Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Doesn't *everyone* want to know what I had for lunch?

Did you catch the cover article by Emily Gould in the New York Times Magazine this weekend? That's her on the right, not me, I don't have any tats. I hadn’t followed her drama on her blog, but apparently she overshares about her life and it ended up biting her in the ass. She was an editor on Gawker (one of my favorite sites, even though--or maybe precisely because--it is incredibly snarky) and, long story short, thousands of people read the details of her life and started harassing her about it.

It did get me thinking about the whole blogging thing—how much is too much to share, and how would I handle it if people started criticizing me publicly?

Truth? I’d hate it. I have a decently thick skin when it comes to constructive criticism about my writing, but if someone doesn’t like how I live my life, they can shove it. Which, of course, begs the question as to why I’m keeping a blog in the first place.

I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with trolls, nasty comments, or oversharing, so if you have any, lay it on me.


Janna Leadbetter said...

For awhile I had a blog where I shared more spiritual kinds of posts. One, in which I talked about feeling a large purpose God has given my life is this writing thing, got blasted by an anonymous reader, who ranted about how selfish and conceited I was to think such a thing. Pfft!

I've since deleted the blog, but only because my devotion to it didn't feel adequate enough, not because I had an unsatisfactory comment.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had any trolls. Thank goodness.

On oversharing, my rule of thumb is this: if I hesitate on posting something then I don't. I refuse to convince myself into posting anything.

For me, a "pause" is the same as no.

WendyCinNYC said...

I guess I do the "pause" thing as well. I had a much funnier headline in mind for this post, in fact, but I thought it was a little too provocative for those who don't know me.

Janna--it's interesting how all the rude comments tend to be anonymous, isn't it?

Polenth said...

I like posting my thoughts on subjects and a bit about what I do. I don't like the oversharing thing though. I don't think the problems of my family, friends and co-workers are mine to share.

So far, no one has flamed me for a blog post. I have received flames for my dragon website. The worst was a person who felt it was wrong for me to have myths on the site where the dragon dies. I like to keep that one in mind, as it shows that you don't need to share anything personal or controversial to upset some people.

Anonymous said...

The thing is if you feel strongly about it, then share it. Takes courage sometimes, but we writers need to keep an edge and the emotion in our efforts.

First thing I would do though is not allow anonymous posting. Easy thing to set up.

I love reading other blogs and if the post interests me or I enjoy it then I always leave comments.

I enjoy reading yours. Just be honest to yourself with your writing and you won't go wrong.


WendyCinNYC said...

Ah yes, the dreaded People for the Ethical Treatment of Dragons. How dare you depict one dying, Polenth. And congrats on your dialogue win on Nathan Bransford's blog.

Steve--I'm trying to walk that line between honesty and oversharing, at least here on my blog. My writing is another story, I can delve into the dark recesses of my mind through characters, no problem. 'Cause it's not me, right? Right?

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I like the pause rule. I try to avoid posting specifics that would allow a stalker to find me and anything so boring that not even my mother would be interested to read (like my daily meals).

I haven't had any trolls, only a couple spammers. I agree with stamperdad about it being ok to post about something you feel strongly about, as long as you're prepared for contradictory opinions.

I keep expecting hateful comments about immigration, but so far nothing's come through. (knock on wood).

Ed Wyrd said...

I don't really share "personal" things in my life. I think in reading what I have blogged, you get an inkling of who I am. My sister-in-law, who I don't care much for and I doubt she'll find this post so it's safe to say, said that she knows more about me reading my blog then she ever knew. But that's because we don't like each other (why she reads my blog is a mystery).

And the only post I've deleted was one where I discussed a school incident betwen my child and his overzealous religious teacher. I was discovering too many people at the school knew I had a blog and I didn't want the teacher retaliating because of what I had said.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Ed makes a good point. Not many people where I live know I have a blog, but at some point they could find out and I don't want to have to explain some rant from five months ago. I try to keep it in the back of my head that a future employer or agent could read what I've said and I'd hate to lose an opportunity because I couldn't control myself.

Anonymous said...

I read the article in the NYT and I was kind of puzzled. The gal was yakking about all the trouble she got into for oversharing, and yet there she is again, plastered all over the cover and oversharing about all the touble that oversharing got her into. Straight in to the recycling bin!

Anyway - I don't have a blog, so it's not a problem I have to deal with.

I just wanted to add a comment. What a lovely blog!


The Word Faery said...

I did that, blogged a bit too close to home and it came back to bite me in the ass. Now I'm tons more selective over my words and what I share. I think thats both sad and sensible.

I deleted a blog on account of it, and that infuriates me because I didn't back it up before hand and now I've missed those words and feelings of when an event happened.

Jerry Waxler said...

Television turned us into a culture of people who found our identity by sitting quietly and staring at famous people who were willing to overshare. But times are changing. Instead of just the famous people, we all get to share with each other, trading a little privacy in return for a little friendship. If you're too private, you miss out on the grand adventure. There's no right way. Play around with it. We're all new here.

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