Archive for May, 2008
The question is how much personal information should you share on a blog? How much is too much? There is a fine line between having a warm, personal voice and oversharing.
There are all sorts of blogs out there. Some are are topic focused, on politics, technology, business, celebrity, even on blogging itself. Others are more personally focused, diarist blogs on home, family, lifestyle and personal observations. I would consider mine to be fairly eclectic – with some posts on travel, business, tech and writing and others on what’s happening in my family.
I have always been very conscious that anything I write on the Internet is completely public, and have refrained from blogging about work frustrations, family issues and sensitive subjects like religion and politics. I would never want anyone that I’m having a problem with to read about it online!
Beast Mom’s point is that in today’s environment of online oversharing, we may be hurting our childrens’ futures. Today those seeking political office have their past examined in minute detail; tomorrow that may apply to the average job as well. The more information there is online, the easier it is to dig into that background detail.
In my opinion, most parents who blog about their children do so respectfully and positively. I never complain about my kids’ problems online, but I’m quick to rave about their successes! I also ask their permission and give them an opportunity to review when I post about them. The oldest likes being written about online; the younger would prefer not to have that attention.
Kids, however, don’t blog about themselves and their peers quite so respectfully. When they hit young adulthood, college, and beyond, they set up MySpace and Facebook pages. Some use less-than-stellar judgement and fill those pages with raunchy screen names, racy pictures and trashy commentary.
I repeatedly caution my teens about their online presence – I want them to create an image they’d be proud of if an employer, pastor or future spouse were to find their web pages. I also caution them to not divulge their last name or detailed contact information, for safety and searchability reasons. I check their pages occasionally, more because I’m fascinated with their online voice.
So, does my blogging about my kids hurt them? I don’t think so – although they are probably embarrassed from time to time that their ancient, dumb mother is even online and can code rings around them.
Can their own online presence hurt themselves? Probably, but we work on encouraging them away from making that happen. Who knows, maybe 20 years in the future having Myspace indiscretions cached in the Wayback machine will be de rigueur – like inhaling seems to have become today.
We just watched the movie Recount on HBO. It’s a dramatization of the events surrounding the contested Florida presidential election in 2000. It presented the point of view of both the Democratic and Republican recount committees, although it was definitely slanted in favor of the Democrats’ story.
At first, it reminded me unpleasantly of the overplayed dramatization Late Shift, but then it settled into its stride. I checked to see if the director or writer were the same from show to show – they were not.
I don’t recall the events surrounding that election all that clearly. Isn’t aging wonderful? I do remember that my reaction to the election recount frenzy was annoyed impatience. At some point, into December, I just wanted it over, I didn’t care who had won.
This movie puts a face on events for me. I don’t know how accurate and unbiased it is about the events of that year, but some of the issues outraged me. Refusing to recount, and instead insisting a recompilation of memory cards was sufficient? Hand-recounting only counties that could swing in favor of Gore? Delaying the recount by wrangling about every single ballot? Denying thousands of voters their franchise because of an overzealous flush of felons from the rolls? If I were one of the voters that had been denied the right to vote, I’d have been in front of the media and the courts on that issue!
The Florida Secretary of State was portrayed as a total ditzy, self-centered airhead. Was she really that way, and if so, how in the heck did she arrive at such a position of influence?
At then end of the day, I don’t know whether justice was served or the end result of the election was fair. I do agree that the process needed to be pushed through to completion and the election awarded, and that seemed to be a central theme of many of the judicial decisions surrounding the contest.
This weekend, we took Maggie out for a (child-free!) road trip, circumnavigating the Olympic Peninsula. The weather was only sort of cooperative – it didn’t rain, but it wasn’t particularly warm and sunny either. It’s a beautiful trip, and the winding road along the coast is a lot of fun to drive – I recommend it!
Maggie at Crescent Beach, just west of Port Angeles, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island in the background.