 23rd 2010 at 4:57PM CST

Heh. Let’s see…serenitee.com, serenesoul.com…or was it net? Let’s just say my first blog was a GreyMatter. Yep, I have been around THAT long. Maybe you heard of my Witch In The City podcast?

You have always had the most beautiful designs, and provocative posts. I don’t think there was a site I had that I didn’t try to link you to.

You have always rocked my socks, lady. And glad that i found you again and you can continue to do so.

posted on July 23rd 2010 at 8:03PM CST

OHHHH yes those domains AND the podcast sound familiar to me!

Aww you are too kind, thank you!!!

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