June 27, 2011

At a Loss for Words...

Or is it more appropriate to say... at a loss for conviction? Allow me to explain.

For today's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog assignment, we've been tasked with writing an opinion post. I've been known to have a couple of opinions every once in a great while. Like last week's post about feminism, for example. Or about a Republican agenda leading the war on women. Or that periods are not gross. Or why mandated infertility coverage is a good thing. Or why I think high school reunions are lame.

Ok... so yeah, I'm an opinionated woman and I'm not shy about putting my opinions out there on the internet.

Via Wikimedia Commons.
And yet - there's a lot about which I don't write. I knew when I stopped writing under a pseudonym and started using my real name and face I would inevitably begin to self-censor. I do it more than I think most people realize. Infertility and my interactions with others in the context of that disease are, rightfully so, some delicate and touchy subjects.

My inner voice coos: Don't offend anyone, Keiko! Oh no, don't write about that today. You're going to hurt someone's feelings. You want everyone to like you, don't you?

Sometimes, I don't really give a flying fuck what people think.

(Case in point: the previous sentence and my use of profanity.) But this is one of those times that I do give a fuck.

In fact, most times I consider at great length how a post will be received and about who's reading it. Sometimes I'm worried about the people I know, like family and close friends: what will my sister think? Would this embarrass my mom if she read this? Will my friends judge me?

Other times I'm thinking about the readers of this blog I interact with online: is she going to stop following me on Twitter if I mention this?

And sometimes I think about the complete strangers who come here from random internet searches, knowing that my opinion is now linked with my name and face and wondering what that legacy could look like in the lasting eternity of the internet.

I struggle with that fine line of how do I talk about X on my blog if I haven't talked with So-and-So about it in person?

The question that I'm actually avoiding in the process is this:

Do I need to run my topics by people in the first place?

Or to boil it down further: why do I care so much?

This is my blog: my space, my rules. I should write about whatever the hell I want, right? People that I care about read these words, people I respect and admire, even potential employers an networking contacts read this blog.  

In the age of blogging and internet permanence, our words carry a much heavier weight and lingering presence. Our blogs shape our online reputations.

So sometimes, yeah - I hesitate before I hit "Publish" and instead hit "Save," casting that opinion into a long queue of never-to-be-published half-written drafts. Because I cave to my inner voice:

You don't want to offend the people you know, dear. You don't want your virtual resume to be dirtied with such unpleasantries. That's a good girl.

While it's easy to me to hide behind the guise of self-censorship, I'm self-aware enough to know what this is really all about:

I have a pretty huge fear of failure.

It's taken me 29 years to realize this, but I've always been the kind of person who found it easier to walk away from an opportunity without having tried than trying and failing. I can pinpoint for you so many different examples of times in my life I've stifled myself because I was so scared of the risk of failing in the process.

I have deliberately held myself back at more times in my life than I would like to admit. And here I am, doing it again.

I'm holding my opinions back because I'm afraid that if I offend people and lose a handful of followers (which has happened after some of my more opinionated posts) it means that I've failed my readers in some way and thus, I'm a failure.

(So in addition to being opinionated, I'm neurotic too. Awesomesauce.)

I could just post all those thoughts in my head and shut off commenting. Or I could delete the comments that make me uncomfortable or disagree with me. But that would be cowardly. That's the wonderful thing about blogging: it's a dialogue between author and reader.

That's why, as JJiraffe points out in a recent post, why a blogger who doesn't respond to comments can upset the balance - and beauty - of the blogging experience. It feels like we're just shouting on a busy street corner, failing to acknowledge the people that stop and reply to what we're saying.

I could keep my opinions bottled up in an endless queue of drafts. But how would that add to the dynamic experience of the blogosphere? How would that enrich the cultural dialogue of blogging?

It wouldn't.

