Private Versus Public Lives for Bloggers

Photo of Patricia Steffy as Kate in "Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths" taken by Director, Danielle Turchiano.

Photo of Patricia Steffy as Kate in “Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths” taken by Director, Danielle Turchiano.

We increasingly share every aspect of our day with the world (whether the world is interested or not). We Instagram our breakfasts, we tweet our traffic rants (after we are safely parked, of course), and we blog about our relationships.  We see each other’s vacations and longed for destinations on Pinterest. We know bloggers’ craft rooms and kitchens as well as we know our own. I know which wedding dress is the dream dress of a woman I’ve never met in Hungary.

But where do we draw the line between our public and private selves?

I think this is a particularly difficult question for bloggers who often write from emotional places about their lives and relationships. If you write a life blog and have a fight with a boyfriend, it’s difficult not to vent to the universe. A break-up becomes a talking point for years (or a web series—coming soon). But how much of your life do you give away?

I try to be as mindful as possible about giving away too many personal details because I don’t want the people in my life to feel like their lives are also up for grabs (though I often joke that you should never be friends with a writer for that very reason). I don’t want my partner to feel exposed because I have a blog. After all, he chose to date me, not my readers.

However, to be authentic, a certain amount of emotional honesty becomes necessary, and when bad things happen, we look for support where we can find it. At times, that means looking toward the community we’ve developed online, as well as our offline friends and family. But it’s the Internet, and it lives forever. Once you put it out there, it’s extremely difficult to remove it, to take it back. Once you invite the world into your home, it’s very difficult to ask it to leave.

Am I the only one who worries about these things? Do you set boundaries for yourself for everyday disclosures, or do you just have a “no tweeting while drunk” rule (which is valuable)?

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