This week we are discussing the issue of privacy on the internet and on our blogs. Read on!
1. Do you think privacy is something we should worry about as bloggers?
I think that privacy on the internet as a whole is something that all internet users should worry about - especially on Facebook. Sharing specific data about where you live, work, or hang out is a danger. However, Facebook offers privacy settings that a blog does not. Therefore, bloggers do need to worry about how much information is shared.
2. Do you use your real name or a pen name? What was behind that decision?
I use my real name. I can't identify with a pen name. It's hard for me to imagine to "be someone else." I wanted my readers to know this part of me as authentic, I guess. I believe that my name goes with my appearance, too, and since I knew there would be pictures of me on my blog, I wanted it to match!
3. How much personal information do you reveal about your life beyond the blog?
I give out my email address, pictures of myself, my real name, my opinions, adventures that I have...in order to be a good blogger, you must submit to offering your readers some sense of reality and truth of who you are. I blog because I want to share the things that I experience in life and what I do. I believe I can do that safely without offering you details that would jeopardize my safety.
4. What will you never reveal?
Well, I guess you'll never know :) J/K. I'll never reveal where I work, my real home address, certain things that are going on in my personal life (which I'll explain more below), or anything that could lead a stalker to my location!
5. As bloggers, we have to an extent made ourselves 'public' figures. But still there are things that are intimate to each of us that do not need to be known by anyone that stumbles across our blog. How do you determine what is appropriate for public consumption and what is private to you?
Beware - soapbox rant.
Well, my first answer would be by means of rationality! However, I've seen many people lack that quality on the internet. I have seen friends, coworkers, students, and strangers lack the understanding that just because this is your "personal" website, Facebook page, or blog that what you post is private. Well, that's just not true at all. What is personal is far different from what is private. However, those lines are easily blurred within a generation that has grown up in a social environment on the internet. My students will post up and down on the newsfeed how much they hate this teacher for that reason and love these inappropriate song lyrics but hate this fellow classmate. They honestly don't think that anyone other than whose page they posted it to will see it.
In reference to the cartoon posted above, I personally know people who have not gotten jobs or have been fired because of content on their Facebook page. One such case was not even what they posted, but an inappropriate comment posted by someone else on her page! She failed to moderate it properly and reaped the consequences. Now, she has limited her profile to the point of where no one can write on her Facebook wall. My current boss does not have a Facebook account, but can access each one of her employee's accounts. A word to the wise - your employer is not as oblivious as he may seem!
Like I said, with a blog we don't have the privacy settings that Facebook offers. I never have and never will use my blog as an emotional outcry for attention and help. If I am suffering and crying over a personal issue with a friend, boyfriend, or family member, you will not hear about it here. I don't need to subject my readers to my emotional instability. Confide in a good friend, spiritual advisor, family member, or a private journal! The irony of the internet is that we share our personal information with an impersonal and distant receiver! How does that make sense?
Thanks for reading and become a follower if you haven't already!