Monday, June 23, 2008

How Personal Do We Get?

As I read through your many wonderful blogs I'm always surprised at how uninhibited people are and what you all share. Blogging is such a funny thing. On one hand we really don't know each other but on the other, there are things shared which are immensely personal. We touch on subjects which sometime we wouldn't even talk about with people in person. I've read posts which have made me, I'm-so-not-a-prude, blush.

When I thought of starting this blog, not so long ago, I debated how much information I wanted to be out there. Do I use real names, including my own? Post pictures of myself? Pictures of my family? I was scared and more than a bit apprehensive about doing that. I just wasn't sure how far I wanted others to be voyeurs into my life, which is to some extent, is also the life of my family. Tidbits about my life are fine, sharing my feelings, knowing about my struggles are all well and good but to put a face to it all? It seems just too personal.

I find myself my more willing to open up about my life if there still is a sense of anonymity. I don't like having people I know (in "real" life) read this blog which means I have told NO ONE about it. Not even The Husband. (Is that weird?) I've always been a rather private person. I don't like to talk about myself, which makes blogging all the more bizarre to me, because here, I have to talk about myself ALL THE TIME. When having conversations I tend to deflect questions about me and steer conversations to other topics. It embarrasses me to have to spew, what I think of as, boring information about me and my life with others. I guess it's fine in this forum because if you find yourself nodding off and getting that sense of extreme boredom wash over you, you can just move on, I'll never know and my feelings will be left in tact.

I'm feeling a sense of familiarity her now. I have some readers that stop by daily and I'm getting to know a lot more of you out there. So why do I still get cold feet about posting pictures? I guess it's because I still like being in this protective little bubble, my personal comfort zone. It's a zone I like, and I'm not quite ready to step out of it just yet, but I may, one of these days.


So how is it that all you brave souls out there decided to post pictures and share names on your blog? Or was it that even a consideration? Do you ever regret it?


Allison said...

You know, I struggled with some of the same thoughts. I didn't mind putting my name on it, first name, that is, because it's a common name. But photos? I thought about it for a while. And then I figured, we post photos of ourselves on Myspace and Facebook, so why not here?
I will admit, though, that no one in my real life knows about this blog, not even my husband. I think it's the being-honest-with-the-numbers thing that freaks me out the most about letting people I actually know know about the blog. Do I want them to know how much I weigh? Um, no. Not right now. Maybe someday, but I'm not there yet. I'm also a private person and don't talk too terribly much about myself. I'm a natural interviewer, I guess, and usually tend to ask others about themselves. So this is a little weird for me, as well, but I've found it very therapeutic.

Ready to Shrink said...

The only person in my life who knows about this blog is my husband...but he also does not have the address and wouldn't go searching since I have made it clear that this is for me only.

there are pics of me on my blog and of my friends but I have kept my name MOSTLY private except for a few ppl I have gotten closer to. I stated in my blog that NO ONE knows how much I weigh and that is why I keep it private...that and the raw thoughts that sometimes end up there.

Lora said...

While some of my friends and family know that I blog - I have never shared the link with any of them (except one close friend and now I'm sorry I did.) I feel like she's keeping "tabs" on me now - and when I slip up she feels it's her duty to mention it.

Hubby happened upon it once when I left the browser open and visited a few times but I think he's grown bored with it.

The pics....they give my readers a face to go with the words. I love seeing pics from others' blogs!

I've "met" so many great people through blogging - from all over the world!

themarlatts said...

I have shared everything from the get go. I agree that it's easier to share with strangers than people you know. My only regret with it is I have told people I know (ie my mom and MIL) and now there are certain things I can't blog about, but would love to!

I DO feel like it keeps you accountable to post the actual numbers and info. Certain real life friends are OK with me too. My best friend likes it cause she can keep up with what's going on with the weight loss without having to feel like she's bugging me about it. Or on weeks when there's a gain she likes that she didn't call me up all excited, "Soooo, how did it go this wee?." She can read it and comment, but we don't have to deal with the rest of it. I like that part!

spunkysuzi said...

