Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Musings of an Overly Cautious Blogger

I added a few updates to my blog (my next goal will hopefully be creating a "cutest blog on the block" background. My blog looks so plain!) I put a few more blogs on my blog list, and a couple more links to web sites that I like. I joined Catholic Mothers Online, and hopefully I'll add that blogroll soon as well.

I've been connecting with people online for a number of years, ever since I joined Oprah's Book Club and started chatting about books with folks from all over the world. That connected me with another internet book club about three years ago, and I still have online conversations with some of those ladies from time to time. Our group has used several different web sites over the years; currently we're on Goodreads. (You can check this group out here; right now they're reading Middlemarch andThe Edge of Winter. I'm not reading those, so I haven't been in on their discussions in a while.)

Not long after I started connecting online with other people, my husband and I had a long conversation about what was appropriate information about ourselves to post on a public site, and what not to post. We decided that we would avoid posting anything that would make it possible for someone to figure out who we were and where we lived. We're mostly concerned about our kids' safety, and we want to set a good example for their Internet use as well. For kids it's especially important not to arrange face-to-face meetings with anyone they've met online. Some of my online friends have visited each other after meeting on the Internet; I havent' personally met any of my online acquaintances. Again, we're trying to practice what we preach, and keep our family safe. (Heck, as it is our kids aren't allowed to have Internet conversations with anyone they don't already know.)

Now that I'm blogging, I'm trying to use the same guidelines for myself that I use on other public sites. Technically, anyone with a computer can view my blog (although I can't seem to find it on Google even though I registered--note to self, check that out). I LOVE reading blogs from people who post pictures of their families and share the ups and downs of their everyday lives. Right now I'm not ready to do that here. (I did update my profile by adding "Virginia" to the location; now you know what state I live in. In one post I already gave away the town I came from.)

One thing I have learned: being online with certain people long enough helps me to get a general idea of what kinds of things I'm comfortable sharing with them. For most of my online friends, I would have no qualms about sharing pictures of my kids, and other things about myself like where I work, where my kids go to school, things about the city where I live, etc. In fact, I've added a few friends to my Facebook page who I met online--people who I enjoy conversing with and I am 100% confident that they're good and trustworthy folks.

I want to have the chance to share more of myself with you, so here's what I've decided: If you want to be my Facebook friend, leave a comment here telling me so. (Be sure to include your email if it isn't already on your Blogger profile. I haven't published mine.) I'll email you my FB username (or if you want to leave me yours, that would be fine, too) so we can find each other, IF:

1. You are a regular follower of my blog; AND

2. I know you well enough to be reasonably sure you're a "safe" person.

Just be patient with me, and if I don't add you right away or at all, it isn't that I don't like you; it's just that I'm a little skittish, and I probably just want to get to know you a little better first. (I just realized that I sound like a girl talking to a guy who's pressuring her to go to second base! LOL!)

Thanks for listening! Blogging has surprised me by connecting me with so many wonderful people, many of whom are Catholic mothers just like me. I hope and pray that I may be able to meet some of you in person someday, but for the moment I'm keeping my cyber-friendships and my personal, face-to-face friendships seperate. One step at a time! :D


  1. Am I safe? I think you have my e-mail address. I am on facebook under my whole name which you also have. Looking forward to seeing you there, (if you deem me safe enough:) )

  2. I found you and I added you, Evy! Thanks! :)

  3. I feel the same way about things. When I first started bloggging over a year ago I did not like posting any personal pictures. To this day I have a hard time putting my face to my blog. I want to show I am a real person, but at the same time I don't want anyone to really know who I am. It's a fine line.
    Do what you feel is best for your family. That's all that matters.

  4. I completely understand this dilemma. Figuring out what is appropriate and not appropriate to post. It's different for everyone. Some folks are VERY open on their blogs, and others are more conservative. And then there's everyone in between. I tend toward being cautious, after all it's up there for ALL to see ... Every-once-in-awhile, I get nervous that maybe I was too personal. I guess it's something that just takes time to figure out.

  5. I found you from Catholic Mothers On line. I started a blog in April. I put pic's of my kids on line, but don't show thier faces. I also don't share my town, but show the state. Like you I worry how much is too much. You have a gift for writting. I plan to check in from time to time....Good Luck, and Enjoy!

  6. Thanks, Barbara! I checked out your blog--very nice! I like lots of pictures. I need to put more of them on mine.


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