Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The End

I am sure every person who has ever posted a photograph of their child on the Internet and finds out that someone other than the intended audience has viewed it feels close to the way I am feeling.

Kind of like you were caught showering with the bathroom window wide open and the neighbor guy cleaning his BBQ just happened to look up at the right time . . .

Right from the very beginning of this blog, way back in the dark ages when telephones still had rotary dials and car engines didn't start with the push of a button from a remote, I made the decision to use our real names. I quickly learned that it wasn't the wisest of choices to use our surname in my blog url, so I changed that.

But if you really wanted to know you could figure it out.

I made these decisions wholeheartedly and confident that nobody would read my drivel and that if they did, I'd bore them so much they wouldn't come back. And I was fine with this. I was fine with it because all I really wanted to do was to write.

And write I did.

And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote some more.

One day, Seattle Mom Blogs was born and I had the opportunity to write a "column" for the site. It was a no-brainer. "Yes, pick me!" I shouted - emailed - to the amazing women (Jenny, Kathryn and Eve) in charge. And they shouted - emailed - me back and said, "Come on down Carrie, you've just won forty toasters!" That's how Kids and The City was born.

And I got to create my online profile, my identity as a writer for someone other than myself. So, naturally, I went with my real name. I mean, if someone really did want to read something I'd written, how were they going to find me if I went by Carrie Coconut?

Turns out, I ended up using my real name, not Carrie Coconut, for the pieces I've published in our local paper as well. I think it's better this way. This way, my 7th grade English teacher can laugh when she reads that I am in charge of 3 children of my own and not living the life of a Hawaiian Tropic model (because that was always my dream...I kid).

Years went by. I wrote, mostly about mothering, and I shared, mostly about mothering. I also posted pictures of my children, because they are the reasons I am a mother in the first place. I was careful not to announce when we were going out of town, or to post the front of our home or the street on which we live. I did not wave a flag in anyone's face saying, "Here we are, come and get us," nor did I hide behind a fictitious name (not that I have a problem with anyone who chooses to do this, it is just not for me).

And I was fine with it. I was.

Until last week when the you-know-what hit the fan.

After some careful thought, I am almost 100% sure that I know how I feel about the whole thing, which is the never ending debate amongst mommybloggers: How much do you share on your blog and do you post photographs of your children?

In other words, how much do you censor your life and how much do you share?

For me, what it boils down to is this, I am comfortable here. Even with my limited knowledge of how this informational superhighway works, I am okay with the fact that there are some links to photographs within my blog coming from google search pages for Bret Michaels. I still get hits from people looking to make Easter Bunny Meth no matter how many times I've made it crystal clear that I know absolutely nothing about the product or the process. A weird search will pop up here and there and you know what? Those people spend 0.0 minutes on my site.

Those people are not my readers.

Those people don't care about what I write.

Those people aren't going to scare me.

I have more information on who visits this blog than I do the other patrons at the grocery store who can see me interact with my children in real life and could follow me to my car if they wanted (although the chances of that happening are slim to none since I carry with me a huge rottweiler in my purse). I know more about the people who come here than I do some of the people on the next cul-de-sac.

So this is how it is, and this is how it shall be. I'll keep on writing if you'll keep on reading. I will not write things that I wouldn't share with you in real life and I'll try not to embarrass my children without their permission, unless they're being especially naughty. I'll even post the occasional photo of my loved ones, because I love them and I happen to think they are the cutest people on the planet. But there never was, nor will there ever be bathtub photos of my kids.

However, if you want to photoshop my head onto Angelina Jolie's body, go ahead. I won't be offended.


Carrie said...

I'm glad you're going to stick around and keep writing! I'd miss you if you left!

monstergirlee said...

I'm so glad I found your blog because I enjoy it immensely. And glad you're stick around.

OHmommy said...

I think about these things all the time and in the end I have the same conclusion. The people in our surrounding community are far much of a greater threat in our everyday life.

Anonymous said...


I like your thought process.


Sunshine said...

I'm the same.
Yes, I realize there could be creepy people on the internet (no?! hahaha) who read my blogs. I've seen the search terms.

I say our names. Not last but it wouldn't be hard to figure out if someone wanted to try hard enough.

I post photos.

I don't mention where we live, not that it would be hard to figure out either but I figure there are probably scary, creepy people right in my own town that are more dangerous than somebody in Tucson.

Is it unsettling to realize that the world isn't one big happy bubble I sit in where I wear my rose-colored glasses? Yes, it is!

I'll keep it up too, and keep reading you as long as you do it!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think you're being very sensible.

painted maypole said...

it's such a hard line to walk.

wondering what happened though, what exactly was the proverbial thing splattering on the fan?

painted maypole said...

ok... just caught up on my reading and I see what happened now...

alice c said...

I am glad that you have decided to carry on writing - Blogland would be a much more boring place without you.

The Coffee Lady said...

So lovely. You're right, of course. We're all working this one out, I think, a step at a time.

Sheila @ Dr Cason.org said...

I use my name. I keep my integrity. I say where I am and what I think. I don't blog about my co-workers or neighbors or the embarassing details of my kid's life. If my kids asked me to stop showing pics- I will.

We live in too much fear. It's okay to be honest and yet cautious. I think you are doing great and have made a wise decision. :)

Maddy said...

Certainly food for thought. I censor a lot, for obvious reasons and for more obscure ones such as if I wrote what my children say verbatim everyone would die of boredom in between the pauses, stutters, false starts etc. so I edit all that out as it's more about communicating a message......at least that's what I hope.

jodifur said...

Good for you.

I work in child abuse and a lot of people are surprised I post pictures of my son on my blog b/c of internet predators and I just feel like you can't live your whole life afraid of bad things.

On the other hand I am terrified to fly, so I have no idea what I am talking about.

mamikaze said...

I wouldn't have a reason for living, er, reading blogs... without you, Carrie.

Keri said...

Funny... i just posted a pic of my 1 yr old in the tub/sink today...
But my son's privates were private... and i keep my blog quiet, small, and out of the searches.

I love to pop in and read your writings so keep it up.