Alot of people i know i've told that i have a blog! I don't have a pictures at the moment but i'm planning on adding some. No i don't use names as i don't think that's a good thing to do! I'm pretty open with most things but there is a line i draw with respect to privacy.

Hanlie said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I feel as if I'd been to free with details and am actually considering shutting down my blog and starting over. It's scary when you google yourself and find all this information... I also have some future projects in the pipeline that could be jeopardized by this information... Tough decision!

WeightingGame said...

this is an important question you raise - I think on one hand, it can be so cathartic to just puke up all your emotions in the form of a blog and get it out there...on the other hand, a bazillion people are online and there is something to be said for maintaining a bit of privacy. I only occasionaly (like, three times total) publish pics of myself and even then, it's very relevant to what I'm writing about. I don't post pics/intimate details about mu husband or family. I do share pretty much everything I'm feeling at any give moment.

Tony said...

I think it's a lot easier to share your thoughts on a blog because you aren't actually talking to a person face to face. I don't know, that's how it is for me anyway. I do plan on adding photos in the future, but privacy has been a concern for me in the past and will continue to be in the future.

Anonymous said...

I went back and forth with this issue when I first started this blog. I don't really have a problem with the pics, but actually putting my real weight done was soooo hard for me. In fact, I started this blog in January, and it wasn't until this month that I actually put down my weight. Believe it or not, it has given me so much more of an incentive. Before, I was kinda, hinting about things, but was still vague. Now I am putting it all out there
BUT... I haven't shared my blog with "real" life people. My hubby and my mom kinda know about it, but no one else. I guess I get nervous for work people to find it, sometimes people can be cruel, even adults, but you know what. I am what I am. I'm trying to improve myself, and if you have a problem with it. Oh well! Blogging has become my outlet. I am not going to allow fear of what others think, deter me any longer. I have let fear and insecurity rule my life for far too long. In a weird way, being open, has helped my accept myself more! =)

Sagan Morrow said...

I was thinking something very similar just the other day!

For me, my intention is to make a career out of health blogging, so using my real name was a given. Same with giving personal information. Although it IS rather strange at times, because family, friends, and acquaintances all read my blog- I don't like the idea of holding back on what I write but at the same time, there might be things that I don't really want everyone around me to know about!

Girl with a Problem said...

I decided from the beginning that part of my problem was the lying, cheating, and hiding that I did in regards to my weight. I somehow knew that to move past this, I had to tell it all, and tell the truth. Not so much for my readers (I didn't even have readers until recently), but because the dishonesty was never about the other people, it was about me. I was lying to myself. I knew I needed to force myself to really SEE me as I am. So on day one I posted the fattest pic of me I could find, along with my real true weight. It was hard to do at first, but then it was so freeing. It allowed me to divert all of that energy to something useful.

I have shared my blog with about 5 people from work that are also doing WW, because I feel like we all need to do whatever we can to help each other in this struggle. There should be no shame - only love and support.

My DH knows I have a blog, but I've told him I'm not ready for him to see it yet. I still weigh about 12 pounds more than him. Once I get to about 190, I'll let him see it. He sees me as I am, I just don't think he needs that 200+ number rolling around in his head.

Anonymous said...

Very few of my online friends and none of my 'rl' friends know I have this blog. I have a screen name for my other blogs, a whole other blogger account, and so on. On this blog I'm actually more open and honest. Yeah, I have pictures of myself and I use my real first name. The weight loss community has a totally different vibe than other communities. I found that certain levels of anonymity are ok, while others seem to hamper the relationships we're building here.

Mal said...

I would absolutely share more (and have in the past) but because I'm a psychotherapist, I feel a sort of duty to my clients to kee myself and my emotional life somewhat more contained these days. I'm a very visual person and I really dig photos that other people post. I just don't feel like I currently can.

Christine said...

My husband knows about my blog, but I've asked him not to visit it. I know he visited it once though, because he congratulated me on something I'd posted about but not told him. (This was before I'd asked him not to visit, as I simply hadn't told him it was live yet)

I haven't posted any photos of myself yet because I'm still fat :D