It is the beginning of a new term at school and once again the topic of blogging has surfaced. I am part of a small group of instructors who works with students to assist their training to become counselors, pastors and hopefully more aware human beings. Words like “narcissistic” and “attention-seeking” get tossed around along with statements of “I just don’t get it.” “It” being the blogging culture and the narcissists being the blog writers.
Hmmmm. Are you talking about me? I wonder. It is a confusing time as I well know there are people who blog about their personal lives in infinite detail and enter into many a ‘conversation’ without aforethought to crossing personal boundaries. Still, I sit back and listen to my peers—some old, some new—discuss this topic that is heartfelt to me. One newcomer tiptoes into the dialogue stating that their spouse does a bit of blogging about their family—principally posting new pictures of their child and momentous occasions such as graduation. Another suggests possibly putting controls onto that blog so that only invited guests can see what has been posted.
I have heard this conversation before. It is a recurring theme and an important one to consider. I stay silent for this one. A trusted colleague who knows my heart (& my blog) smiles at me from across the room. I cannot imagine limiting who can or cannot read what I choose to post. I think of all of the life and connection I would have missed had I not chosen to “go public” and open myself up to the world around me. Neither can I imagine posting about details of my life which I consider too intimate or mundane to be spread across the blogosphere.
I consider what it would be like for a student to see that my dog has died or that I am having a bad day or a good one. For them to consider that I have struggles and joys. That I am married and have children and go on road trips alone. What if they found out that I am (yikes) HUMAN? Oh my, would that be the end of our professional relationship? I wonder about all of this because we are asking students to be more authentic and be in touch with who they are and what brings them alive. How can we ask them to do something we are not willing to do ourselves? Somehow I see my most authentic self coming out on these pages. Still I do not hand out my website or make a big deal about this space and my alter ego gets all of the credit ☺, but if someone were to run across this page by accident…I wonder…