In all the years I have blogged I have rarely written about my family. I didn’t even share photos of the girls when they were young. It somehow didn’t feel fair to write about them in a place where they didn’t spend much time and where their actions could be interpreted by others for good or ill depending on the quality of my writing.

When writing about work or family situations I developed the habit of abstracting the principles into “Isn’t it interesting that…” type of posts where I can hopefully help share insights and learning without compromising identity.

Even in terms of my own thoughts and actions though I have grown wary, and weary, of the opining that can be triggered on social media or even in comments on this blog. It is a fine line between valuable sharing in the interests of collective learning – and feeling exposed and scrutinised by people who don’t really know me.

I sometimes consider turning off the comments and likes on posts as they can be a constraint on my writing. But to do so runs counter to the shared understanding that was so much the attraction certainly of early blogging.

What do you reckon?

12 thoughts on “Discretion

  1. I reckon it’s a polarity and as such, sometimes yes and sometimes no. I leave comments in on my blog but only for a couple of weeks. That way we are having a conversation relevant to the times and it cuts down on spam bits finding it later. I wouldn’t turn off comments but I do delete some from time to time. I’m not obligated to read or publish things I don’t want to see on my blog and I have no qualms about that. The web is still pretty much a free speech zone made up of lots of places that constrain certain kinds of speech and conversation.

    I keep a blog to have community at the price of an invitation to relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, recall the original spirit of the thing. There was a kind of purity to it and an idealism that’s less present these days. The intention of comments is less clear or simply unremembered. Connection seems more fragile in some ways. I’ve watched bloggers turn off their comments to avoid trolls or troll-like, ideological rants. However, I hold out hope that real connection is still part of why blogging matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had similar thoughts although I’ve shared a lot more family stuff generally. In the past, I turned off comments for a little while because the spam attacks were intense. However now that I’m off social media, I miss the conversations but they’re not happening in this blog anymore. People are more likely to converse on the networks. So I opened comments up again and bought a subscription to a WordPress security program to deal with spam attacks. Also blocked many countries from accessing account. There’s still not much conversation but that’s ok. I’m rethinking my blog as more of a journal than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have hundreds of blog posts that have been left on the table because posting would not protect the innocent, even if I started with, “Isn’t it interesting…”. I write about human interaction and when a meeting from earlier in the day triggers and idea, the example I’d reference make it obvious who I am discussing.

    It’s a responsibility of writing to consider both the reader and the subject matter.

    I have comments running on my blog. They are not yet an issue for me. On blogs I read such as yours Euan, it’s easier to make a comment than to turn around a write a blog post. Again, it does depend on what I’m wanting to say. If comments were available, I’d share less.


    1. Yes, I used to delay writing about real events sometimes by as much as a week to help avoid identification. When I was working with people like the UN and The World Bank there were some great stories that were too good to share but indiscretion would have meant losing important revenue streams!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This seems to be related to the post a little while before this one that you deleted, and your thoughts and some of the comments gel with mine.
    On the broader question about comments and community, I would consider closing comments off (or at least closing them off too quickly) a net loss – particularly as your having a virtual community has led to us meeting a couple of times IRL, despite the geographic distance between us!


    1. Totally agree about the upsides of connection and feel so lucky to have so many good friends all around the world. I guess it relates to my general feelings about community, that it can be a mixed blessing. As I said in the post on Mastodon that you favourited it can easily tip into pressure to behave in ways that the community approves of.


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