Some of you might be wondering why my blog was inaccessible for the last few days. I guess, at this point, I am wondering too.

I’ve been thinking all about privacy. I’ve been wondering if I am exploiting and exposing my child by writing stories about her and posting pictures of her online, for the whole world to see and also anyone I write about on this here blog.

Do I have the right to expose her (or anyone else) to the world wide web…or should I wait for her to choose this herself? We choose a lot of things for our children – church or no church, public or private school, food choices, the company they keep, the clothes they wear or don’t wear. But is it right to choose this specific thing for her?

So I got to thinking…why do we blog?

I personally love how it has kept a detailed record of our beautiful lives together over the past year and half. I never would have journalized all this by hand. NEVER. I know many of you feel the same way. I love that Clare will be able to go back and read all of this.

I love keeping in touch with people who don’t live very close. My in-laws live about 2 and a half hours away from us and it gives them to hear more stories and see more pictures than they would if we just had rare visits and phone calls.  I love catching up with old friends through their blogs. I love that I don’t have to feel quite so far away as I would. I love that I can read their blog at midnight where I wouldn’t be able to call them.

I love that it gives me a different form of expression. I love that I can write and write and feel free to do so. It gives my muse a chance to breathe and take a break from song writing, which can be emotionally draining. I love that my mother has been writing more frequently than in the past. It has given her writing more exposer as she nears the publishing of her first novel.

But…I fear sometimes that blogs are not a good thing.

They give away a lot of information about our day to day lives that we wouldn’t feel comfortable having perfect strangers know.

They potentially expose our children to dangerous individuals. Of course most harm happens to children by people they know – family.

Is it right to get paid to write your blog? Are we using our families to earn money?

How is blogging any different than writing an editorial in a newspaper?

I fear that blogs form fake friendships, ones that feel real but are not. I often refer to my “Friend” who is really just a person whose blog I read…not a real friend at all. It makes dying friendships seem like they are still valued, meaningful connections.

But, we also support each other through our blogs. We teach each other how to do things – Andrew learned how to make our counter tops out of concrete from a blog. I’ve had very profound personal moments while reading a “friends” blog. They connect us with others with similar problems or joys or whatever.

There is potential for harm in this creative venue. But is there not potential for harm in all parts of our lives?

I married a man that could leave me any second. That would hurt. But I trust that he will not. Clare could be injured or die in any number of ways even if they internet did not exist. Driving in a car is dangerous. Going to the supermarket is dangerous. Taking a bath, in a way, is dangerous.  Yet, is it not my duty as a parent to protect her no matter what – to do anything to keep her safe?

I’m still going to blog. But I would love to know your thoughts on my conundrum.

I’m sorry if I offended anyone. But feel better. I didn’t even give my dad the password…so…no one got to read it. Thank you for reading despite my neurotic and emotional responses to life and it’s oddities.


4 responses

  1. I have had a lot of your same thoughts and no clear answers to share with you. It seems as though everything man creates especially technology-wise is tainted by “the curse” and has sort of a ying/yang effect to it. The internet is a wonderful, informative tool, yet there are those who use it for perversion. The cell phone is a wonderful device yet has caused some to become slaves to their work to the detriment of their families. Etc…

    As I have pondered these things, I think I have had to answer this question for me, is my life or the life of others richer for my blogging? The answer is “yes.” It has been a wonderful tool to keep family near and far feeling like they are apart of my daughter’s life. So I just try to be wary of how much personal information I give away such as names of specific locations we frequent, etc.

    Some people use pseudo names (I think that’s the name for it) for family members. So they might refer to themselves by a nickname and their kids by the name “Peanut” or “Squirt” etc.. rather than give away their names in real life. Either way, I hope you find the answer you seek. Love ya, Val.

  2. I blog becuase I like to write. I enjoy it. I attempted to keep a modicum of privacy in that I avoid using names and do not blog about things I would not want to tell people I did not know. Think that there is no such thing as protecting your privacy entirely, unless you don’t use the internet at all.

  3. Val,
    I appreciate your being willing to think…and write. These are important questions that I wrestle with too, as you know.

  4. Hello Val,
    I’m sure you did not even know I follow your blog. I’m so glad you opened it back up again with this entry. I have wondered the same things but you tie it up so neatly in your willingness to write. I learned my own love of writing from your mom at AACS (and to a degree your brother) so reading this blog and learning from you is a treat as well. Thank you for continuing and thank you for letting others see. It’s all so beautiful and funny and inspiring to read.
    Chelsea Willbanks

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