Last week I wrote a post about an ex, calling him both “the worst boyfriend and best ex-boyfriend I ever had” and listing examples on why. The post was written in jest and I firmly believed that he wouldn’t read the post due to his acknowledgement while dating that he could give a shit about my blog.
I was wrong.
Someone brought the post “to his attention” (way to go, ass!) and I got a somewhat angry email from him the next day.
I apologized, explained that the post was meant to be light, and that I would remove it if he so desired.
I have not heard from him but I removed the entry anyways.
This is not the first time my blog has gotten me in trouble with someone close in my life. My parents and I now have an understanding that they are to never read my blog, unless I specify a particular post. If they do go to that post, their eyes are not to deviate elsewhere on the page. This isn’t a rule that I mandated, but an observation they figured out themselves. Though my mother has not pointed out any specific blog posts that have upset her, my Dad very clearly got angry at me over a post about Prince’s pubic hair. My father then told me that he was going to drop me as his Facebook friend and a child-like argument ensued that somehow got my mother involved as the mediator (my parents have been divorced for twenty years).
These situations have made me realize that there many areas of my life that I can not discuss on my blog. This is often makes writing difficult, for when those particular areas of my life are crowding my brain like a drunken and rowdy elephant in an elevator, I don’t feel that I’m able to discuss them. Nor am I amble to discuss them months later without potentially pissing off the person that the story may involve.
Believe me, I’d love to discuss the man I looked up to when I was just a little young thing in LA and who categorically disassembled my trust. I’d love to write about the seventeen months I wasted at my last job and the ridiculous hours and tasks I endured for little pay. I’d love to discuss how the only dude I’ve ever really given a shit about almost comically reacts to me as though I’m a leper. I’d love to talk about the gentleman I went to the LCD Soundsystem show with and how he used my shoulders as a drum kit, clapped my hands for me, and (erroneously) introduced the name of each song as if I had no idea who I was currently watching. I’d love to discuss how one can be interested in someone but realize that absolutely nothing about you and he mesh. I’d love to discuss my fear and constant battle of becoming completely ambivalent and apathetic towards everything due to the undercurrent attitude that flows through Austin.
But I’m not and I won’t.
Mostly because it makes me sound like a whiny turd, but I also don’t want to piss anyone off.
“But you shouldn’t care what people think!” a few friends have said to me.
But shouldn’t I?
At least the people in my life whom I care about?
Maybe I’ll just stick to the posts about old hot dudes, dead hot dudes with nice abs, and Jeff Goldblum.
The Blum wouldn’t get mad at me. He’d take me in his big, Jewish arms and whisper jazz standards in my ear.
Have you ever gotten in trouble with someone in your life for discussing them on your blog? Have you lost a job over it? Offended family members? Do you find it difficult to know what personal items to discuss on your blog and what not to discuss?
it's definitely a fine line. i would write about personal things when i was in college on my blog. i probably wouldn't advise it from my personal experience.
This is why only 2-3 people I know in real life know about my blog.
Also I think you need to have a friendly chat to the person who 'called it to his attention'… ass indeed!
i mean, it's on the internet. maybe it wasn't their place to call it to his attention, but it's not a private post. i don't really think it's an ass thing to do when it's still available for 1000+ readers to see. i think regardless of how much someone does or doesn't pay attention to a blog, it eventually becomes news if you write about something that is about a certain person.
i've gotten in trouble many times w the boy… all of which i can't talk about…
That's definately a tough call. I guess you have to decide who it is you're writing for?
Personally I don't go into exact detail about my life, and I remain a little incognito – but that's just because I'm a private person. I write my blog for me, and for whoever out there wants to read it. But no one in my 'real life' knows about my blog, so the distinction is a little easier for me.
I don't think that guy should have really been offended by that post anyway. What a baby. And you never said his real name in there did you? It's not like someone like me would even know who he was. And for the people that knew who he was from what you wrote, then, I guess everything you said about him was true.
@Claire and @Jade Carver- Claire is right. I'm just teasing. I took the chance and it's my fault. It's all good.
@Strangebird- My blog went from being private to suddenly not. It's especially tough in a smaller town when you want to meet other bloggers etc.
@Joanna- No, I did not use his name but I'd probably be a little put off if someone wrote something like that about me. I'd get over it though.
I worked at an ad agency whose biggest client at the time was Steak 'n Shake. (Don't know if you have those in Austin, but there are like 2349234 of them in the Midwest.)
