Benjamin Solah responded to another blogger’s post about getting personal online with his post called Blogging: Getting Personal and the 365 Challenge. I read Benjamin’s post with interest and thought I’d climb aboard and share my own views on the topic.
Online privacy has always been very important to me. I’ve always been aware of what I’m sharing on this blog, which means this is a controlled place – I tell you only what I want you to know. Admittedly, I do share more than I intend to at times – which I usually regret later and sometimes I’ll go back and delete the post in question – yet most of the time I will only share things that I feel comfortable with and that will not lead a stranger to my door step. I’m very careful never to mention where I live. Sydney, Australia is all I’ll say and, believe me, the boundaries of Sydney stretch over many square kilometres.
Yet, during a time in my life when everything was at its worse, I shared the most intimate details on a public blog (not this one). Even then, I knew what I was doing and I was careful not to lead unknown readers back to this website. I guess I tried, in my own way, to separate what had happened in my life with what was happening in my writing life (which wasn’t much at the time due to the situation I was in). I can’t accurately say how successful that was. All I know is that people who know my family in real life found that other site with ease (and still are finding it), yet none of them have found their way here – that I know of, anyway.
And then there’s the other issue, the one concerning work colleagues. Mine know that I write, one even has a copy of the anthology so she knows my pen name too, but I definitely don’t want them invading my writing world. If any of them read this, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to share everything about myself with everyone. I need privacy of one sort or another. Online, I want my personal life to be private. Offline, I want my writing life to be private. Even I know how strange that last sentence comes across.
What I’m saying is that I don’t share everything about myself here, I don’t share everything about myself at work and I don’t share everything about myself to my family and friends. I’m a person who likes to keep parts of herself sheltered. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m guessing it’s a way of protecting myself from harm and unwanted attention.
Privacy is a personal thing. Some people will tell all, others will tell only what they want you to know. When we are talking about the internet, I think everyone should be cautious because we never know who is reading our words, or where those people are located, or what their intentions are.