So what's a blogger to do? Risk offending some of you, some of you about whom I care deeply? Or do I throw caution to the wind and post away, consequences and judgments be damned? Is it simply a matter of how I word my opinions and not what my opinions actually are? And isn't that it's own form of self-censorship, a way of making my posts politically/reader-correct?

It seems I have more questions than answers.

Whether you blog anonymously or not, whether your blog is shared with people you know or not - what do you do? What would you do? Do you write it as or do you self-censor, shelf it for another day or never to be published? Is there some nice grey-area middle ground I'm missing? Sound off in the comments.

I realize this post has morphed into a huge tease of "Ooooh... I wonder what she was going to write about in the first place?" Well, I'll tell you. I shelved about 6 ideas for today's opinion post. Briefly, here are the ideas that got canned, without any kind of supporting context:

  • I really don't want to be a mom to twins.
  • Sometimes it's pretty rad not to have kids.
  • People who post obessively about their children on Facebook annoy the shit out of me.
  • Ditto this about previously infertile bloggers who show no sensitivity to their infertile readers when posting about their pregnancy and newborns.
  • Teenaged girls should know what cervical mucus is.
  • While I think the birth control pill is a major advancement in women's rights, I think it's fundamentally against our biological nature. (And yes, I rely on BCP for quality of life.)

If any of these intrigue you and you'd like to hear more, let me know in the comments. If you're super-offended and want to bail, that's okay too. But I'd love to hear how folks handle sensitive topics and how they're received by readers as a way to guide how I'll further elaborate on these topics, if you happen to be interested in hearing about them in the first place.

Am I off base here? Am I overreacting? Let me know - I'm genuinely interested in what other folks are doing or have done when it comes to potentially offending readers with their opinions.


EDIT TO ADD: The conversation continues at my follow-up post here: When I Think, I Must Speak.

42 comments:

Katie said...

A few things:

1. I am also afraid of failure.
2. I am also afraid of offending people (sometimes).
3. I agree with every single possible blog topic that you shelved for today's post.

So see, the moral of this entire thing is YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE. :)

M said...

I think all of the topics you listed are great. I'd be particularly interested in reading your thoughts on points 3 and 4, since those are the ones that get to me the most.

Sushigirl said...

I also get a bit annoyed about the previously infertile bloggers. I mentioned creepy tickertape things on mine recently and wondered if it would offend people.

I really hate tickertape things though.

Keiko said...

@Katie: You have no idea how comforting that is to hear. Thank you!

Keiko said...

@M: I think these are the 2 topics I was struggling with the most b/c they speak directly to people I know IRL, whether closely or otherwise. I very much want to write about them with the candidness of say, Mommy Odyssey (and her BRILLIANT post on the matter here). But I genuinely worry I might hurt the people I care about by writing it down here.

Keiko said...

@Sushigirl: I agree, the ticker things are kind of weird. Check out the post I linked in the comment above- she goes into the whole Preggo Meme/Survey thing and it's genius.

Serendipitie said...

I agree with every one of your potential blog posts! But then again I am offensive and not easily offended. :) of course, I still have the veil of anonymity! You are a thoughtful person, I'm sure you will make the decisions that you are comfortable with.

Evedelilah said...

Ive always been struck by the thought that what I say,do, or write may offend those who read, but I have tried very hard to stay true to the fact that I am human, and infertility sucks. And that I will have bad days where the not so nice thoughts come out, but if I completely censor those thoughts, Im not being true to myself, or to my readers. We as infertiles understand better than most that life is messy. Its not all happy feelings and smiles. And I believe that since the blog is mine, or in this case yours, that you have a right, and an obligation to share all of it. The good and the bad.

love, me :)

ps- I am also interested in hearing your feelings on topic 4, since Im hoping that someday I will be able to make the transition without pissing anyone off!

junebug said...

