Letting it all hang out

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.



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One response to “Letting it all hang out”

  1. Terrie Avatar

    I think this has something to do with the basic human need for acceptance—and the fear that you won’t get it.  You want to say “this is me” and be completely 100% honest…to the people who read your blog…and pray that you never meet them in person. 

    If they reject you, oh well, who cares what THEY think anyway?  But if they don’t, well then you can feel accepted.  But what if those who already accept you for the image you portray in person get to see the REAL you??  OH NO!!! So you’re right back to portraying the “accepted” you. 

    I think most people feel like people wouldn’t accept them if they knew what they were REALLY like.  If they knew their deepest, most personal thoughts, feelings, ruminations & babble. 

    Short of getting an alias and starting another site, I think you’re S.O.L.

What do you think?