I like to follow a blogger on Facebook called Single Dad Laughing who posts funny memes. I don’t follow his blog quite as religiously, but I’ll click on a few posts that interest me.
I found these posts interesting because they’re so personal. How many times do you wonder why a relationship failed? He outlines a lot of little ways he and his ex-wives failed each other. Some of the things he said made me feel a little bad for him, and other things he said made me feel bad for his ex-wives!
But here’s the thing… There are people who know this man in real life, and his ex-wives. And he’s put online all sorts of personal details about his relationships with these very real women. In fact, he put this online several years ago, and it’s still making its rounds! Having all this personal stuff about these women online seems mean spirited to me. And a little self-indulgent, too. As a writer, I understand the constant pressure to come up with content, but some things need to stay private. Actually, a lot of things need to stay private!
I think this particular blogger has made his single status his niche, and in his rush to create posts that will get clicks, he’s sacrificed some dignity. (Both his own, and the women he writes about.) And perhaps all of us bloggers and writers run the same risk–offering up our most personal details for public consumption. There is a line to be walked where we share enough to be authentic, but keep back enough to protect our privacy, too. I’m not saying it’s easy! The constant demand for online filler can be insatiable.
As a novelist, I need to keep an online presence. So I have a Facebook page, a new Twitter account, and this blog. That’s a lot of online content going up daily. And like everyone else, I hate following people who are a constant flow of advertisements. So it’s a tough line to walk! Here’s hoping I manage to do it with a little grace.