Here is my opinion. Your space, your words, your right - that is the whole point of freedom. While I disagree with several of the stances you have taken, I'm not offended. I think the problem has become as a society we confuse having a difference of opinion with attacking people who disagree with us. We disagree on topics. You are not (usually) attacking me personally. We should be able to disagree with respect. Sadly most people (especially the two political sides) have completely lost this key difference and fallen into playground tactics of calling names and cheap shots. I don't mind listen to someone I completely disagree with as long as they are speaking to me with respect. I'm even glad to share my point of view if they are willing to listen to me. We all see the world differently and have various experiences that color our paths. If we took more time to listen patiently to each person we met, we would all learn more, be more and love more. What a wonderful place we could build.
As for my philosophy as a blogger: I don't get controversial very often but when I do I discuss my issue with respect and I don't call people names. I do worry about offending people but I work hard to respond they way I would want people to respond to me if I was on the other side.

Amy said...

I sort of like the life is rad sans kids one. Sometimes I wish that I knew when my IF journey would end...so I could have appreciated (and lived!) those 5 years we were ttc more...

And also, after ttc for 5 years and then having our miracle baby, it's pretty darn hard not to post on fb all the time about her. But I also provide links to IF related things and speak out for IF issue as much as I can :-)

Liz said...

I am a mom of twins who posts about her children on Facebook and doesn't know whether or not or how to show sensitivity to readers who followed me during infertility and are still experiencing it.
But I LOVE this post! I also censor myself for certain readers *coughmotherinlawcough* and hate that I do that. I'm the queen of my blog... but I'm a pathetic people pleaser.
I would love to read about any of the topics you posted, because keeping it real is what blogging is all about. You rock!

TeamBabyCEO said...

I would love to hear on each and every topic that you've posted. Asides from that, I am also of the mindset that I respect your right to an opinion different from mine, because I may learn something, or think about something differently than I once did.

Michelle D said...

I agree with a lot of what people are commenting and a lot of what you have said in your blog. I like that you deal with your opinions respectfully and I can't think of a time I've been offended. If I have I just don't read that post hehe...I'm an adult I can deal ;)
I'm also with Liz in that I am a mother of DE twin girls and I've had (and still have) infertility as my constant "friend/enemy" and sometimes probably don't strike the balance. I probably offend but oh well...I think of my blog more as my somewhat private and somewhat public journal. They are my thoughts and my life so if you can't deal with it then stop reading. I follow people for different perspectives and at different stages of IF and just really wish there was more respect or such all around with infertiles (with or without kids). PS This was not a post I was offended by just a very good discussion point (obviously many agree based on comments) so thanks for sharing.

Sari Jane said...

I say post, post, post away! If someone doesn't want to read it then they won't. People need to realize that everyone has a different opinion and just because thiers may be different it does not make them right and you wrong. The things you post can open someones eyes or change their mind. Remember no one can say it like you can, and bottling it up will never feel as good as letting it all spill out!

Oak said...

Hmmm, censoring yourself? I'm terrible at it but the skill does exist when needed. I, more often than not, have verbal diarrhea. To compound that I'm also an anonymous blogger which makes my blog a place I feel very little need to censor. But you did hit on a topic I ponder quite often...previously infertile bloggers that blog about their newborns or pregnancies.

I'm that person. And much like you said, its my blog, its my space to say what I want to and not what I feel others want to say. If I were to NOT blog about my kid, then in turn, I would be censoring myself because right now, I have very little going on upstairs outside of him. I always write for myself, not for anyone else. I'm a selfish blogger that way.

And beyond that, I always feel some twisted sadness when I see IFers make pregnancy announcements that are then coupled with an apology post. I don't want people to have to apologize for their good fortune. For me, rather than post an apology, I instead choose to continue to follow their stories and support their journeys and hope they know that even though my life is in a different place, I still care deeply about where their road is taking them.

Its a really interesting topic, Keiko. One that if I didn't have utter brain failure today, I might actually do a post on. How about tomorrow? :)

Jonelle said...