I never wrote about the client directly, but I happened to name drop them in a post I wrote about meeting David Sedaris (he asked what I did for a living.) In true Sedaris fashion, he also inscribed some inappropriate things on our copies of "When You Are Engulfed in Flames."
A few days after I hit publish, I was asked to stay behind after a staff meeting to be told, "Your blog came up in a Steak 'N Shake google search. Can you take the client's name out? It's not that the post wasn't funny, it's just that…we don't want the client's name and the word 'cocksucker' in the same contextual vicinity."
I haven't gotten into any trouble…yet.
I didn't tell anyone I had a blog so I could say what I wanted without worrying, but, people found it anyway.
So, I've had to scramble and remove a few things so I don't cause any trouble, for me or anyone else
~Damn you social conscience!~
Ah come on, I actually read that post when you published it last week. If that nerd is all butt hurt about an article that was actually pretty positive then there's obviously something wrong with him. He deserves a good kick in the nads if he doesn't come around soon enough. Also, please don't let him discourage you into not writing about your time in LA as I'm eager to find out what actually happened out there.
I have found myself holdong back in my blog, because I have people reading it, who may be affected by it. NOt is a tragic way, I just don't want feelings being hurt.
Also, My Bf will not read it, I ahve never shown him how to find it online or anything. It's best if he doesn't. BUt if he did, and it ended badly, then maybe he wasn't right for me after all. Hey, maybe I need to let him read my blog….
Since my blog virginity is one week removed, I think I can anticipate a few of these posts that don't sit well. Personally, though? If someone's got a problem with the way you think or what you post on your blog, aren't you doing your job as a writer? If writing still is indeed art, it shouldn't be for everyone. I'm sure you've read my blog and i get pretty intense on that shite. Is it my true point of view? Not necessarily, it's a character. The way I see it? Say what you want to say when you want to say it. black power.
My blog has got me in such trouble with my boyfriend. I wrote a post once about how one of his friends had reduced me to tears by saying my Spanish was shit. He read it and went bananas and it escalated into a 'why do you have to blog about everything, you're crazy' ect arguement. Recently his mum has asked if she can read it as my sister-in-law has been raving about it. But one of my recent posts was about how my boyfriend got so drunk he fell over in a bar. He'll kill me if I give her the url…. what to do?
I just plain write less when the things I have an urge to write about are also things that I don't want people to read about.
That's why I write exponentially less entries than you, though. That's not a good thing.
When it comes to friends and family, I think that it's a thin, dangerous line that you walk on when you write about them. Chances are, you want to maintain a relationship with them, so it's probably not a good idea to write about them.
With exes, I think it's different. If an ex leaves a suitcase at your house and never takes it back, you don't refrain from telling your friends what it is. I guess I feel the same about emotional baggage. If they leave it with you, it's yours.
@Jenn- Hysterical post and hysterical story about your work! David Sedaris has still got it (even if his books don't 😉
@Sophie- Smart thinking!
@Daughter- Ha! I like the way you think…
@Levi- That is an excellent point, fellow Black Panther. I think I'm going to stick with that ideology.
@Corte- Tell your boyfriend to take a chill pill! 😉
@Benny- Wow. That was kind of poetic…
When I first started blogging, I had the link to my blog on my facebook page. This was a mistake. Even though I no longer have that link on there, various people I am related to (including my grandmother) read my blog. It doesn't really bother me, but it makes me censor my writing a lot. Also, recently my boyfriend got mad about something I wrote on my blog. It was really stupid and made me wish my blog was more anonymous. Now whenever I'm dealing with something semi-personal, I end up writing vague, uninteresting posts that don't make sense in attempts to avoid hurting any feelings or revealing too much about myself to people I actually know.
Anyway, I feel your pain.
My boyfriend hates my blog half the time. He feels that I share too much or that I include things about him he'd rather not make "Public".
Now mind you, I only have a handful of readers, and most of them wouldn't know who he was if he walked up and slapped them.
I am also pretty careful to not use names in my blog.
But those "guilty" parties always know when it's about them.
I justify it like this….my blog is MY diary. It is where I can put my private thoughts, my feelings. If people choose to read it and relate, JOY! If not they can bite me, who are they to judge anyway?
@Lauren- I hear ya on having to write vague posts in order to hide personal stories. It sucks!
@Apryl- Amen, sister! I need to think more like you!
