Heather Armstrong (more commonly known as Dooce) just recently announced her separation on her blog.
As an avid reader of Dooce, I felt sad for her. The very reason I tune into Dooce.com so much is because she exposes so much about her life through her blog.
But is that always good? Should the little details of your life be everyone else's business?
About a year ago, my sister-in-law called me up and said, "I love your blog, but I've always wondered why you just keep it fashion focused. Why don't you blog about your life?" It was the million dollar question. I had spent so many years avoiding the craziness of my life with four boys and focusing on one topic, that I never personalized my own blog. So I changed that immediately and started an "Audrey Confidential" portion.
I update my "Audrey Confidential" blog every single day, either through a video, a photo or actual words... it's me, all of me. I didn't realize that I was exposing so much about my personal life until my husband stumbled upon a post about me wanting to have a fifth baby. He looked at me and said, "You think this would be something you'd share with me first?"
I felt bad, but in all honesty, I think about "Audrey Confidential" as my diary. If I'm having inner thoughts, I want to share them. If I'm having a bad day, I'll share it. If I'm having a good day, I'll share it. In all honesty, there are three things I don't blog about: my sex life, my sons' teachers and my in-laws. Everything else is fair game. This is a huge difference from when I began, but I enjoy having the outlet.
I think of blogging now as a digital reality show of sorts. It's the sharing of someone's world and life... and people are tuning in every single day. I don't know who everyone is, but when I did blog about wanting a fifth baby, I had someone attack me and say that I was contributing to the overpopulation in the world, and that really bothered me. It made me feel bad, but not enough to pull down my post.
I've had "real life" friends offended when I blog about how they just don't understand what it's like to be a blogger, but again, I've stood by my posts. Once a post is up, I keep it up. If you asked my husband, he would say I absolutely share too much and he's not 100 percent comfortable with what I'll share sometimes, but I don't use my blog as a soapbox, it's just me sharing my life, all of it.
My policy for my personal blog is this: "Don't put anything there you'd be ashamed if your grandpa read." My grandpa loves my blog -- he even learned how to use a computer so he could read it. Plus, my mom reads it, my sisters, my aunts, my friends, my pastor... I have to always keep that in mind when I feel a rant coming on or when deciding whether to share something.
It used to really bother me. It's my blog -- why can't I say what I want? But now I'm really glad. My kids are getting older and they will read my blog someday (or their friends will!) and because I've held back a little, they won't have to read about all that embarrassing stuff. (Well, not as much of it, anyway.)
The only problem with this is that a lot of people think I do put everything on my blog. Often, while I may be writing about cute kids or shopping, I'm actually really struggling with things that I've just chosen not to share. And many people assume that there is nothing else going on in my life. Just because my blog is talking about boots, doesn't mean that I didn't just have a huge fight with my husband or that we're dealing with a terminally ill family member.
My blog is a peephole into my world, not a picture window. I've chosen to put a lot out there. Don't get me wrong, my blog is not all sunshine and roses. If you read my blog, you will see that I'm not perfect. I mess up all the time and I am totally making this parenting thing up as I go along.
But I'm not going to write about my daughter hitting puberty -- that's not fair to her. I'm not going to write about a fight with my mom -- that's between her and me.
However, I won't hesitate to tell you about how I forgot to pick my daughter up from Girl Scouts because I was waiting for her outside the dance studio. 'Cause that was all me!
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