I am guilty of self-censorsing my blog. Because I know most of the people IRL read my blog frequently. And I write about RL experiences of being an infertile woman among fertile friends. The worst time was when my best friend (who has her own history with IF and pregnancy loss) was pregnant. There were so many emotions going on with me and I didn't have the heart to click 'publish' because I was afraid of hurting her feelings and jepordizing our friendship. It killed me that I couldn't express myself in my blog.
I finally did write a post which I expressed my feelings, but it was so lightly glossed over and not remotely the post that showed all my true feelings.
Those post ideas that you listed are ones that I would be very intersted in reading.

Keiko said...

@Everyone: I can't keep up with the comments but thank you all for sharing. It's really helpful to hear all these perspectives.

Also, I'm not targeting any one reader or person in my life re: points 3 & 4, just to clarify. So, please don't worry about "OMG is she talking about ME?!" No, I'm probably not :)

Esperanza said...

Oh my, oh my, oh my! I have so much to say. Too much to say in fact. (Actually I did have too much to say, my comment was too long so I have to post it as two comments!)

I'm realizing that a lot of what I want to say applies to my blog and I wonder if it applies in the same way to yours. My blog is just a journal of my life. I sometimes tackle relevant issues but if I do it's more like an editorial, my opinion on something. But most of the time it's just me expressing how I think and feel. I almost never (I can't think of a time at least) present actual facts for people about important issues, like you sometimes do. My posts are never to educate people and I rarely publish a researched post with source material links available for further reading or fact checking. So I fee like on my blog I can say whatever I want and no one could really fault me for that, because I don't pretend to ever do anything more than present my opinion. My blog is about what I think and feel.

Your blog is different because while much of your content is just about your life and what you think and feel, you do put up well-researched educational post about infertility and other topics that are important to you. Does this mean that you can't put up what might be controversial opinion pieces too? I don't think it excludes you from doing so but it might make you think twice before you do it. Also the sheer volume of people who read your posts might lead you to be more careful about what you put out there. (Then again, it might make you less worried as you know you have a huge following and losing a few people won't hurt your readership that badly).

(continued below)...

Esperanza said...

(...continued from above).

On Friday I put up a post that basically said I didn't feel like being a SAHM was "work". I'm on my summer vacation and I truly feel that the six months of maternity leave and now these months of summer are MUCH easier than when I'm teaching full time and being a mom. But instead of making the whole post about my experience I made some sweeping generalizations about SAHM-hood that were not considerate or fair. In the end it inspired some really thoughtful dialogue in the comment section that helped me to do some soul searching and realize why I wrote the post in the divisive tone that I did.

Now am I glad I put up that post? I'm not sure. On the one hand I felt really shitty for creating a rift between myself (and other WOHMs) and my SAHM readers/friends (and I realized during this post that the majority of my few commenters are SAHMs). I was not happy with the negativity I felt I'd put out into the blogosphere.

Also I was TERRIFIED that I would lose the few readers that I do have over a stupid post that I didn't even feel that strongly about.

But the post also inspired a great conversation about the semantics of the words "job" and "work" and "responsibility" and about the ways in which a SAHMs work is devalued by our society at large. It helped me to see that I'm very jealous of SAHMs and resentful that I can't have what I always assumed I'd be able to have. So I learned something and I think my readers did too.

I did add an addendum to the top of the post half way through the day and the next day I wrote a response, thanking my readers for their helpful comments, apologizing for my divisive tone and explaining why I felt I wrote the piece the way I did.

In the end I think I will continue to put up posts that are controversial, but I will think long and hard about *why* I'm writing them and *how* I'm presenting my point of view. Hopefully that way I will avoid putting something out there that is inspired by negative emotions like jealousy or envy, or that I'm at least putting my negative feelings out there in a constructive, considerate way.

So I guess that is the moral of my story. Say what you want to say but know why you're saying it and say it in a way that is constructive and considerate of others.

Unless you really feel strongly about something and you just want to blast the shit out of it, then I say go for it!

Thanks for bringing up such an important issue, once again!

