I have had plenty of bouts with writer's block when I couldn't come up with anything at all to get my fingers typing. On the flip side, I have occasionally (like now) had something I really wanted to blog about, but it was just something I couldn't in good conscience put here in this space for all the world to see. Perhaps it was because it would embarrass someone else or because it was a topic that I knew would anger people. Maybe it was even something that I was told in confidence and I couldn't risk breaking the trust of the one who shared something personal with me.
Such is the conundrum of blogging.
The fact is that anyone from anywhere in the world could land on my little tiny piece of the internet at any second. Although I always knew this in theory, I got a real wake up call a couple years ago when my oldest daughter was in 5th grade and one of her classmates liked my blog's Facebook page. Yep. You read that correctly. I blocked her from my page because I just wasn't comfortable with the situation, but I had to wonder "How many posts has she read already? Were any of them about my daughter? Did any of them include information that would give this child reason to make fun of my daughter or dislike her?"
I have seen bloggers post things that went completely viral garnering millions of views even though they admit they put very little effort into the post and didn't expect anyone much to read it. I have also seen bloggers slaughtered and heartbroken by nasty comments on a post they thought was totally innocuous.
The fact is, when we put something out here in the internet, we never know where it will go or what will happen. Therefore, we walk a fine line of being true to ourselves, respecting the people we care about, and reigning it in "just enough" to make sure we don't offend (except for the bloggers who offend on purpose for effect and those who really, truly do not care if they offend because they are uber secure in themselves).
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It's a decision we make every time we sit down with a computer in our lap and a keyboard beneath our fingers. Even you are not a blogger - every Facebook post, every tweet, every email - has the potential to embarrass someone, encourage someone, hurt someone, or make someone laugh.
Be honest; be yourself; be careful. It is not always an easy thing to do and, sometimes, it means not writing what you really want to write.
This post was part of the Finish the Sentence Friday linkup.