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.