(I feel like I should link to the posts I'm referring to, though I'm kind of loathe to have more people read them. Still, I feel it's the "right" thing to do. Don't judge me too harshly if you do click over:
The SAHM post: http://esperanzasays.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/confessional-fridays-being-a-sahm-doesnt-feel-like-work/
And the follow up: http://esperanzasays.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/gratitude-and-regret/)

Michelle D said...

As a possible offender of number 3 or 4 (although I hope not and no I didn't think you were referring to me nor was I to your post but another blogger)...I am still very interested in these topics being covered. I think it would be helpful to have that viewpoint on possibly how to handle things differently if needed :) All of the topics you suggested sound like a great read.

Whitney Anderson said...

Great post. I can absolutely relate and I have several unpublished posts as well. I tend to feel at the end of the day that it's my blog, I'll say what I want though.

I, too, blog publicly with my name and my friends and family follow me -- sometimes that limits me as I'm afraid to post certain things. But, I discovered that instead of just making a blanket statement about things that were hurtful, but rather really explaining it in depth worked.

I like all of your ideas! Esp. the one about former infertiles forgetting about the IF world and being a little insensitive. I have a friend IRL that went NUTS on Facebook and in person after finally getting pregnant and it was disappointing. Posting on FB about your pregnancy/baby and posting 12 things a day are two different things.

Whitney Anderson said...

btw, love the Mommy Odyssey post. hehe!

mommyodyssey said...

First off, thanks for the shout-out! I'm honored. :-)
here's my take on this: I blog anonymously, but people IRL know about and read my blog. I've sometimes got quite a bit of flack for being so completely blunt about my feelings, and I admit, that I feel bad and second guess myself sometimes. But I think part of the reason I started blogging in the first place as an outlet. So I don't censor myself. I'd rather post an apologetic retraction that post nothing at all.
You know - I have an amazing fear of failure too. It keeps me from doing a lot of things in my life. It surprises me that you're that way. I think of you as such a strong powerful voice. But then again - we never really do recognize our own strength, do we?
I think you should be as candid as you feel you want and need to be. And if this place isn't the right platform, you can always start a second anonymous blog for your bitter ramblings. I promise I'll never tell. :-)

Chickenpig said...

Keiko, I read your blog because I love the way you write and I enjoy learning about your take on things. I don't think anything that I have read anywhere in the ALI community has offended me, made me think, and sometimes gotten my dander up, but never offended me. The only posts of yours that are failures are the ones you're afraid to do!

I loved all your blog post topics. I hope you write a good entry on at least a couple of them real soon. Especially number one ;) I love my twins but I wouldn't wish twins on my worst enemy.

Queen J. said...

Keiko I believe that what you are doing here is great! You shouldn't censor yourself because this is your space to express yourself. Your thoughts belong to you! So what if someone gets offended you're not here to please everybody. You also shouldn't worry about who's going to read your blog. Just keep sharing!

Mirjam said...

It's so strange. Here I am in Ukraine resquing children from their parents who don't want them. And on the other side there are so many people who would just want to have the child.

I post quite dramatic stories about the children. They might offend many nationalistic feelings.

I am also afraid offending people and I work in a country you need to be wise, how you express your self. In Ukraine we don't have the freedom to express our selfs.

Jjiraffe said...

"I REALLY don't want to be the mother of twins".

I don't know why, but this totally cracked me up!! It's so honest and funny.

Yes, I'm a mother of twins. It's still funny to me. Maybe especially funny.

Something I've been dying to write about: who the heck was Chez Miscarriage? Was she real? If so, how was she able to just stop blogging six years ago after getting millions of readers?

I feel like this topic might offend people. Maybe there's a secret society protecting her identity. It's all so darn mysterious.

Gwen said...

I would love to hear about the first 4 items on your list of things you don't post. Not that I don't want to hear about the other 2, but the first 4 are the most interesting to me (and I can't agree enough about Facebook).

Turtle Hope said...

