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?