My friend Jen recently touched upon the issue of the risks and rewards of revealing oneself in one’s blog.
I wrote the following comment in response:
As you know, Jen, this is something I’ve struggled deeply with.
There are so many advantages to baring one’s soul (online or otherwise).
The more authentic the writing, the more it speaks not only to others, but to myself… helping me to better understand my life and move forward. Re-reading the truly-personal stuff I’ve blogged is also a hell of a lot more relevant and interesting than going over some of the general commentary and observations I’ve written.
But yes, there are also so many risks involved in letting it ‘all hang out.’
Do I really want people to know my weaknesses? My deeper passions? My angst and anguish? My occasional immaturity, inexperience, bitterness, loopiness, hopeless romantic-ness, and worse?
Maybe. Maybe some things for some people.
Future (and potential future) employers? Current co-workers? My parents? D’oh!
It’s always a tug-of war.
Some days I’m completely content to write about abstract issues, or business concepts and whatnot. Other days, I feel oddly compelled to write about my deeper feelings.
I’ve strongly considered writing some of the more ‘revealing’ entries in an anonymous blog. But by the very nature of the sentiments within, I suppose it’d be only a matter of time before folks were both tempted to learn my identity and — with a little detective work — easily able to do so. Sure, I could change not only names, but also places and times and all… but then we’re nearly back where we started, aren’t we? Not very authentic, and perhaps more hassle than reward.
Certainly there are no easy answers.