Ahh...this is the beauty of writing in a public arena. I have been coping with criticism and rejection lately (even by you Keiko). This hasn't stopped my intention of learning, healing, and spreading awareness. You are interesting and thought provoking. IF comes with many extremely sensitive topics. Our target audience is as complex as the disease. Keep up the great work! As I remind you that criticism only comes to those brave enough to speak their truth... I also remind myself.

Lynda said...

I'd totally dig a post on all those topics you listed.

Writing about personal topics is just plain hard. That censor is always going to be inside of you screaming not to publish. I've had my share of hurtful comments and stabs at my personal life. It's never fun and just ONE of them can have you questioning whether or not you should pull the whole blog.

I used to write publicly about personal issues. Now I save my personal advocacy for Facebook. Sometimes it bleeds out to Twitter a bit. I blog about photography and blogging... not HUGELY controversial subjects. Or if people do attack my opinion, it doesn't hurt nearly as much as a blow about ME.

Colorado Dreamer said...

Teenage girls know what cervical mucous is? Oh ick. But I digress...

Here are some off-the-cuff reactions to yet another bold yet thoughtful and tactful post of yours:
- It takes courage to express yourself no matter the vehicle.
- Should you self-censor? What you censor depends on the purpose of your blog. If it's all about you, then really - who cares? If you have an agenda and you blog to support it, then that also informs your topics. I believe we all self-censor every day.
- Politically Correct is stupid and wrong, not to mention an oxymoron. What politics? What is correct? Who decided that crap anyway? The minute you support one point of view, does that mean you are tacitly against anyone who happens to hold a different set of values? Of course not (necessarily), otherwise you would be judging others and that's... um, not fair or right.
- We rightly ask ourselves whether our opinion would offend someone, because we want to express ourselves without alienating the community we hope to invite into the discussion. But you know what? That is inevitable. You can't say anything without offending somebody. That is why I choose to blog about my experience with (in)fertility and pair it with my relationship with God - I imagine that the people who choose to read it are interested in it for one reason or another, and I assume if they don't like it they won't bother reading it.
- If a blogger's objective (or politician's for that matter) is to attract as many people as possible, they will be interesting to, and effective for, almost no one.
- So put on your armor and keep fighting the good fight. Those who want to read, will.

elzimmy said...

Wow! Wow. I can't wait to read more of your thoughts on any of the topics. While I don't put my name out there, my picture is on my blog so if anyone stumbled across it, they would know it's me. That does cause me to self-censor so I'm interested in other perspectives on this. And, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! :)

missohkay said...

I self-censor some. Especially politically (because I'm really into politics but hate reading the other side and don't want to make my readers on the other side feel that way about my writing). And I often debate whether I should shed the mask of anonymity - but then I'm sure I would REALLY self-censor. For job reasons and for family reasons primarily. I think your opinionated posts have been good because they stated your opinion but were respectful. If you lose some readers, fuck em ;) (Just kidding - I care about not losing readers too)

Magpie said...

your list of six shelved posts cracked me up - especially the cervical mucus one. because? ewwww, scream the teenaged girls. but yes, they should know about it. i didn't read TCOYF until i was 40, and i should have read a long time earlier.

Kaley said...

I love this post, really. I deal with this a lot in my blog currently. I have family that reads it, I assume. It posts to my Facebook and they are all on there, so it is only fitting that they stumble upon it. My original intent of the blog was for them, anyway.

But there are things on there I would love to talk about, that would bring out the more "human" aspect of myself, but I don't for the fear of offending them.

I've not gotten a whole lot of support on my decision to leave, and the recent Japan disaster isn't helping matters much. And it is really weighing on me. The thoughts of if something happens to someone I care about while I'm gone doing something they didn't want me to do - those sorts of things.

It's hard, really. Trying to find that balance. I think you are a brave woman for putting out your story, I really do.

justine said...

I love your blog, partly because you DO express opinions ... and because you invite dialogue without diatribe.

