Sunday, February 06, 2005

Does this mean I have to start censoring myself?

When I first started up this blog, my friend Dom warned me to be careful what I wrote because it could come back to bite me in the ass. What he didn’t tell me was that it would happen so soon.

Only five months into this blogging thing, my words are already coming back to haunt me. Like when I was on the phone with my dad yesterday:

Dad: "What are you up to this weekend?"

Me: "Oh, not much. I just did four loads of laundry."

Dad: "So you didn’t go out and buy some new underwear instead?"

Me. "What? WHAT?"

Dad: "Well that’s what you wrote in your blog. That sometimes you’ll just go out and buy new underwear instead of doing your laundry."

Me: "You read my blog? But I wrote that a really long time ago."

Dad: "I went through your archives. Now I’m taking valium and anti-depressants to deal with it."

I’ve had a lot of these conversations lately. After my grandfather’s funeral last weekend, my aunt introduced me to a distant relative at the church. We shook hands and the first thing she said was, "I’m so glad I’m not 30 anymore."

I was a little confused, so she explained.

"Well, I read your blog and it just seems so full of angst. It just reminds me why I’m so glad to be in my 40s."

What? WHAT? Since when does having a blog give people permission to use my own words against me? No one warned me about this.

A couple of weeks ago at work, I noticed my lucky Tim Hortons mug was missing. Panicked, I ran around the office looking for it and found Jenny sitting at her desk, calmly sipping coffee out of my mug.

"I read your blog and you said that you like to have a cup of tea at 9:30 every morning so I knew I could get the Tim’s mug before then," she said.

When I first started this blog in October, I didn’t think anyone would really be that interested in what I had to say. I was mostly just looking for a way to pass the time since I was no longer going on seven-hour training rides and three-hour runs on the weekends. A blog seemed like a less taxing hobby than training for an Ironman.

Now I’m not so sure. I love the fact that people read what I write and I still get a little rush of excitement whenever someone posts a comment. But having people use my words against me is a little disconcerting.

I need to twist this to my advantage somehow. Maybe I should write about how I love dark chocolate and Tim Hortons gift certificates. Instead of having my mug disappear off my desk, maybe stacks of dark chocolate and gift certificates will start appearing.

Someone will tell me, "I read on your blog that you love dark chocolate and free money, so here you go."


Anonymous said...

Please don't stop writing.

I enjoy reading your blog. There is nothing horrifically personal about it - everyone goes through the same angst. It has what makes movies interesting: I can identify with what's going on and you write it in a manner that doesn't make me cringe.

Perhaps in your own circle you are as well known as your esteemed employer? Maybe even more so: how many of his friends get to see his journal every day? People assume that they know you because they have read about you which I suspect would cause its own problems. That being said, almost everyone buys underwear, gets shot down, or spends too much time doing something they are good at (which might be work, writing, volunteering or exercising). I like knowing I am not the only person doing the same thing.

Anyhow, I am not looking to get shot down (again) but if you were trying to guage how big your audience is, please include me.


Julia said...

Ahh.. the next best thing will be meeting someone who has a blog you read often, or having a friend start one up. Then when you see them in person, you find yourself trying not to reference something you read in their blog, because it just feels like spying. Believe me, I've have this problem with a lot of people I don't see on a daily, even monthly, basis. At least you're finding out who reads your blog. I suspect that a lot more people that I know read my blog than I'm aware of and I'm just waiting for those moments (like you've experienced) of weirdness to happen.

Sarah said...

Well, I never write about stuff at work (too many people getting fired for writing about work in their blogs!) and I never write anything that is too personal (gotta draw a line somewhere) the moments of weirdness are weird, but fun at the same time!


Carrie said...

Good Lord, that would freak me out!! lol

I haven't told anyone I know that I have a blog. Not even my little bro. And at times I want to but don't dare. You're very brave to let them all know :-)

Sarah said...

I've got nothing to hide :) My life's an open book and I like it that way. But not too open...the private stuff is still private. Certain things will never appear on my blog.

My little brother says he won't read my blog because he doesn't want to know what I think. And I did try to hide it from my parents but that didn't work too well, what with this being available to the world and all. But they seem to like it.


Rob Cottingham said...

Please don't censor yourself for personal reasons... especially when there are such good professional reasons to censor yourself. :)

Anonymous said...

Apparently your love of dark chocolate and Tim Horton's gift certificates isn't too private to tell the world about. :^)

More seriously, I've heard of some "poor student bloggers" who have gift lists on Amazon, with the invitation to buy something for them if you like the blog.

But since you're in the highly lucrative business of saving the whales ... :)

Actually, I read somewhere once a person could make more money shilling for Gordon Campbell, but then they wouldn't be able to look themselves in the mirror. Now where was that? :)

Bill D.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,

This is Sarah Owen, (Sister of John Owen). We were chatting about blogs one day when yours came up. I like it, and completly agree with the question of blog censorhip. You are lucky it took 5 months for your blog to bite you in the ass! It took 2 days I think before my mum commented on my use of the 'f word' and the fact that she had sent the link to some of her friends! Nothing like freedom of expression amongst family!

Anyhow, nice to meet you...
Sarah Owen

Sarah said...

Hmm...wait a minute, are you saying if I worked for Gordon Campbell then I could afford to buy my own chocolate and gift certificates? I never thought about it that way.

But I'd probably get fired the second day on the job because I'd write about what goes on behind the scenes on my blog. Cool. Then I'd get a severance package and I could spend my days at Tim's eating chocolate and drinking mochas.


Craiger :) said...

I have realized many of the same things you have with your blog. All of a sudden you find your friends quoting your blog and bringing it up in conversations. Its fun to provide people with a glimps inside your life especiallly if they are interested in it.

coops said...

...... yep it can be a minefield. Some of my mates read mine the other day and they said 'there is a lot of things we did'nt know about you... then I spent the rest of the day worrying if I had put anything about them in the blog.

Things I'm careful about now....

1) Work - in case my collegues read it
2) Friends - no more 'white lies'!