Blogging vs honesty: Does social media restrict your online rants?

Posted by admin on Mar 7, 2009 in news, opinion |

privacy_pahI had a couple of things in mind when I started this blog. I wanted an online portal filled with Zara style wisdom and wit, where I was as comfortable writing about my latest obsession with edamame beans as I was au fait with the latest eBook on the market. I liked the idea of having an outlet to write for fun; that is to say choosing to write about topics I like rather than just creating content in my working hours.

Obviously I realized there would be a certain amount of overlap, seeing as I love technology and will happily trawl my RSS feeds at weekends, but I liked the idea of being able to spout freely on any topic under the sun. And yes, the idea that people could read my work and comment on it seemed quite attractive as well (I’m a bit of an egotist).

But then I wanted to expand on the basic blog idea- I wanted to display ALL aspects of my life, including a recent press area, AND have a portfolio section with clips from all the different outlets I’ve written for. Essentially I wanted an online CV for myself should I be hunting down freelance commissions/new jobs, and something for employers to search when they Google me.

With this in mind, suddenly I’m aware that I can’t vent as freely as I’d like, or if I do, it probably won’t reflect well on me. It’s not like I have a heroin addiction or a secret lesbian lifestyle to cover up, but the everyday ventings that I make now have to take into account the fact that the web is NOT a private place.  Anything I publish is open to scrutiny and judgement from others- and rightly so.

wp_173Being aware of this fact means I suddenly feel restricted in what I write. It’s not that I’d be naturally prone anything towards anything inflammatory but it gives me a rather uneasy feeling, like when you make eye contact with someone who has just looked down your top. I had this when my old boss told me she’d checked out my MySpace page before hiring me, as there were a lot of unflattering teenage images floating around there (y’know the one-handed pout at the camera profile picture), and though I understood where she was coming from it still made me uncomfortable.

In this era of Web 2.0 it’s unrealistic to think you won’t be Googled, so obviously you try to present the best possible face to the world. However as IRL friends have now become virtual and vice versa, when does the false front end and when does the reality seep through? There’s nothing wrong with presenting the best side of yourself to the world, but when you never know when it’s OK to switch it off, you end up rather drained.

So I’m going to be as honest as I possibly can be on this site, and if one post is about ice cream and another about the complexities of the camera lens system error, well that’s just how I roll.  Love it or leave it, no one is forcing you to read this.


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