It also helps to perhaps let other people know how important your blog is to YOU. And those who support you, will continue to do so, and those who don't, well they can go to hell 😉
I posted a blog to explain HOW much my blog meant to me to shut up the nay-sayers back in April.
I don't have many people reading my blog so I can pretty much write about whatever. My dad subscribes to my posts, but I'm not sure he reads them all.
It sucks that someone ratted you out, but that's what happens when you have a popular blog!
I would love to be more open and honest on my blog, but I accidentally found out that someone in my life passively reads it when he said to me one day, "If I want to know what's going on with you, then I have to read about it on your blog." Whoops. I don't even know how he found my blog.
There is so much that goes on in my life that I have to filter now because I can't be sure if he is reading it, and it sucks because I wanted my blog to be the one place I could truly be myself without being concerned about who would be offended and/or hurt by the truth. (thankfully I finally broke my sis of leaving comments that expressed how she felt my writing was "TMI! TMI!". Either that or she just stopped reading. Hard to say.)
And yes, I've deleted some entries and re-written others for this very reason. It was crushing.
I don't think anything you write is whiny. For the record. And even if it was, I feel like you do a good job here with your writing, that I'd probably find any whining charming anyway.
Still, when you blog you have to walk a line, especially with loved ones. I personally hope to see the things you can't write about here pop up in a book someday. Or told in some other way, which might not hurt those you care about's feelings.
I liked the post that's now in MIA though. Again, for the record. I thought it was actually very sweet.
@Apryl- Your post on your blog was beautiful and makes an excellent point- sometimes this is our way of dealing with things in our life. Though this particular post was not. It was meant to be fun.
@Tsar- You should write a post for your Dad and see if he responds!
@One Blonde Girl- Good point about feeling like a blog is the one place we can be ourselves…I guess I'm still trying to figure out what my blog is.
@Randall- You always make my day! Thank you, sir!
yeah I get you. I'm writing from and about college and it got two friends in trouble…sucks!
I KNOW it was a mistake now to ever tell anyone near to me that I had a blog. It does constrict how and what you write at times.
I just recently went to my parents house and found a bunch of old AOL conversations I'd printed out in high school (I know…too cool) and one was a huge fight about how some people had written mean comments on my LiveJournal. Sometimes, you just have to be vague.
I think that what you did was kindhearted and jest-ful, though, so it's all good. Also, I get confused when you're hair is different colors, and jealous of how good you look in all those pictures. Girl crush, much?
There's plenty I don't write on my blog (that I would love to share) for that very reason. I feel your pain.
Oh, Lauren. Yes, yes, and yes.
The one time I've ever felt really, really bad about my blog was the time I wrote a mean, gossipy post about a prominent person here in town, and somehow, I thought it wouldn't have repercussions…woooow was I wrong.
But then you look at people like Davis Sedaris and are all – but he does it?! Why are YOU people getting mad?
(Speaking of – whoa, Jenn. YOU MET DAVID SEDARIS. Dude.)
Anyway, I definitely censor the topics I write about on my blog. Like, I will not ever discuss sex, b/c I know my parents read it. And my father is one of my most vocal commenters. 🙂
However, like you, it would be nice to not censor. I don't know. I think you and I are alike in that we want good content, and sometimes that requires raw candor. I will say though that I read that post, and objectively speaking, I did not find it offensive. Even the criticisms were written in a, "you're frustrating, but fuck, I really dug you!" type of way.
Just my $0.02. 🙂
Ehh – feel like I should qualify my last statement by saying: I think EVERY blogger wants good content, and we are not unique in that way. 🙂 But we both recognize the value of self-revelation when it comes to good content.
My philosophy is that it's your life too, your feelings, and damn anyone who tries to stand in the way of you expressing your feelings. I write about everyone and everything, but I also love controversy as well, so maybe me and my anger management issues are the last two things in the world that should be commenting on this situation.
I can soooo relate!
I have the same thing, where there's so much going on in my head that i can't talk to anyone about… and somehow letting it out for the internet to deal with makes me feel better… so I started an anonymous blog 🙂
And I've given myself permission to be a whiny turd there, so that I'm not a whiny turd in person to anyone I know.
I feel you sister.
Um yea. My mom, sister and 20 year old niece steer clear of my blog for obvious reasons.
I guess no one wants to admit they have an ex-stripper and recovering drug addict in the family.