Though my blog doesn't have much opinionated meat to it, I do think I tend to self-censor a little bit now because I've "crossed over"--I have my two children--and I don't want to alienate the infertility community that has supported me and made me the blogger that I am. I HATE losing readers--even one--and I really ought to lose that counter, which makes me self-conscious (another failure-averse female over here!).

I'd love to read what you have to say about any of your tabled topics. :) And reading ahead to your next post ... congrats on the decision to move! I've thought about it, but the move for image-heavy posting really scares me ... !!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

YOU DON'T WANT TWINS? YOU'VE OFFENDED ME AND I'M LEAVING!

Just wanted to give you one of those mini-heart attack moments.

Dude, I don't give a crap if you write that you don't want twins and give the reasons or tell me that you'd really rather have a seahorse than a baby or that you plan on dressing all future children in only Juicy Couture.

I don't read you because of your individual ideas but for the whole package. Yes, those individual elements are part of the whole, but just as I don't reject Josh for eating tuna fish (nasty!), I would never reject you for expressing an opinion.

If I was in disagreement on a lot of opinions or if your opinions truly got under my skin, I may stop reading you. But if I did, it would be partly my fault for not really realizing who the writer was before I got invested. Which is to say that it has never happened on my end where I was so offended by someone I read regularly that I never returned.

Hope said...

I'd love to read a post on why teenage girls should know about cervical mucus. I agree, and I knew about it as a teenager, but I'd love to see how you treat the subject.

K said...

Like others here I also totally agree with all your canned topics.

I blog anonymously and I censor myself so much IRL since I don't talk to anyone about IF that I pretty much wouldn't want to censor myself at all on my blog.

That being said though, I'm one of those people that when stating an opinion I think could be offensive or even just a little jarring, I pad it in all kinds of qualifiers.

Sort of like, "Well, I totally understand such and such, and I do believe such and such, but still, sometimes, I think I kind of feel such and such."

Ugh. I kind of do that IRL too and it makes me a little sad that I don't have the balls (ovaries?) to just state my opinion directly.

So definitely kudos to those who do.

areyoukiddingme said...

I self-censor all the time. My husband doesn't approve of me writing anything about him or our daughter, because he's paranoid about privacy. I can't write much about my job, due to its nature. I don't want to complain all the time, which is my usual nature. But it irritates me to have to self-censor. I wish I didn't have to do it. I don't think you should have to either, but that's a choice you make. If you decide to choose differently, you may find that the benefits of expressing yourself outweighs the fears.

As to your topics...the last one relates to something I've been thinking about lately. I have an (OK, several) annoying sister-in-law who's all about living "natural" and all the food in grocery stores is poisonous, etc. I have heard several people complain about milk and chicken and how they're filled with artificial hormones. And it strikes me as slightly ironic that all of these people have, at one point or another, pumped themselves full of artificial hormones in the name of birth control.

Heather said...

This is your blog. Just go for it. It is your space.
I'd like to see the post about how life is rad without kids (like my one about how dogs are better http://surviveandthrive.co.za/dogs/10-reasons-why-dogs-are-better-than-kids.html - we have to laugh or else we'd go insane)
I also think Facebook is a whole topic all by itself. For many reasons. I liked Yolk's post which is still getting comments to this day. http://eggsandsperm.com/2011/02/16/the-facebook-pregnancy-announcement

Billy said...

topic 4 :-) I am now on the other side with a kid. I blog about her a lot. I do (more did) have an inner dialogue with self about blogging about her. On one hand, I do very much understand readers who might find it difficult to read. On the other hand... first and foremost I've created my blog for her/him/them to one day read [if they'd ever want to know how they came to be]. So that was (is) kind of a balance.

As for censoring what I wrote. Well yes, I do. There are these IRL people who I don't even know if read but have the keys to my blog and can potentially read. I do have some issues I'd like to write about and maybe I wouldn't mind if I knew for sure they were reading (or not), but as it is now, I prefer not talking about those issues.